Welldigger's Ass

We headed out of Seattle for Mt. Persis. That is a hike I have not yet done. The forecast the day before called for mostly sunny. Great, there are terrific view from high on the summit ridge. As we headed north the clouds grew thicker. Mist turned to light rain. This was not what we had planned on. With zero views likely we began to kick around other ideas. A high enough start to avoid rain was the main requirement. We settled on Welldigger's Ass. A short hike on the east side of the crest. Suzanne, Barry, and I had done it but Barb and David had not. We cruised across Stevens Pass and turned right at Yodelin, about 1 1/2 miles across the pass. It was about 9:25 am when we were packed up and heading out. A brisk 28 degrees with a little cold breeze at the start.

We headed straight up the slope and intersected the snow covered road after a short distance. Two snowboarders were snowshoeing up. We went just ahead of them. There was 4 or 5 inches of fresh snow over a hard crust. Travel was not all that hard. We had some views down and across the valley though higher peaks were in the clouds. This area is popular with skiers and snowboarders. On my first visit we saw many. So far this day we had just seen the first group of two. We passed the cement block. It looks to be part of an old ski lift. Similar to one just off the trail to Mt. Pilchuck.

A few more minutes and we were on the ridge crest. Two skiers were already there. At the ridge we turned left and dropped a short ways to a meadow. From there it is a steady climb up to the top of Welldigger's Ass. Snow conditions were very good. Soft snow but minimal sinking in. Up we went. Part way up is a a burned forest. The spidery white limbs were covered with ice and snow. Very nice. There is not much of a summit. The high point is not much higher than most of the summit ridge around it. We stopped for an early lunch. It was only 11:20 am. Just over two hours to climb 1700' in two miles. Not long but some very nice snowshoeing. The clouds thinned a little and we could see down to the valley below. The Stevens Nordic Center track is in that valley. Not even close to seeing any other peaks.

After lunch we packed up and headed down. On the way we passed several groups of skiers heading up. At the point we reached the ridge we chose to head up to another slight high point in the other direction. More easy travel. There were some truly impressive snow blobs on smaller trees. The trees were bent over by the very heavy snow. David "liberated" one tree from its snowy prison. It was only 12:05 pm when we dropped off the ridge. The way down was fast. On the way we met two guys building a ski ramp. A number of other groups were heading up. It was not even 1:00 pm when we made it down. At that early hour the traffic was still pretty light. Crossing over Stevens Pass all the lots had "Parking Lot Full" signs. Lots of folks enjoying a day on the slopes.

This day did not end up being anything like what we had planned. With the mist and thick clouds at Mt. Persis on the way up and again on the way home we were happy with our choice. We had good snow, good weather, and minimal crowds. No views were to be had anywhere but on this short trip it was not that disappointing. I'll get up Mt. Persis one of these days. One of these clear days.

Icy Parking Lot
Starting Up
Well Packed Track
Break Time
View Down
Cloud Level
Near Ridge Top
Heading Up Burn
Here Comes Barb
Icy Branches
Group On Summit
Summit Ridge
Flocked Trees
Descending Burn
View To Valley
Continuing Down
Welldigger In Clouds
Big Snow Blob
Plastered Trees
Group Shot
Snow Monster
Monster Slain!
Concrete Block
Leaving Ridge Top
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2013