Red Mountain – 5,890 ft
October 25, 2016
I shifted work around to get the afternoon off, and drove out of town at 2pm. I was hiking north on the PCT by 3pm. It was drizzling, but the forecast was for drying out later in the evening. After a few miles I cut left on the Commonwealth Valley trail, then started climbing steeply up. The trail eventually leveled out just before a small pond, and a cairn indicated this was the spot to turn off and start scrambling.
I followed a well-established user trail with more cairns up the steep southwest face of Red Mountain. It was fun 3rd class scrambling on wet and sometimes loose rock. The rain had luckily let up, though clouds were still rolling through the valley.
I topped out on the summit at 4:45pm, and then it started snowing lightly. There were a few inches of fresh snow on the ground with footprints in them, likely from the previous weekend. I had the summit to myself, though, which wasn’t too surprising for a trailless mountain on a drizzly tuesday evening.
The view was still great down into the alpine lakes wilderness. I spent 15 minutes on top, then scrambled back down to the trail, and hiked back to the car. I made it back to Seattle in time for dinner, hungry after a 9 mile hike.