Robinson Mountain (8,726 ft)
Eric and Birkan
January 28-29, 2016
Robinson Mountain is one of the few Washington Hundred Highest mountains with a trailhead that is reasonably accessible in the winter. With a good weather forecast, we drove out to near Mazama Friday night and camped out in the car at the Yellow-Jacket sno-park. By 5:45am Saturday morning we started hiking the 3 miles to the trailhead on snowmobile trails.
The trail was (unsurprisingly) not broken, and we spent the next 9 hours breaking trail. Shortly before sunset we reached a flat area at 6,5000ft in the cirque southeast of the peak, and pitched camp. I had a bit of extra energy, so while Birkan was melting snow I broke out a trail up to the SE ridge to give us a head start the next morning.
We were hiking by 6am the next morning, and soon gained the ridge. The conditions were tricky, with the snow deep enough to warrant snowshoes, but steep enough to want crampons. We carefully avoided cornices, and at one point pitched out a short 4th class section. By 9am we determined our progress was much too slow to reach the summit that day, so we bailed out and descended back to camp. We made it back to the car that afternoon, and back to Seattle that night.