Mt. Washington (East Ridge)

August 13, 1994

This hike aimed for the notch by the prominent thumb of rock to the east of Washington’s main pinnacle, called the “Unnecessary Peak” by some writers. An injured horseback rider blocked our approach to the Hortense Lake trailhead. She lay in the middle of the road with probable broken ribs and other injuries — she’d been thrown and tromped on by the animal. Air ambulance was already on the way, and her companions had the situation under control, so we backtracked. “Eagle Eye” Dan, our navigator, led us over many miles of hitherto unexplored back roads behind Suttle Lake. Some of these roads proved so interesting that we crossed and re-crossed them. Eventually, we reached the trailhead at noon. After a couple of miles through dry pines we headed cross country up along Cache Creek, following the old East Side climbing trail. Dozens of downed trees, and an often disappearing route added some challenge. By late afternoon we passed the small subalpine meadow at the head of Cache Creek. A steep scramble brought us up to the notch, with closeup views of Washington, and peaks in both directions. With the late time, no one ventured down the lava tube tunnel to the east side of the mountain: this is actually quite easy to do, though from this side looks rather impressive. Stayed only briefly, then scurried back to the cars by 7:00 p.m. A fun group: Dan Bates, Todd Eichwald, Don Jennings, Rita Johnson, Linda Waddell and leader Bert Ewing


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