Irish Mountain

August 1, 1998

Twelve hikers in two vehicles left SEHS at 8:00 am. The weather was clear but hazy and warm, but not extremely hot like it had been in the past week. After leaving the trailhead at Skookum Creek just after 10:00 we passed Otter Lake. We had little problem crossing its outlet creek and started up the Irish MN. Trail (#3588). At the junction of the Jack Pine Way Trail (#3587) we stopped for our first break; we determined that the mosquitoes were the worst most of us had seen in some time, but we continued. Just before 1:00 pm the group found itself at an excellent lunch spot on top of a south facing rock slope that gave us a good view of the Taylor Burn, Waldo Lake, its surrounding peaks and all points to the south. After lunch we continued on to try to reach the top of Irish Mtn. The trail in this area is so little used that it was hard to follow it in some places, and after about half a mile we came to the junction of Trail #3307. To the left (north) the trail leads past McFarland Lake. To the right (south) after only a few hundred yards it goes over a pass and down the east side to the Pacific Crest Trail. A sign on a tree points left and reads “trail head 7 mls.” and pointing right reads “Irish Mtn.”. So we headed for the pass, where the trail again disappears from lack of use. My plan from here (since there is no trail to the top) was to follow the crest of the ridge south. As we went, we looked over out shoulders to the north-east and one by one each of the peaks from Bachelor to the North Sister came into view. After rounding the base of a rock spire the north side of Irish Mtn. came into full view. The east side was almost vertical rock that dropped 200 ft. below us and went up above us for some 300 to 500 ft. The west side, though forested, was nearly as steep. Because of the late time, 2:00, we decided to leave at that point. We returned to our lunch spot and after a rest continued on, reaching the trail head at 5:00. We returned to town by 7:00. Perhaps next year I will attempt this peak from the south side. The party included non-members Bev Woods, Doug Quirk, Sue Peterson, Joanne Vinton, Michele Shupe and Obsidians Karen Myers, Scott Hovis, Max Brown, Dan Bates, Richard Heinzkill, Sharon Ritchie and George Baitinger (leader).

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