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darrington conditions - mostly for recon

Original Post
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,088

weekend weather looks like dog$*** again, so i figured i might hike in and scope some of the granite in the 3'oclock / green giant / squire creek / etc areas. anybody have any info on how far the various roads are open, that sort of thing? would it likely be snow-wallowing, or just mud hiking?


Kyle Elliott · · Everett, WA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 440

For 3 o'clock..Expect snow on the road to the trail, and watch for minor washouts. If the snow is gone from the trail, expect a muddy first half of the approach. And when it rains in darrington...It RAINS!

Ashort · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 35

please keep us updated on what you find out there.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,088

cool, thanks guys. it's interesting that the temperatures for darrington are usually pretty warm (40's or so), but being unfamiliar with the terrain i am curious to see if it turns into snow fairly quickly as you go up frog creek.

i hiked to static point (near index) a couple weekends ago. most of the drive was fairly clear until the last 1/8 of a mile or so and it instantly turned into moderately deep snow. the hike was quite a bit of post-holing. i was impressed at how abruptly it changed from snow-free ground to crust bustin'.

Curt Veldhuisen · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 533
This page is a good resource for this and related questions.

I was in the town of Darrington last week and there was lingering snow on the ground. So I would be quite surprised if you aren't walking/skiing from the Mountain Loop onward.
Kyle Elliott · · Everett, WA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 440
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,088

we drove up the clear creek / frog creek road for a few miles. there was fair amount of snow and downed branches. we decided to stop at a long downhill section and park there, which ended up being a good decision. near the bottom of the hill there was a small tree across the road, and fairly deep snow on the road. backing up the entire hill would have sucked.

we hiked in for a while, but didn't make it to the rocks. very, very wet slushy snow. by the time we got back to the truck we were pretty soaked. at first, i was a little bummed that we didn't hike further, but a burger and shake at the burger barn made me feel better :). beautiful hike, can't wait to check the area out some more.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I haven't been out to Darrington with much snow melt, but have had many days with prior rain.

Magic Bus tends to dry well later in the afternoon.

Charlie Chan's is hit or miss.

You can climb under the bored walk in the rain.

Till broad daylight tends to get a wet streak higher on the 1st pitch, depending on how wide this can be avoided. You'll be able to see it from the ground if it's wet.

The start of the kone dries quickly, but the upper 5.9 moves on the traverse pitch get wet (marked after P3 on the topo). It's not so bad for the leader as you can place a nut in a rare crack there, but it's terrifying for the follower. A better option if in question is to traverse left above the great arch into till broad daylight, the pitch that shoots straight up from that belay is real fun. The two routes link above there and the climbing is easy friction.

Last 1-2 pitches of silent running tend to get water seeping from the trees/bushes. If there is any question on the last pitch being dry I wouldn't set off (I took a nice run off the overlap above the last bolt trying to push it when damp).

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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