Grays Harbor County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: July 31, 2012
Author: Adam Helman

note: All coordinates are in the WGS84 datum.

This effort was part of a larger journey collecting Pacific Northwest county highpoints in summer 2012.

There are now fully 33.2 ATM of paved surface to Wynoochee Valley Road, namely, to just beyond the turnoff leading to Wynoochee Lake. An ATM ("Adam Truck Mile") is roughly 1% larger than a standard mile. This leaves 10 ATM of graded gravel to the "trailhead".

There is good parking just before the repaired culvert at (47.49281° N, 123.53035° W), elevation 1,591 feet.

The spur road leading south, traditionally used to reach the bushwhack's western base, is now getting seriously overgrown with all manner of foliage. I started uphill 150 feet short (north) of the road's termination, and found the going very steep for 300 feet (vertical or horizontal, your choice). I recommend continuing to the spur road's very southernmost end at (47.49611° N, 123.51482° W) prior to commencing the bushwhack.

I am relieved to reach the 4,600 foot contour just north of my goal. The bushwhacking is overwith - yet the remaining route is half snow and half Class 3 rock. Locating a 'doable' path is problematic, particularly as the snow has moats along the rock that must either be jumped or climbed-into. I search longingly, taking a most circuitous path that wastes an awful amount of time and energy.

Eventually I am rewarded, reaching the bouldertop shown in photographs, and verified by my GPS's coordinates, to be the Grays Harbor County highpoint. Plus, I see point 4,920+ some 200 feet to the east along this rocky ridge. I descend almost immediately, anxious for a return to a 'rock island' amidst snow where I have cached a liter of water.

There are no points for style here - many times I butt-slide down the bushwhack route, and especially along the dreaded lowest portion. BOY that ice axe looks fine on reaching it! While on the logging road grid I meet a young man walking a bicycle up the grade. I am most surprised to find anybody here. Evidently tomorrow (August 1) is the first day of bear hunting season, and he's come to stalk the beast for what evidently must be pleasure. I utterly disapprove of such activity, killing magnificent creatures without the need for surviving on its flesh. Still, I conceal my disgust and we leave amicably.

The effort lasting 10 hours I am in no position to attempt Mount Stone tomorrow - would not reach its trailhead until well after dark. Instead I rent at the Thunderbird Motel in Aberdeen. I won't ever go there again: it has become a halfway house for lunatics and drunkards.

I am pleased in no longer having to visit this one's trailhead.