Date: July 31, 2012
Author: Adam Helman
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.