Mason County High Point Trip Report

Mount Stone (6,612 ft)

Date: June 28, 2003
Author: Bob Bolton

Duane and Dennis Gilliland joined me for this climb. It was a hot day for western Washington. We started at the Putvin Trailhead at just after 9 am. The trail ascends along Boulder Creek for several hundred feet before swinging toward the west, traversing several small creek drainages, then intersecting an old logging road, shown on the topo map. Downhill a short distance is the old Whitehorse Creek trailhead. The trail climbs steeply up into the forest, then continues the westerly traverse toward Whitehorse Creek. At a switchback near an old campsite the trail suddenly becomes very steep as it climbs relentlessly up into an open basin with several waterfalls on its headwall. Here the maintained trail ends, but a mountaineer track continues up the steep slopes on the east side of the basin, eventually attaining a bench above the aforementioned headwall. We took the most direct approach to Mt. Stone. Down in the forest we had passed some guys who knew the area well, and they told us how to find this route. There is a small pond they named Frog Pond, which I believe is the one shown on the topo map just north of the W in Whitehorse Creek. Just past that pond we looked up toward Mt. Stone and there is an obvious track heading straight up the slope toward a brushy gully. We climbed out of the gully just below a small waterfall to attain the easier slopes above. Then we headed north-northwest toward a notch just to the west of the main buttresses of the southwest ridge of Stone. We had snow over most of this slope. From the notch, the route up the ridge was a series of class 3 scrambles to a point with our first view of the peak. From there we traversed on snow near and below the ridge top above the high basin which is obvious on the topo map. This traverse ended at the base of the summit block. Here is a short class 4 pitch leading to an obvious, shallow gully to the right of the summit. From the top of the gully it was a short scramble to the top.

The clear air afforded us astounding views in all directions. Mount Rainier was the most obvious landmark to the east, but the entire north-south sweep of the Cascades could be easily seen, from Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan on the north to Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens on the south. Glacier Peak, Dome Peak, and several subranges were also visible. We could easily see the waterfront of downtown Seattle. The entire Olympic Range was spectacularly spread out around us, with Mount Olympus and surroundings glistening in the brilliant sunshine.

Unfortunately, the macro feature didn't work properly on my digital camera, so my GPS photos are unreadable.

Hiking Times: 5.5 hours up, 1+ hour on the summit, total of 10 hours.