Observation Rock

This trip was mid-September, 2009. The best way to spend a Tuesday is summiting Observation Rock on Mt. Rainier. 14 miles, 11 hours, 8,300 feet and being so close to the Liberty Cap route on Rainier that you can almost reach out and touch it. Robert and I had the scramble all to ourselves on a gorgeous day!

We began our adventure hiking the first 3 miles of the Wonderland Trail from Mowich Lake partway out into Spray Park.

The tiny Pinnacle in the Northwest corner of the picture is Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Once you come out into the meadows of Spray Park, there is a climber’s boot path that goes partway through the meadows.  It disappears and reappears frequently.  As long as it keeps heading toward Observation Rock you’re golden.

Time to leave the giant highway of a path and start bushwacking. More like tipt-toeing through the fragile meadow. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Our destination on the left, Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

High alpine lake. Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

You have to cross a snowfield to get to the backside of Observation Rock.  Stay in the middle of the snowfield and go all the back.  It should be notice that it really is more like an icefield, so BRING crampons.

Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Once the snow ended, we climbed on rock and dirt up and around to the backside of Observation Rock. There was a little climber’s boot path, but not sure if this would be present earlier in the season. From here it’s an easy class 2/3 scramble to the top.

A couple of moves and then we are at the top. And Rainier is looking gorgeous! Photo belongs to Genevieve Hathaway.

Busted it up Observation Rock. Summit achieved! Photo belongs to Genevieve Hathaway.

Robert happy to have bagged another peak. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Robert happy to have bagged another peak. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Got a little 3rd class shimmy in.... Photo belongs to Genevieve Hathaway.

View of Echo from Observation Rock. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

One of the reasons I climb - incredible views! Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Sunset over Mt. Rainier as we hiked out. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

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~ by Genevieve Hathaway on June 4, 2010.

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