McPartland Mountain, nestled between Mt. Vaught and Heavens Peak, is an odd duck, many donít even know it exists since you canít see it except from a few other peaks in the park and a small glimpse of its summit from Moose Country.
The day started by fording McDonald Creek just north of the observation decks at 6am. Then following the remnants of the old McDonald Creek Trail through dark cedar forest for 3/4 of a mile until past the avalanche chute, then turning and heading straight up hill. The first 500 feet of elevation is easy with an open loamy forest floor that then changes to a steep, steep, dense, dense bushwhack for a third of a mile, gaining another 500 feet. Reaching the first cliff band going got a little easier, the next 2000 feet of elevation is negotiating rock shelves and small cliff bands intermingled with brushy slopes.
Another 1000 feet of talus and grassy slopes brought us to the most beautiful basin I have ever seen. Rib after rib of round red rock rises and in between each pockets with little babbling brooks with pools surrounded by moss and monkey flowers so perfect they seemed more like a Japanese garden than nature, even had a few bonsai trees. All agreed that just seeing this make the trip worthwhile.
The next quarter mile was a difficult boulder walk. Rock fall from Mt Vaught had strewn boulders ranging in size from a sofa to a truck. At this point it became obvious that I was not going to make the summit though it was only 1000 feet above us, the arduous journey had taken its toll and severe leg cramps had settled in. It was tempting to try, but I knew from past experience if I pushed it any further it would be nearly impossible to make it out. So I parked and rested for two hours while the others continued on. From my vantage point I watch their ascent to the saddle then the summit. I was told the trip to the saddle 600 feet above was an easy class three scramble. Then the 400 feet to the summit was mostly class 3 with a little bit of class 4 just before the summit.
I am told they found a summit register on top, put there in 2015 by David and Stacey Endebrock. Had only been signed by 4 other groups since then.
The return trip was quick and uneventful. It took 7 hours for the crew to reach the summit and 5 hours to return to the cars making it a 12 hour day. A steep climb gaining over 5000ft of elevation in about 4.5 miles. (9 miles round trip)
I would really like to tank Paul Okerberg, Rodney Falkenberg, Mary Notess(berg), and Adam McClure(berg) for sharing this experience with me, and putting up with my gripes due to pains. It was a most wonderful day.
Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.
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