Mount Pugh
Aug 10, 2015
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Despite the unpleasant amount of elevation gain, Mount Pugh is a straightforward hike. It starts off as a wooded hike before cresting next to a small tarn. When you get here, make sure to turn left. We turned right and wandered in the woods for a little bit while we looked for the trail. About a mile and a half or so past the lake the view opens up as you start to climb toward Stujack Pass. These views start to provide a small amount of reprieve from the pain in your legs as you work ever upwards.

hunter taking photos from a rock outcropping
hunter on a rock outcropping
looking up the scramble route on mount pugh
looking up the scramble route

From Stujack Pass the trail continues its steep ascent until you reach a few areas of scrambling. Many people call this area along Mount Pugh to hike the Knife's edge. From what I had read, I was expecting some more difficult scrambling. I can see how some may consider it difficult with minimal exposure and a class 3 move or two. But, for someone seasoned in scrambling, it is no serious barrier. It felt disappointing as I was expecting a bit of an adrenaline rush from the infamous section.

glacier peak from the summit of mount pugh
glacier peak from the summit
waterboy on the summit of mount pugh
waterboy on the summit
summit view from mount pugh
summit view
sloan peak from the summit fo mount pugh
sloan peak from the summit
glacier peak as seen from mount pughs summit
glacier peak from the summit

The summit views from Mount Pugh were superb on this cloudy day. I can imagine on a clear one they are even better. Sloan peak looks appears like a sailing ship and Glacier Peak rises to the east in the sky. While the climb wasn’t quite the thrill I was hoping for it was a great way to spend the morning. The only problem we encountered was on the way back down.

Before reaching the knife-edge there is a small section of class 3 scrambling. Along this section, I was following cairns and making my way back down. But, whoever had made the cairns had lead them toward some vertical cliffs. I noticed the issue before anything happened, but, it did take some class 4 scrambling to get back to the trail. When on Mount Pugh don’t use cairns to navigate, there is no telling where they lead off to.

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