FKT: Nathanael Bate - Mount Deception (WA) - 2021-07-05

Route variation
car to car
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
9h 0m 21s
GPS track(s)

I had been wanting to summit this peak for a while and was waiting for a nice weather window in an opportune time between too much snow in the lowland and too little snow on the unstable bare loose rock and scree of the upper slopes of the mountain. I decided the night before to give it a go. I arrived at the Upper Dungeness trailhead around 8am with hiking boots, ice axe, crampons, and 3L of water in by pack with some snacks. I power hiked up through old growth forests to Royal Basin, stopping to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. Once into upper basin, the snow had become intermittent to solid and I had to travel over snow and occasional boulders to the base of the mountain. There I stopped to don crampons and navigated around and over a snowfield to what I thought would lead to a manageable scramble. The steep snow was littered with fallen rocks that were useful for traction on the way up as their heat had caused depressions in the snow. Crossing a moat (the crux of the whole route) at the upper reaches of the snow led to a class 3 scramble. After some fun routefinding this put me at the top of the Deception-Martin saddle marked by a stick poking up through a crack in the rocks. Easy slopes led downhill to the flat glacier surface which I traversed across, avoiding a large moat on the more direct approach East of Gilhooley tower that looked rather treacherous. After navigating west and then south around Gilhooley tower it was a pleasant ridge climb to the summit. I had lunch and took in the views of most of the major peaks of the Olympics at the top then returned to the car by the same route.