White Chuck Mountain
Sept 19th & 21st
White Chuck is viewed from highway 530 leading into Darrington. Standing just north of Mt.Pugh. The round trip mileage is a mere 4 miles but don’t think it’s an easy walk up. From trail head to summit you gain 2000 ft, most done in the last mile of travel. The road leading up brings you high into the alpine bypassing the old growth forest that normally a long approach includes. I was getting off work that morning so a 4 mile hike and a late start was a perfect combination for me. The mountain begins with a beautiful walk through meadows and trees as you progress along the ridge eventually popping out into the open with summit in view, progress vertically through a series of ledges, including a mix of heather and rock. Be aware this climb is hazardous if done wet, the ledges and rock scrambling although fairly safe dry does have exposure especially on your descent could be hazardous if slick. Progressing onward minor rock scrambling and spectacular views will eventually lead you to an amazing summit. Sweeping vistas of Three Fingers, White Horse, Pugh, Sloan Glacier peak, Del Campo, El Dorado, Forbidden, are all included. Be cautious on your descent there is plenty of lose scree. White Chuck is a great climb I enjoyed it so much I did it twice that week
Getting out to White Chuck Mountain is a little bit of a chore, but you will be thankful that the road system gets you so high up minimizing your approach through the tree line. Have in hand a map of the FS road systems and a quick drop into the ranger station in Darrington will help you in your quest to the trail head. State Route 530 leads into the center of Darrington. Take 530 towards Darrington when the road ends in a T take a left then a right on Sauk Prairie Road. Travel 1.5 miles till you reach Dan Creek FSR #24. Follow for 8.3 miles and you will see a road shoot off up-hill and to the left. There isn’t a sign,but the road is #2435 follow for 5 miles. You should end up on a ridge with fantastic views of the surrounding country side and the mountain itself, at the next fork stick to the right which leads you to 4800 feet and the trail head.
What to Bring:
I brought a small day pack big enough for my camera gear plenty of water and a big lunch as well as my 10 essentials. A helmet isn’t a bad idea either especially with the scree and if there other climbers on the mountain that day. The views are amazing so a camera is a must also bringing a map to identify surround peaks is a joy from the summit and since it’s only a 4 mile round trip, a big lunch and taking it slow is recommended to enjoy this climb. During the week you won’t have to deal with folks but it’s possible on weekends to find a party or two. Enjoy!