We set off this morning to climb Mount Si – its highest point is 3900ft with 3150 ft of ascent and 8 miles round trip.
Making the decision to get an early(ish) start and being parked at the trailhead by 7:45 turned out to be very wise – it was still cool and the car park had plenty of spaces. Also not too many people (not that I don’t like people, I just don’t want to be on the mountain with half of the population of Washington State).
We were up at the top by around 10am and had a little roam around, taking pictures of the outstanding views.
We then started to climb Haystacks, and decided quite swiftly to turn back. The rock face was steep, extremely smooth rock with lots of ineffective hand and foot holds for an amateur. Experienced rock climbers will mock me, but I did not feel at all secure and came shakily back down, acknowledging defeat. I am glad to say that my family did as well. We saw other hikers that had been up, and they all made it back down alive. To me it really wasn’t worth the risk. Haystack 1, Ryders 0. Unfortunately Haystack is considered the official summit of Mount Si, but in my opinion we reached the top.
Some websites give appropriate warnings, such as Summitpost.org
The Haystack has a few rock routes on its southern and eastern flanks, and on the north side, there is a route to the top that can be scrambled. The summit scramble is not for everyone. This can’t be stressed enough. A fall off of the Haystack is going to be an uncontrolled fall. People have been seriously injured, and in some cases people have died scrambling to the top. Use extreme caution when making the scramble, and if it’s foggy or raining, seriously consider coming back another day.
It wasn’t wet, but it still was very slippery as the stone is so smooth. I do think the official trail organisation, Washington Trail Association, should update the description on their website which only mentions a rough scramble.
Anyway, it was a beautiful walk and a gorgeous day. We all made it up and down, and apart from the Haystack there was no danger, no risk of losing the trail as it is very well maintained and not too strenuous. A very enjoyable and picturesque hike.
Here are my favourite pics: