Mount Constance - West Arete, September 2005
Perhaps the most prominent peak viewed from Seattle, Mount Constance is one of the Olympic "big boys". At 7743 feet, Constance is the 3rd tallest peak in the range and along with The Brothers, Mount Olympus and perhaps a few other token Olympic peaks, it makes for a worthy objective. In a mountain range comprised primarily of rotten volcanic rock, Mount Constance stands apart in that it is among very few that boasts an enjoyable technical route on reasonably solid rock - the West Arete. Certainly, there are easier routes, namely the Finger Traverse or Terrible Traverse, but for a route-bagger such as myself, only the West Arete would do.
Convincing Eric to join me on this adventure took some doing - this would be his third time on Constance, and as such I'm sure he won't hesitate to demand repayment in full with some grueling, out-of-the-way suffer-fest that I'm obligated to join him on. Oh joy. Anyway...after parking at the foreshortened road's end, we descended the scarp left behind by the washout and pushed our bikes along a dusty path paralleling the Dosewallips River. Regaining the road at the other end of the washout, we pedaled the five miles or so to the bridge spanning Constance Creek (a gradual but constant incline) with the Lake Constance Route trailhead sign just beyond at right. Behind a large boulder below at left is a good, albeit unnecessarily strenuous to get to location to stash a bike...or thirty. (more...)
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