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[TR] Mount Jupiter - East Ridge (standard) 05/08/2020

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Trip: Mount Jupiter - East Ridge (standard)

Trip Date: 05/08/2020

Trip Report:


My trip down 2020 memory lane continues!  We've moved up to May now.  The pandemic is still slowing unfolding but people are going back to work and the lockdowns are easing.  Public land is open in some instances (Olympic National Forest) but closed in other (MBSNF, national parks, etc.).  Your friends were likely in two camps- those still locked down and those that were straining for the freedom of the hills.  Quietly, I rallied @therunningdog and @Trent, two of the chossdawgs who were straining at their tethers.  It didn't take much cajoling to convince them to launch across the sound for a quick strike to the east side of the Peninsula. 


Growing up around Seattle you can't ignore ol' Jupe, it is right there on the Olympic skyline, standing proud at sunset like an Olympic version of Mt. Pilchuck.  Jupiter is small, beautifully shaped, and larger looking than it really is, sitting at the edge of the range like it does.  We were all smitten, or at least mildly interested.  Beggers can't be choosers!2020Mt.Jupiter72315.thumb.JPG.230a23390cd22f59eddb1bcdb75fc560.JPG2020Mt.Jupiter72318.JPG.bb4b3bad1a5d29e804140c74a0e95f6e.JPG

The Brothers (L) and Jupiter (R) from the Edmonds Kingston ferry


We drove up to the trailhead from the ferry the night before, finding an excellent spot to throw down our gear in the dirt for the night


The next morning dawned clear and crisp and we climbed on the bikes for the punishing grind up to the normal TH.  Recent logging has made this section view rich, but also has meant that the public is no longer allowed to drive the few thousand vert to the proper trailhead (which has been logged over anyways).  We opted to take the road a bit further to the ridge crest then go cross country to the trail.  It might not have saved much on the way up but meant for a longer descent on the bikes.


And so we began the long hike to the summit.  A former lookout site, Jupiter has a well graded trail all 7 miles to the summit.  It was just what we needed after many weeks of limited mountain access.


Steve hiking the scenic trail with the Brothers beyond


Another great look at the Brothers


It was a glorious day with 360 views of the Olympics, Puget lowlands and Cascades.  You could easily see from Canada to well south of Rainier!  A long break was called and observed with some well earned R&R.


Way sooner than we would have liked (we had a ferry to catch) we began the descent back to the bikes.  We hadn't seen anyone all day and that theme continued on the exit.  I think many are scared off by the long distances involved in doing this in a day, but bikes make is quite reasonable with a trailhead bivy.  Just make sure you have disc brakes and suspension!  It was an adventure on my bike....2020Mt.Jupiter72449.thumb.JPG.ecad5cd5c4bc63dd73fa55c63786299f.JPG

This view is just leaving the summit, looking down the ridge that is ascended.  The trail  roughly follows the ridge east, all the way to the clear cut in the distance.  From there bikes will take you steeply down to your car deep down in the trees.


Now, when I watch the sunset from the park by my parents house, I can look Jupiter in the eye and tip my hat to a fine peak.  And to the memories of a perfect day in the alpine with good friends. 

May is coming soon, best be ready!

Gear Notes:
bikes are key since the road is gated low these days.

Approach Notes:
Follow the descriptions and drive as far up the road as you can

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How did I miss this TR, @JasonG?! Looks fun, going to add Jupiter to the list! My bike lacks both disc brakes and suspension....pure road bike. What were you on?

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6 hours ago, Alisse said:

What were you on?

I have a Jamis Expat with disc brakes but no suspension.  Maybe rim brakes are OK, but you drop a few thousand feet down a steep, bumpy, dirt road? 

It felt just barely OK on my bike, while my partners were loving it on their mountain bikes.

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