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What is Haystack like to climb? I think that is the name of it. It is the rock that is at the top of Mount Si. However can anyone climb it, or does it take a "special" something to get up there? Any input would be great. Also how much beyond the "summit" is it to get to the rock? Thank you confused.gif

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Actually, the backside (aka the regular scrambling route) is not the only and not the easiest (IMO) way to the summit.

Several years ago (when I was interested in this mountain) I ascended the main SW face direct (as visible from the North Bend) in a straight line from the col with Little Si to the top of the Haystack summit. I did this hike in both summer and winter conditions, and both times I felt safer on this path rather than I would on "regular scramble" because there were no crowds to throw rocks on me, etc. While I don't recommend doing the entire route from Little Si (I don't even know if it's legal to walk there under the restrictions of current Mt Si Conservation program) it is possible to do just the top part from the end of regular hiking trail (by the rest bench) by walking around the haystack to the left.

About ice climbing conditions on haystack itself: there are years when considerable ice forms there, to the point that ice bouldering is a possibility but certainly is not really worth comparing to places like Lilouet, needless to say nothing has formed there this year

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I climbed it in the late spring last year. The hike to get up to the haystack was more of a challenge for me wink.gif but we had a great time the view is awsome. I didn't feel like it was a hard climb in spring conditions. We did wear climbing shoes though.


Have fun smile.gif

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Here's a picture of the Haystack from the trail where it tops out. As you can tell from the picture it's another 2-2.7 miles to the haystack formation. The lighting is a little wierd in the picture: it was taken with a filter around sunset.



The route that everyone is talking about is extremely easy. It loops around the backside of the formation and attacks the obvious weakness on the NE face. Because of the routes position on the stack it's cold at night and bivies are pretty miserable. We completed it with only two bivies, one planned one forced.


This is me on the summit pitch-spooky aid. It got dark and started snowing a few hours after this shot was taken, which lead to our forced summit bivy. (Our first bivy was made on the 16th pitch on a wide and comfortable ledge.)

It's really a great route and I'd love to do it again, but it's hard to submit to that much suffering another time. If you do it good luck and bring plenty of knifeblades, at least two cam hooks, and a lot of water.



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hello, you cannot fool me. that photo is not of si mountain. it is of the smith rock, asterix pass. i have been to that new ice farming area there, and found it to be mediocre. they need to have more ice and less drilled pockets there, to make for good climbing.


thank you to whom ever deleted my trip report about Dragentail by the way. In Europe we are more polite than this!

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As with many others, I have been up the Haystack several times in all sorts of conditions. I've been up the standard gully (accessed at trails-end on the southeast end of the stack) when it was all snow, bare but wet, bare and dry, and in between.


When it's all snow it can be dangerous for the slide factor. The trees below would not be very soft on you but they would eventually stop you. Take an ice-axe. In a normal winter, this is what should be expected for the gully section. Once at the notch in the ridge, you turn left and go up a pretty exposed section that is maybe 15 feet high. I have seen this very icy with hardly any holds. If you slip here, you're apt to plunge off the north side down a 50-100 foot slab to talus/heather/snow. You may not die but you'd be seriously injured. Above the exposed section is the summit (right where you top out). It is an interesting overlook to the west if you go farther down the haystack.


In non-snowy but wet conditions, the gully can be dangerous because a lot of it is funky in the holds and steps department. There are multiple routes to attacking this gully. Just hold on and make sure you look where you're stepping--especially on the way down. The exposed bit from notch to summit should be easier than if it's snowy/icy, but it can still be sketchy for a novice when it's just wet.


When it's completely dry like in summer, it is all the same steepness but the danger factor is reduced.


In winter conditions, it maybe takes 30 minutes round trip from the landing (where most people stop where the trail finally breaks out of the trees) to the summit and back.



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I climbed the south face back in '94 via an obvious crack system on the left hand side. We found a couple of fixed pins about 80ft off the deck, so someone had been there long before us. It was pretty easy climbing (5.5-5.6) with lots of bomber pro. It climbed out of a large chossy chimney to the top. There are lots of potential routes for some easy climbing with nice views, if your willing to hump the gear up and down the mountain.

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catbirdseat said:

This is the Newbies forum. I think we should save the kidding round for the Spray forum if we want this to be a useful place for beginners to come for information.


Why don't you sign up for moderator? cry.gif On second thought, don't. You'd fuck the place up with your sterilization. moon.gif

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