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[TR] Mount Mystery (7639') - East & South Ridge 08/06/2021

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Trip: Mount Mystery (7639') - East & South Ridge

Trip Date: 08/06/2021

Trip Report:

Mount Mystery (7639') – Royal Basin Approach Trip Report –Aug  6-8, 2021 (Fri, Sat, Sun).

I climbed Mount Mystery (7639') over the weekend with DanO.  We started the climb from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead (Rd. 2870) outside Sequim, WA.  

 The weather forecast was looking decent Thursday night but had changed to kind of pissy by Friday morning, we decided to give the climb a shot anyway since the Sequim area has a rain shadow typically.  

We planned for 3 days with a possible bonus summit of Mount Deception if time and weather permitted.

Friday:  We caught the 7:11am ferry at Edmonds over to Kingston.  We made it to the trailhead at 9:15am.  We made it to Royal Lake by 2:20pm.  We headed for the Upper Basin and finally settled into camp in the Upper Upper Basin area near a lake at 6340’ at 5:30pm.  The trail is nice all the way to the Upper Basin.  We took a trail heading East out of the Upper Basin to our final camp area.  The Upper Basin is a beautiful area with lots of camping options and excellent water access.  Trip mileage was about 9 miles. 

Saturday:  It started pissing down rain early in the morning and kept pissing until about 12:30pm.  The sky was starting to open up and look nice here and there with a high pressure system moving in.  I decided to go for Mount Mystery at 1:20pm.  DanO decided to stay at camp and rest up for our return trip Sunday.  I crossed over Royal Pass (6860’) with some snow travel and into Deception Basin.  The rock was loose but predictable, fairly nice compared to other climbs.  I arrived at Mystery Col (6740') at 3:30pm.  I climbed up the moraine ridge to the top of the glacier, then up to the col.  I reached the summit at 4:45pm.  I climbed the East Ridge up to the South Ridge to the Summit.  The route is a mix of loose rock and dirt with Class 3 and 4 rock higher up to the summit.  I decided to hit the North Summit as well as the South Summit just to make sure which one was the true summit.  The South Summit is the true summit by 20’.  There is no summit registry on either peak, not enough traffic I guess.  The North Summit is solid 4th maybe low 5th Class with a crack climb to the top.  I left the summit area at 5:25pm.  I reached Mystery Col at 6:25pm and Royal Pass at 8:15pm.  I made it back to camp at 8:45pm just as the sun was going down.  An excellent day in the mountains snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Sunday:  We slept in a bit and left camp at 8:20am arriving back at the car at 1:30pm. 

This was a great trip in a beautiful area with lots of excellent camping options.  I’m glad we decided to make it happen in spite of the weather forecast.     


Some Tips and Notes:

1.       The trail to the lake is in excellent condition, easy travel.  The trail to the upper basin is also nice.

2.       Water access for the whole trip was great with water as high up as 6400’ on summit day.   

3.       There was not much snow travel needed but the crampons were nice to have. 

4.       There are camping options all along the trail, around the lake and all over the upper basin area.

5.       Deception basin is a fantastic area for camping with several lakes and streams and great views.

6.       The rock on Mount Mystery is loose in sections but also very nice in sections, watch what you are grabbing.      


Travel Time for reference:

Friday: Car to Camp – 7 hours.

Saturday:  Camp to Summit to Camp – 7.5 hours. 

Sunday:  Camp to Car – 5 hours

Total Mileage:  about 23 miles

Total Elevation Gain: about 6700’


Gear used:   Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons – I didn’t use the Ice Axe.



Royal Lake - bring your fishing pole.


On our way up to the Upper Basin.


Final section before camp.  The snow sections kind of shaped like North and South America lead to Royal Pass which leads to Deception Basin.


View from camp (6340') in Upper Upper Basin, kind of a primordial vibe.


Deception Basin.  I saw some fresh bear poop on my way through.  


Mount Mystery and Deception Basin.


Looking down into Deception Basin from Mystery Col (6740').


Route up Mount Mystery looking a little extra mysterious.


Mid Section of East Ridge.


Some 4th Class on Upper East Ridge.


South and North Summits of Mount Mystery (7639'). South Summit is the true summit by 20' (pile of rocks).


Summit View: North Summit, Mount Deception & Mount Clark.


A great climb with great camp options!


Gear Notes:
Gear used:   Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons – I didn’t use the Ice Axe.

Approach Notes:
Upper Dungeness Trailhead (Rd. 2870) - Royal Basin Approach
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1 hour ago, OlympicMtnBoy said:

Love it, getting after it out there!  I still need to climb Mystery one of these days.

The Olympics deliver again and again!  Mystery is on my list now too :)

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Nice one, thanks for letting us know about it! No longer a mystery...

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