Let's see if we can slip in a Granite Mountain hike (... and get lucky with the weather?) before the snow deepens.
Hiking conditioning required for this hike: To sign up for this hike, you must be doing hikes of 8+ miles and 3000+ feet vertical gain on a regular basis and you must have the equipment and experience for rugged, cold, steep, winter travel on snow.
When signing up, please answer the sign-up questions as best you can. Your answers need to demonstrate the required level of conditioning and experience. RSVP's without definitive answers to the sign-up questions will be deleted.
Traction devices (Microspikes or Yak-Trax) are mandatory for this hike. (Microspikes are more rugged, easier to put on, bite deeper on ice, and the preference of most experienced winter hikers. If you purchase Yak-Trax, the Yak-Trax Pro is recommended; the standard Yak-Trax tend to break.)
The following equipment is also mandatory: sturdy hiking boots, gaiters, warm mittens/gloves, warm hat, layered non-cotton light and warm clothes and extra warm clothes, rain-jacket, rain-pants, extra non-cotton shirt to change into at the top, sunglasses, sunscreen, water, snacks and lunch.
• Distance: 8 miles RT
• Elevation Gain: 3800 feet
• High Point: 5629 feet
• Difficulty: very strenuous
• Hiking Time: ~ 6 hours, including lunch time.
• Hiking Speed: fast, 30 minutes per mile on trail, slower on snow
• Parking Pass: Northwest Forest Pass required to park at the trailhead.
• Dogs: Hikers only this hike.
• Carpooling: Carpooling is the default logistic, if you plan to get yourself directly to the trailhead without stopping at the carpool location, please mention so in your sign-up.
Schedule and Itinerary:
• 8:00 AM – Meet at the Issaquah Transit Center parking garage first floor, southwest corner.
• 8:15 AM – Leave the transit center.
• ~ 9:00 AM – Arrive at the Pratt Lake Trailhead (I-90 Exit 47, left over I-90, left at the T, drive to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road).
• 9:15 AM – Start hiking.
• ~12:00 PM – Arrive at the summit lookout and have lunch.
• ~12:45 PM – Start hiking back.
• ~ 3:00 PM – Arrive back at the trailhead.
• ~ 4:00 PM – Arrive back at the park and ride.
Weather and avalanche conditions contingency: If as we approach the hike date, the weather forecast or avalanche conditions are hazardous, this event posting may be revised to another hike, likely the Old Mt. Si Trail.
What to bring (this is what experienced hikers wear and bring, for comfort both uphill and downhill): Sturdy hiking boots, gaiters, light or medium-weight non-cotton clothing for the uphill, very warm mittens or gloves, light or medium-weight hat, also a warm hat, rain-jacket, rain-pants, extra non-cotton shirt to change into at the top, warm, dry clothes, preferably fleece, for the downhill, 1+ liters of water, snacks, lunch, day-pack large enough to hold all the above, traction devices, sunglasses, sunscreen, headlamp. Optional and recommended: hiking poles, camera, waterproof pack-cover, hot chocolate!