Putrid Pete's Peak (P3)
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
I recently learned of Putrid Pete's Peak (P3) which is located on the I-90 corridor about an hour east of Seattle. I mean, with a name like that I had to check it out. A quick Google search told me that the peak is named after Pete Schoening, a famous Mountaineer from Seattle. I am still not sure what the putrid part is about... This particular weekend, I did not have any out of town trip plans so I decided to stay home and play around in my "backyard" mountains. P3 fit the bill perfectly as a great conditioning hike (short and steep) with a little class two rock scrambling practice to reach the true summit. From the Ira Springs / Mason Lake trail, the path to P3 is a unmarked trail that initially leads through the forest and up steep switchbacks (plus over every root imaginable).
Climbing Into the Alpine
As the trail climbs into the sub-alpine the root impediments turn to rock impediments! Once above tree line, the views really open up and the south slope of P3 and the summit block are visible above. The trail fully fades away into rocks at this point, but the route remains a walk up to reach the final summit block. From there, it just takes a couple quick class 2 scrambling moves and you are on the summit!
Views from the Summit
The summit itself is very small, but luckily I had the place to myself and took a break to enjoy the views for awhile. P3 offers nice views of the I-90 area, plus the Cascades to the east and Mount Rainier to the south. It was a beautiful blue sky day, but haze on the horizon from wildfire smoke obscured some of the distant mountains. From the summit of P3 it is possible to traverse the ridgeline both west to Web Mountain and east to Mount Defiance. This looks like a very fun ridge to traverse, but that is for another day. View the below map with my route tracked via my GPS watch.