+4 4 votes

Grindstone Mountain via Sylvester Lake

ATTRACTIONS. Remote. Nice terrain. Beautiful summit views. A very skiable peak.

 

Skill Level:  3- (advanced intermediate to advanced

Fitness: 3 (advanced)

 

DISTANCE. 26 miles round trip from car. About 8 miles roundtrip from the end of the Icicle Creek Road.

 

ELEVATION. 4,700 foot gain from end of Icicle Creek Road, 5,500 feet from the car.

 

ACCESS. From the east end of Leavenworth, take East Leavenworth road 3.5 miles to the Icicle Road. Turn left and then follow Icicle Rd to the end of the plowing (usually just past the turn to the Bridge Creek Campground, 6 miles past Sleeping Lady Resort).

 

TRIP INSTRUCTIONS.

--Follow the snowed-over road on the north side of Icicle Creek for about 7.75 miles miles to the Rock Island Campground. Do not cross the Icicle River here but continue following the road on the north side of Icicle Creek. This section of road is a fairly flat slog on AT or heavy telemark gear and the trip is considerably more feasible if you can arrange a snowmobile ride along this portion of the road.

--About 1.3 miles beyond Rock Island Campground, leave the road and follow an ascending bearing of 331 degrees (true north) to the 3400-foot level.

--Here follow a broad ridge system along a true bearing of 31 degrees north to the 5,000-foot level.

--Next follow a true bearing of 67 degrees to a fairly flat basin at 5,900 feet.

--Work your way southeast for a few hundred yards, then follow a true bearing of 36 degrees up to a 6,400-foot pass above Sylvester Lake.

-- Contour above the lake, following a bearing of 70 degrees to the south ridge of the peak.

-- Follow just below the south ridge (staying west of the ridge) to the summit.

--Descend the way you climbed or ski the south-facing Boggy Creek all the way back down to the Icicle River Road.

 

RECOMMENDED SEASON. Winter or spring.

 

SPECIAL NOTE. The Icicle Road is a long, flat approach and partnering with someone who has access to a snowmobile is a good way to turn this into a day trip. Once you’re at Rock Island Campground, this is a good ski/snowshoe route.

 

USES ALLOWED. Skiing and snowshoeing. Snowmobiles are allowed on the Icicle Creek Road but not in the wilderness area above 3400 feet.

 

LAND DESIGNATION: Forest Service. Above the 3,400 foot level, you’re in the Alpine Lakes Widerness.

 

FEES/PERMITS. None required in winter and spring.

 

MAPS. See our map or the USGS 7.5-minute Series for Jack Mountain and a Chiwaukum Mountains.

 

TRIP REPORTER. Andy Dappen, 1/24/07

 

More Backcountry Skiing: Details of over 100 regional tours in our on-line guidebook.

Leave It Better Than You Found It:
 This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…

Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers--they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.