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An Ascent of West McMillan Spire in the Picket Range
Timestamp Free: 2020.06.04 - 21:33:16
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)
Participants: Don Funk Long rough trail with steep sections, some bush and blowdowns. Steep loose slopes, glacier travel, easy to moderate scrambling on summit tower.
Scramble up west ridge of West McMillan Spire, via trail up Goodell Creek into Terror Creek basin.
Ever since learning about an access trail up into Terror Creek basin for an ascent of West McMillan Spire in the rugged Picket Range, I've had an intense interest in checking this out. When I heard that another group of 2 guys did this as a long day trip, I put this on my "to do list," and awaited the arrival of good weather.

With a day of clear, sunny skies forecast on a Sunday in late September, I prepared my day pack, and set out with an early morning start, with optimistic hopes of bagging a summit. It was about a two and a half hour drive from my home in Surrey, south along I-5 to Hwy #20 near Sedro Wooley, and then east to Newhalem. I turned left in Newhalem (immediately after crossing Goodell Creek) onto a paved road, and then immediately left again at a T-intersection. This road takes you up Goodell Creek a short distance, and a right hand uphill branch leads to a reserved group campground (approximately 2 kilometers in). There was parking at the very end of this road for about 4 or 5 cars (you actually drive through the small campground). I parked beside another vehicle with Washington plates, noting that the campground was completely empty.

I left my vehicle at around 7:45 AM and headed back along the road slightly into the camping area, where I immediately took a left, through a camping spot and located a trail. This is a connector trail which leads to an old road bed and trail, which in turn heads up Goodell Creek. This follows the creek bed for a short distance and gradually works its way, away from the creek. The trail was a bit bushy in places, but easy to follow. After about 4 miles of relatively little elevation gain, I came across a fire ring on the trail, and a small arrow made of rocks pointing to a side trail, which branches uphill to the...

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