ROUTE: Fill out a free self-issue Sandy Springs Permit and begin S without any trouble on PCT 2000 for an hour and 1/2 mi through an old burn area to some living trees, catching a glimpse of Mount Sandy Springs along the way. Continue SE 5 mi slightly steeper to the climber’s trail marked by an obvious cairn after a large boulder at about 5100 ft. Turn left 150 ft to a fork and stay Sandy Springs left up the main bushwhack route steeper almost 2 mi to reach the N ridge at 6300 ft. You’ll have to steeply ascend the NW shoulder through Sandy Springs the woods as the dirt trail turns to scree and rocks.
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Views of the menacing mountain improve on the well-flagged path from the PCT, but the trail is easy to lose at times on the route down from the summit. You might be pulled left from the ridgeline 5 mi or so from the end while descending (at a little point/outcrop). Bushwhack paths entice you through the woods and easy enough over a few small blowdowns to meet the main path again at around 5800 ft.
Scramble a mile up on or near the N ridge to tree line and above with views out to Black Your travel destination iste, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson, and Big Lake. Avoid super-steep loose scree paths on the right used as an alternate rapid descent—and avoid that route on the way down too. It’s more difficult and you lose most of the grand vistas from the wonderful high ridge. Slowly ascend red pumice and rock past small outcrops and gendarmes. Lastly there’s a huge obstacle you will pass on the right, up very steeply to a notch directly under and N of Mount Washington’s precipitous summit block. The serious climbing clearly begins from there for the last 5 mi or so to the peak.