Richards Mountain (Lummi Island)

October 26, 2022


Bellingham, WA

Richards Mountain is officially named, but is rather just a forested pimple on the northern Lummi Island with hardly any geological significance. An unnamed bump immediately to the west is marginally taller so this “peak” doesn’t even boast over 50 m prominence, let along reaching the 100 m prominence mark to be a “ranked” peak. Nonetheless it’s officially named so counts in a peak in my opinion. In my honest opinion unofficial names generate controversy and debates but official names are precisely defined with no controversy.

Raphael casually mentioned that we should add this peak into the Lummi Peak trip and I agreed. Prior to the trip I wasn’t even aware of such an objective as these days I had slowed down the playing on USGS Topo and instead, I started to use Peakbagger app more often. This peak was not on so I never had noticed it. Earlier in the day Raphael, Shayan and myself had hiked Lummi Peak and that ascent took shorter time than anticipated.

We had no “beta” whatsoever about Richards Mountain. The most logical way to access was from the south but on my Gaia map the access road showed a gate suggesting the likelihood of private property issues. I normally do not give shit about trespassing, but we were on a First Nation’s island and I wasn’t keen to take additional risks for such a lowly objective. Instead, I noticed on the map that we could potentially just thrash up the eastern slopes by parking on the side of the main road. The parking options weren’t obvious but we did eventually settle on a mediocre spot to pull over.

Richards Mountain via East Slopes. GPX DL

Right off the bat we dived into the bushes and the thrashing appeared to be rather thick. The others opted to not carry anything but I brought my small backpack and my work gloves. I anticipated some bramble type of bushwhacking. It turned out to be not that bad, we did have to scramble up some steep slopes that warranted the use of hands. I did not bother to use gloves on the ascent but I swore that on the descent I would put the gloves on for more pleasantness. The true summit was entirely forested so to make this dumpster-dive more memorable Shayan and Raphael decided to compete by climbing as high as possible on a true sitting on the true summit. The climbing seemed to be insecure with the branches being rotten, so I suggested a secondary competition. Whoever logged the ascent onto Peakbagger app got the “first ascent” on that app and by no doubt I was the winner here. I had to manually add this peak into the database using the web page and then I subsequently logged my ascent in.

Raphael leading the way up the initial steep slopes
Me scrambling up the wet and slippery mosses
Shayan battling the bushes
Me after finishing the steep slopes
We had to search for the true summit as it wasn’t obvious
We determined this was the actual true summit…
Shayan reaching his high point…
Raphael giving a solid attempt and did get higher…
Our group shot on the summit of Richards Mountain

We then drove back to the ferry terminal and caught the 11:30 am ride back to the mainland. Raphael suggested to drive into Bellingham for a healthy lunch. I couldn’t resist since we had the extra time. The meal turned out to be great so I knew another place to go to after trips. I eventually got home at around 1:30 pm and earned myself enough time for a shower and a nap before showing up in the afternoon work.

Shayan led us down a different path
Raphael finishing our alternative descent route, which was just as steep…
We earned ourselves a proper lunch in Bellingham