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Mount Hardy (Washington) facts for kids

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Mount Hardy
Mount Hardy with Upper Snowy Lake in August 1993.jpg
Mount Hardy from upper Snowy Lake
Highest point
Elevation 8,080 ft (2,460 m)
Prominence 1,480 ft (450 m)
Geography
Parent range North Cascades
Topo map USGS Mount Arriva
Type of rock Granite
Climbing
First ascent Sidney Schmerling, Hermann Ulrichs in 1933
Easiest route Climb, class 3

Mount Hardy is an 8,080+ft (2,460+m) mountain summit located in Okanogan County in Washington state. It is part of the Okanogan Range which is a sub-range of the North Cascades Range. Mount Hardy is situated west of Methow Pass at headwaters of the Methow River on land administered by Okanogan National Forest. The nearest higher peak is Golden Horn, 1.75 miles (2.82 km) to the northeast. Mount Hardy can be seen from the North Cascades Highway which follows below the southwest slopes of the mountain.

Climate

Mount Hardy is located in the marine west coast climate zone of western North America. Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel northeast toward the Cascade Mountains. As fronts approach the North Cascades, they are forced upward by the peaks of the Cascade Range, causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades (Orographic lift). As a result, the west side of the North Cascades experiences high precipitation, especially during the winter months in the form of snowfall. During winter months, weather is usually cloudy, but, due to high pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean that intensify during summer months, there is often little or no cloud cover during the summer. Because of maritime influence, snow tends to be wet and heavy, resulting in high avalanche danger.

Geology

The North Cascades features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with craggy peaks, ridges, and deep glacial valleys. Geological events occurring many years ago created the diverse topography and drastic elevation changes over the Cascade Range leading to the various climate differences. These climate differences lead to vegetation variety defining the ecoregions in this area.

Mt Hardy, 8200 ft, and Golden Horn, 8400 ft
Mountt Hardy (left), and Golden Horn seen from the Maple Pass area

The history of the formation of the Cascade Mountains dates back millions of years ago to the late Eocene Epoch. With the North American Plate overriding the Pacific Plate, episodes of volcanic igneous activity persisted. In addition, small fragments of the oceanic and continental lithosphere called terranes created the North Cascades about 50 million years ago. Like many of the peaks of the Washington Pass area, Mount Hardy is carved from Rapakivi texture granite of the Golden Horn batholith.

During the Pleistocene period dating back over two million years ago, glaciation advancing and retreating repeatedly scoured the landscape leaving deposits of rock debris. The "U"-shaped cross section of the river valleys are a result of recent glaciation. Uplift and faulting in combination with glaciation have been the dominant processes which have created the tall peaks and deep valleys of the North Cascades area.

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