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Snowking Mountain
Snowking Glacier 3896.JPG
Snowking Mountain showing north aspect
Highest point
Elevation 7,433 ft (2,266 m)
Prominence 1,593 ft (486 m)
Geography
Parent range North Cascades
Topo map USGS Snowking Mountain
Climbing
Easiest route Alpine Scrambling

Snowking Mountain is a 7,433-foot (2,266-metre) summit located in Skagit County of Washington state. Situated within the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Snowking Mountain is positioned west of the crest of the North Cascades Range, approximately 18 miles northeast of the town of Darrington. It has two subsidiary peaks, West Peak (7425 ft), and Middle Peak (7400 ft). Its nearest higher peak is Mount Misch, 5.75 miles (9.25 km) to the southeast. A broad unnamed glacier known colloquially as Snowking Glacier rests on the north face. Downslope of that glacier are Snowking Lake, Found Lake, and Cyclone Lake. Precipitation runoff from Snowking Mountain drains into tributaries of the Skagit River.

Climate

Snowking Mountain 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 (Orographic lift), causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades. 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 and ridges, deep glacial valleys, and granite spires. Geological events occurring many years ago created the diverse topography and drastic elevation changes over the Cascade Range leading to the various climate differences.

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.

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.

Snowking Mountain with Mutchler Peak
Snowking Mountain seen from Hidden Lake Peaks
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