Access: Granite Mountain is accessed from exit 47 on I-90 at the Granite and Pratt lake trailhead.
Granite Mountain has access to some excellent steep south facing skiing that is very accesible during corn cycles. Despite its elevation, the slopes are quite alpine. It is also the site of many avalanche casualties since the route both ascends and descens a major avalanche gully so it is only adviced to ski this once the snowpack is settled and early enough in the day before the sun hits it too hard. Following more of the ridgeline up and down can help to avoid the main avalanche path. To ascend, follow the trail to Granite until you can head up the obvious avalanche path. From here boot or skin the edge of the path until you can ascend the ridgeline. Follow this until the ridge ends nd then boot directly up to the fire lookout. The most common ski is to head down the ridgeline/ avy chute, but other nice looking slopes and bowls exist on granite and west Granite. Word is that some hobbits live in the summit, so beware not to disturb
Another nice tour in high snow years and as a more wintery tour is the west side of West Granite. There are excellent glades that can yoyo'd. To get here you follow the Pratt Lake trail. Shortly before the trail that is heading mostly West starts to head up North, ski or boot up the slope until it starts to open up at 4100' . Continue to follow the ridge until you reach the top and then ski down a bit on the west slopes and the forest will open to nice glades.
Map and Timing data:
West Granite - Forgotten Glades Tracks
Looking up the ridge
Katie on on the Granite ridge
Dave Lott reaching the fire lookout
View From the Hobbit Den
Coming out from the shire
Views towards Rainier from the summit
David Lott skiing the granite ridge with West Granite in the background
Looking back up the whole route
Profile from Jan 24, 2009 trip
Booting up towards West Granite
Hitting the open skinning at 4100'
Duncan enjoying the fast glades
Duncan enjoying West Granite
Skinning up the glades