Alpine Scramble - Old Desolate


Alpine Scramble - Old Desolate

This very strenuous scramble to Old Desolate (the northern summit, elevation 6996’) is a great way to see the beautiful Vernal Park and adjacent Sluiskin Peaks. Views of the the Carbon Glacier terminus, Carbon River Suspension Bridge, and the Northern Crags are a bonus (plus a certain ~14000 nearby peak ;). See leader notes for signup instructions.

  • Technical 3, Strenuous 5
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 22.0
  • Elevation Gain: 4,800 ft

Arranged via email.

A very long and strenuous outing at~21 miles (round trip) with ~5200’ of elevation gain (see ‘Leader Permission Details’ at the end of Leader’s notes to obtain permission).

After hoofing the Carbon River Road we will use the lower crossing of the Carbon River (yes, the bridge is IN).  A bit more hiking will give us brief visits to the Carbon River Suspension Bridge as well as the Carbon Glacier terminus.  From Dick Creek Camp we will head cross country up the narrow ridge leading to Pacific Point, with views of the Northern Crags and the canyon draining Elysian Fields via Dick Creek along the way.  Our last 1800’ of gain (up a relatively broad ridge) will see us to Old Desolate’s northern summit at an elevation of 6996’.  Our descent will veer a bit to the south for a visit to Moraine Park before rejoining the Wonderland Trail at ~5400’ to retrace our steps back to the cars.  Photos of this area from within another trip (using a different route) can be seen here.

Leader Permission Details:

Please defer asking for leader permission until the week prior to signup opening.  When asking for permission please provide information about your recent trips (within the last 6 weeks).  Please include each trip’s venue, elevation gain, and distance.


Old Desolate

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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