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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Arthur Peak (winter)

A bit of everything

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The important thing you need to know about scrambling Arthur is that the USGS map is wrong in how it shows a consistent slope on the east end of Rust Ridge at around 3800 - 4000 feet.  Actually, there is a cliff band around the whole east end of the ridge at the bottom of which are vine maples that other reports talk about.  To get around these cliffs, you need to traverse around to the north side of the end of the ridge.  There you will find a slope that others refer to as "gully".  To me is was just the slope between some rock faces.  Once you get up on the ridge, it is very easy to follow.  Look at Cal Topo's "Map Builder" map and you can see the cliff band and the "obvious gully". 

    Once on the ridge, there are a couple of 20 to 50 foot sections that are quite steep and would be spooky on hard snow.  We were glad on this October day we had MicroSpikes to ascend the final slope and descend the whole ridge and much of the forest, (MicroSpikes work great on slippery logs).

    Another, but less important, thing to know is where to leave the trail.  You want to leave the trail around 3100'.  You know it is the right spot right after a left-switchback in the trail and above you is a huge blowdown.  Walk about 200' past the switchback and scramble up and around the blowdown.  In October 2017 there was an orange flag marking the spot to leave the trail.  As you ascend above the trail, you do better to err to the right than erring to the left as you go up and to the right toward the "gully".

9 hours car-to-car.

I read a bunch of trip reports and looked at the other maps, so we bypassed the cliffs and vine maples without incident.

After riding our bikes to the trailhead, several trip members said they thought bringing bikes was more trouble than they were worth.  But upon riding back to the cars, they were all glad they had.

Blue sky, grey skies, snow, big trees and no rain.  Fun day!