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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cabinet Peak

On a beautiful day with good snow conditions, we enjoyed magnificent views and solitude from Cabinet Peak.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The lower part of the route has some downed trees to cross, but most of them are small enough to  easily step over.  The snow conditions were excellent; hard enough so there was almost no postholing but soft enough not to need crampons or microspikes.  It was also soft enough that even on a steep open snow slope, it turned out to be easy to arrest on.

On Tuesday, May 22, we parked just short of MP 147 in a pullout at which there is a sign at the west end reading "Crater Mountain in the distance".   We then walked a few hundred yards to get past Cabinet Creek, then followed the usual route description.  When heading to the ridge at 5000'  we did not follow a direct line, but worked our way around brushy areas.  We passed within 10 feet of a grouse that stayed motionless as we took pictures and passed by; I hope it wasn't too stressed out.  Some of  us later saw it (or another one) up in a tree during our descent. 

The views began when we got to the ridge at 5000' and just got better and better.  The trip was uneventful except that one party member was hit with very severe leg cramps on a steep open snow slope about 150' below the summit.  We made a platform for him on the snow to rest on while the rest of us made a quick trip to the top.  I was concerned that his cramps might make the descent difficult, but after a rest and some electrolytes, he felt much better, and the cramps did not recur for the rest of the scramble.  Toward the end of the day we saw some calypso orchids, but nothing else was in bloom.

Cabinet Peak is a great scramble, with fantastic views in all directions.  Other than some moderately steep snow (probably not good for a student's very first scramble), it's a fairly easy trip.  Highly recommended!