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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cabinet Peak

Marginal snow conditions near the summit led to a decision to turn around. It was a mostly cloudy day, but the clouds were high enough to allow for good views.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There is more of a path for the first part of the trip than I recall from a previous trip, but there are still plenty of trees down across it; most of them can be easily stepped over.  The steep slope up to the ridge was mostly snow-free but slippery; there is some slide alder that can generally be avoided.  On the higher slopes there was a layer of a few inches of fresh snow, but we only post-holed a few times.

    When I did this peak a few years ago, there were no issues approaching the summit area, but this time there were cornices to get around, and a possible steep transition from snow to rock given the fresh snow.   So, we turned around less than 100' below the top.

This trip almost didn't happen.  There was paving work going on just west of the pullout where we wanted to park, and the highway crew had a lot of equipment parked there.  We drove past to the next pullout and discussed what options we had.   Fortunately, Charlie talked to some of the crew and persuaded them to let us park at one end of the desired pullout.  They were actually very nice and helpful.

We finally got under way about an hour after we head planned.  Most of the trip was uneventful.  Getting up to the ridge at 5000' was somewhat brushier than I had remembered, although some of that terrain was under snow on that earlier trip.  There was some blue sky earlier in the day, but most of the day was overcast, but fortunately with a high ceiling.  We had good views from Jack and Crater around to Black and Graybeard.

Our descent was fairly straightforward, with the long descent off the ridge being a bit tedious.  There was some light rain periodically as we came down.

All in all, it was a very good day with an excellent group of experienced scramblers.