Glacier Peak from Cowboy.jpg

Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cowboy & Big Chief Mountains

We took full advantage of the last day of sun and short-sleeves weather to tackle Cowboy Mountain as a SeattleStudentScramble.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The snow to Cowboy was soft on a day with 60 degree weather. We ascended under the Skyline Express lift and the Barrier Ridge ski trail to the top of the lift.  From the top of the lift, we continued towards the small lake and ascended the ridge in the trees.

    We used snowshoes from the top of Skyline Express and wore them most of the return.  The ridge of Cowboy Mountain is continuous cornices.  We used ice axes and poles, but did not need crampons or microspikes.

Three students, three 2017 scramble grads, and one Scramble Committee chair shared a wonderful day in the sun on Cowboy Mountain. The students got to try out snowshoes for the first time, practice skills from the snow field trip, and enjoy views of Glacier Peak and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  Plenty of time was spent taking turns kicking steps, trying out veg belays, plunge stepping, and even glissading.  Students also had a chance to observe cornices and practice very safe ridge travel.  All showed up well-prepared in  the areas of fitness, gear, and cheery attitudes.  Many thanks to Jordan Small for the assistant leading, Julie Flowers for snow skills teaching, and Bill Borom for mentoring.  (P.S. Chairlifts are just for smiling.  All elevation gained by human power!)Cowboy Mountan Charlift.jpg