Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cowboy Mountain

Successful summit to Cowboy mountain. Turned around on our attempt to Big chief due to snow and route conditions. Experienced group, great group work. Excellent glissade and quick and safe trip

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We started off with snow shoes from the trail head. Followed the skyline express trail, we started with soft and wet snow , but it solidified as we reached higher elevations. Great conditions for ice axe arrest practice and glissade as we had some soft snow on the top.

    Some post holing once we gained the barrier ridge to the Cowboy summit. Cornices were aplenty facing the bowl

    The traverse between Cow boy mountain to big chief had a sketchy ridge, so we dropped some elevation around 400 feet and traverse on the other side of the bowl and cornices. But mid day temperatures, soft sloppy snow conditions and lose snow made us to Turn around. Great conversations and inputs from everyone.


Started at the Trail Head with boots on at 9.05 AM. We had route discussions at the map that was available at the TH. We decided to take route along the Skyline Express lift. We had Everett basic climbing stidents having their snow field trip the same day, so lots of mountaineers, but we quickly based them with our snow shoes. 

Even with a lot of experienced folks, we brushed up our glissading and arrest techniques. After 15 - 20 minutes of practice, we started our way to the barrier ridge and onways to the Summit of Cow boy mountain. 

15-20 minutes break and we discussed about our traverse to Big chief mountain. Everyone wanted to proceed and constantly evaluate the route conditions along the way. We dropped 400 ft of elevation to be away from the snow capped ridge and rocks. 0.4 miles into the traverse we saw some wet, lose snow conditions and some snow debris, which helped us decide that it was time to turn around. 

On the way back, we found some great glissade shoots, 15 minutes back to the trail head, with lots of glissades and running plunge steps. 

Back to the cars by 1.15 PM and we stopped for pastries, burger and beer!

Great group and great inputs from everyone in the trip.