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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cowlitz Gap & Rocks (winter)

Excellent trip with great views all day, although the descent in soft snow got to be a bit tedious.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The snow was reasonably firm for much of the ascent, but had softened a lot before we descended.  Even so, snowshoes wouldn't have been worth carrying.  Traction also wasn't needed.  There are significant cornices at the summit and various other places.  We chose to stay high on the east side of the Paradise Glacier, as we could see that snow and rock had come down on the west side.  This meant crossing Stevens Creek on snow, which was reasonable on Sunday but may not be for too much longer.

On a beautiful warm Sunday, we were the only party on Cowlitz Rocks.  In fact, the only people we encountered were a party camped on Mazama Ridge.  There were some high clouds and haze, but we could see as far as Mt. Hood; views were great all day.   The snow was too soft to do any self-arrest practice, although some of us managed a short glissade or two.