Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Cowlitz Gap & Rocks (winter)

This was a very enjoyable scramble with generally good snow conditions. Lots of time in the fog, but plenty of time in the sun with great views.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The freezing level had been low prior to our trip, so the snow was fairly firm.  The snow has melted away from the summit, so the final 100 to 150 vertical feet was rock, some of it quite loose.

The day was warmer than forecast, but the snow was mostly firm.   After being able to see Rainier from the parking lot, we were in fog for much of the ascent.  When we finally emerged into the sun, the views were great, with partial views of Adams, St. Helens, several Tatoosh peaks and some of the Goat Rocks, plus Rainier, Little Tahoma, and Cowlitz Chimney.  The only  chilly part of the day was  when the wind picked up briefly after we had descended into the fog.  This gave us a chance to practice leapfrogging while following a bearing in low visibility conditions.  Other skills practiced included walking in balance (including switchbacking) and glissading.