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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Double Peak

Snow scramble up Double Peak from Deer Creek trailhead.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Eastside trail from Deer Creek trailhead to the unnamed creek that flows off the east side of Double was snow-free. Bushwhack northwest up to 4600' lower basin pushes over and through downed trees and brush the entire way. The lip of the lower basin is rimmed by a minor cliff band, I recommend navigating around it  by bearing right at the devil's club/slide alder patch at 4000' and circling counter clockwise, eventually side-hilling next to the main creek. The remainder of the route was snow-covered. Travel south from the lower basin to gain a small ridge then turn west to get to the upper basin. From there ascend the snow chute to the left of the southwest peak, which is the higher of the two summits. The upper half of the chute has two very steep sections and the runout was poor due to a large melted-out section at the base and a few melted-out rocks on the lower half. A 2" layer of recent slushy snow make kicking steps easier. The scramble up the summit block from there has some loose rocks before reaching the ridge. The scramble across the top of the ridge to the benchmark was a short, fun, solid scramble.

The Deer Creek trailhead to where we left the trail took a brisk 40 minutes.  The bushwhacking section up the hillside took a solid 2 hours and going down probably 1.5 hours. I recommend leather gloves and maybe even construction goggles - it's brutal, especially on the way back down when you're low on energy and it seems to last forever. On the way up, when you veer right at the devil's club/slide alder patch and cross over to where you can side-hill next to the main creek, you'll first cross a smaller creek. You might want to mark your way to follow on the way back so you don't end up descending between these two drainages on the way back like we did - that option got steep as the two creeks got closer together and we lost 30+ minutes backtracking back up to cross the upper section of the minor creek.  A few pieces of flagging might save you the same undesirable experience.  There was a set of huge elk tracks in the snow between the lower and upper basins. The snow chute was steep enough and had poor enough run-out I decided to setup my 30m rope so the others could prussik down the two steep sections. There's a solid fir tree at the top of the chute and another cluster of small firs next to a rock on the side of the chute above the other steep section. The weather was just right - no precipitation, cool, and sunny. There was virtually no wind at the summit. The entire trip took 11.5 hours.