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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Esmeralda Peaks

Took an off trail route up the south ridge direct then returned via the trail.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road was recently regraded and in great condition. Patchy snow starting at 4800'. Snow was very firm on the way up but softened in the afternoon. Regular creek crossing has very steep snowbanks, cross about 1/3 mile upstream.

Great day, got some students scramble credit. We left the trail immediately after the bridge, following the abandoned 1392.2 (USCG TOPO) trail.  We skirted around point 5265 then started up the south ridge of the west peaks. There was intermittent snow beginning at 4800 ft. We stayed on the ridge with a bit of traversing steep snow to get around rock outcrops, reaching point 6765 (eastern west summit). Then we dropped back down and headed up to the saddle to the westernmost summit, where the roster is located. The sun came out and views were great!

We descended from the saddle down into the bowl, with some glissading, slightly angling west until we reached the switchbacks in the De Roux Trail (1392). We took the trail to the creek, waded across then followed steep snowbanks on the opposite side until we reached dry trail again, which we took back to the car.

There was a good amount of snow and rock skills used on this trip, the students did great!