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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Esmeralda Peaks/West Peak

a 99% off trail adventure of rock and snow in mid June

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Very short trail approach for my route, soon after crossing the bridge over the creek we leave the trail in a NNW direction through beautifl meadows of Jeffery's Shooting Stars slowly gaining elevation. At 4000' elevation we head much more westerly up a steep slope, then WNW following the ridge from about 4500' on, great views. Some snow patches, more continuos snow if you stay lower, north of the ridge, in mature timber. Final high point on ridge is 5265. We then ascend via snow the north trending ridge leading towards the summit. Fantastic rock scrambling following this ridge, though eventually this becomes somewhat challenging and slows the pace to a crawl. So we moved off the ridge on to steep snow and angled slightly more westerly to get directly south of the summit, and straight up more steep snow to the final rock of the Esmeralda.

     The return route we glissaded the fall line SSW to about 6000', after negotiating some step portions then angled SE aiming for the north-south trending ridge of Esmeralda at 5400'. We then somewhat followed our approach route, though more northerly of the ridge in the mature timber on snow to about 4600', leaving the snow, again retracing somewhat our original approach, and rejoining the trail right at the bridge over the creek.