Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Foss Peak/Unicorn Creek

Surprisingly good weather and good snow conditions, a scenic route for such a short scramble

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow started close to the trailhead. We headed roughly west out of the upper bowl, gaining the ridge line near the saddle south of Foss around 6400'. Most of the cornices have collapsed, but avoiding the remaining ones meant a couple short tangles with the trees. No snow on the rock scramble up to the summit block.

    We were able to glissade three sections on the way down, but it doesn't look like that will be an option soon, especially for the  chute above Snow Lake.

    With the conditions we encountered, I'd rate the rock on this route closer to T3 than the T2 in the description.

After a very rainy drive up from Longmire, we were lucky to have a relatively dry trip, with some intermittent snow higher up. The beginning of the trail was lined with avalanche lilies, but quickly gave way to continuous snow.  Everyone tolerated me taking them through some unnecessary bushwhacking over the ridge towards Snow Lake - thanks to all the participants for their patience on my first mentored trip!

Once reaching the ridge south of Foss at break in the cornices, the going was a bit slow due to avoiding cornices in the trees in some places, and then navigating a narrow path between the steep rock and the receding snow on the ridge closer to the summit block. The rock scramble to the summit was a bit harder than I expected for a T2, although there were places where the rock could be easily bypassed by bushwhacking through trees on the left.

Unfortunately the summit was socked in, so the only view we had was an occasional glimpse of Unicorn.