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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Foss Peak/Unicorn Creek

Snow Scramble Traverse of Foss Peak from Snow Lake TH to Reflection Lakes (exit at Pinnacle TH)

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow cover from start to finish with a few patches starting to melt out in the flat terrain below Bench Lake.  Sturdy snow bridges.  Very soft snow due to rains and mild temperatures made travel more strenuous.  Debris in the lower basin from loose slides from probably last weekend.  

    In order to reduce time consuming travel on the main ridgeline, once we were in the upper bowl, instead of ascending to the saddle on the ridge, we traveled  NW  and rounded a small shoulder, then ascended the ridge at a gap between cornices. The  Foss ridge is covered entirely with large, undulating cornices but it is not hard to skirt them by staying climber's left.   Summit block itself is melted out. 

     We were fortunate to have dry and mild weather right up until we hit the summit, when showers moved in.  

We were pleased to see a couple marmots as a sign of spring.   We did not encounter any other travelers the whole day and it appeared no one had been up the route yet this season.  A few ski tracks showed on the west side of Foss and into Pinnacle - Castle Basin.

We brought spikes / crampons but did not use them although I have used on sections of this route in past years in different conditions and will continue to bring on future trips.