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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Howard Peak & Florence Peak

Strenuous winter scramble from Carbon road. Enjoyed a wonderful bluebird day in seldom visited area of rainier in winter.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  •  Snow from TH. Troden trail to Alki Crest. Great snow on firm base. ALOT more snow at SE end of  Crest and Howard.

 5100 ft of gain,     11 plus miles     11 hours,     7 am-6pm,      6 1/2 hours up,     4 hours down.

Stong party of 7,  five w/Avy beacons, headed up the boundary trail, under headlamps, several inches of snow. Creek crossing completely frozen over. Micro spikes in trodden trail to Alki crest junction by 9:30am. Snow shoes out to Howard. Enjoyed a beautiful blue bird day. Olympics, Mt Baker, Glacier peak, Enchantments out in all their glory. Rainier in her winter coat. Tolmie looks temptingly close. Pondered trips done and adventures to come. 1 other human encounter circled our group twice in a small plane on the summit  before giving us a wing wave and leaving us to our solitude. Several coyote tracks on way in.

Crest windblown, very dry fresh snow, on a firm, sometimes icy base. Fresh snow increased in depth from 3” to 12”.  Skirted around Florence at 5200 ft.  Crest SE of point 5255 cliffed out several times. Cornices over NE side of crest. Wind scoured SW slopes below crest. Stayed on crest or to the SW side before final push up broad ridge to Howard in perfect snow conditions, over 7 ft. depth. Enjoyed a 30 min. lunch before hitting our turn around time of 2pm. Only complaint heard all day was it is too warm!  The end of a very cold couple of weeks. Great trip, firm snow conditions on first part of trip, very fit group, fantastic weather all contributed to a perfect summit.