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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Lookout Mountain

Approached via Winter route returned via Summer route. Warm day with soft snow, but most of the meadow either melted out or low snow

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Warm sunny day (high in the low 60s) -soft (mash potatoe) snow.   Snow starts at 3800'. A few ice over spots in the trees above 4600'.  Meadow mostly  melted out.  Stayed in the trees as much as possible on the steep ascent/descent to the lookout.  Ascended the winter route and returned via the meadow (summer route)

Started on the trail at 8 am.  Snow free until approximately 3800'.  From the trail looking to the meadow it looked to be solid snow and had some concern for wet slab avy, so followed the boot tracks to the ridge (the winter route) .  A few placed on the ridge with iced up, so donned microspikes for the rest of the snow travel.  A few tree wells and occasional post hole, but not overly troublesome. We had brought snowshoes just in case, but didn't use them.  With all the steep parts and traverses, I can't imagine them being at all useful for late spring scrambles.  With mostly sunny sky and highs in the low 60s, the snow was soft (in a few places complete mash potatoe consistently) which slowed us down.  Two solo hikers in front of us gave us boot tracks to follow which helped some going up.  Still quite a bit of snow up high and was solid (albeit soft) snow above 4800'.  Had the lookout to ourselves and ate lunch enjoying the 360 degree views from the lookout (spent about an hour for lunch).

From the lookout we could see the meadow was mostly melted out and returned dropping down thru the trees to the meadow at around 4500', thru the meadow and back on the trail at 4600'.  The route was new to us and some route finding was necessary and scrambled avoiding some open patches of slide alders eventually making it back in the trees to descend the trail.   Back to the cars at 6:35.    Small crew (just 4 in total) and were all great with ice axe and snow travel in less than optimal conditions.  GPS said 9.5 miles and 4800' gain for the day.

Past a few parties going up on our descent, but had the mountain mostly to ourselves. No wildlife sightings, but heard a grouse high on the mountain for most of the day and enjoyed finding bear tracks in the meadow.