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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Malcolm & Johnson Mountains

a moderate double peak scramble. it was entirely snow free.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • the entire route was snow free. 

This was a plan "B" for dry weather due to our west side trips all getting rained out this weekend. 

We elected to do the loop counter clockwise, however it probably would have been better as a clock wise trip due to the trail conditions after Johnson on the way down (lots of fresh burn areas from last summer and the lower jungle creek trail being somewhat overgrown in places). 

The route up to the saddle was very straight forward. once at the saddle we continued left on the ridge towards Malcom.  Some maps have a trail on them but some people believe in unicorns.  Neither exist in reality.  However, having a GPS track of a past party's trip made following the route much easier. 

Most of the ridge traverse to Malcom was below the crest on occasionally faint remnants of the trail (very faint).  We had a fair bit of side hill on gravel and dirt along this section.  The final scramble up to the summit started after you pass through a big (and garbagy) hunters camp that is apparently permanent there.  The ridge from here was steep and in thickish forest.  we followed a faint climbers trail to the right of the summit and then up. coming down we went straight down back to the hunters camp and it was much better. 

The traverse over to Johnson had more of a trail and staying on the crest once you get onto the connecting ridge was generally the best.  the trail got significantly better as we got closer to Johnson, becoming an actual maintained trail finally.  The scramble up Johnson is best done from the north end of the ridge coming off its summit.  There is a very well beaten climbers trail in most places that was easy to follow to the summit.  easy class 2 at the top.

We then came back down the climbers trail and connected with the main trail on the east side of Johnson taking it back to the saddle where Jungle creek trail connects with it.  The foreest fire in 2017 completely obliterated this area and even the sign was burnt and gone with just a single screw in the burnt tree to show where it had been.  Hang a left on the trail and follow it down.  we had a lot of blow down, both burnt and not burnt to go over and around on the upper section.

Overall the group decided it WAS a fun trip but more in the one and done catogory.