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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Watson

This was a scramble of the main peak of Mt. Watson. It is a nice alpine scramble with both rock and snow skills required.

  • Road rough but passable
  • With Covid-19 the trailhead was packed Friday night with over flow on one or both sides of the access road, room permitting.

    The trail is in excellent condition.  We exited the main trail just north of the saddle that drops down to Watson Lakes. At about 150 yards there is an old rotting log that has been cut out off the trail.  Immediately past this log is a trail that leads off to the right, take it.  If you get to a new old growth fir tree that has fallen across the trail you have gone to far.  This is the trail that will take you to the top of the ridge, steep but very doable.  Follow the ridge easterly coming to a large meadow, on your right and just beyond the meadow are the Upper Anderson lakes.

    Go around the left side of the lake, there is a small drainage on you left that looks a little brushy, take it.  There is recent tree that has fallen across the drainage about half way up.  You will find a climbers trail that will lead you up to a saddle, which will be on your left (north), and on your right (south) is a small lake. From the saddle head easterly on a gradual ascending traverse.  there will be a lot of ups and downs but you will finally top out and see the permanent snowfield/glacier.  At this point you are just about under the main summit.  Descend until you are under the large obvious saddle that divides the main summit from the eastern sub peak. At the base of the saddle we put on crampons and gained the saddle/ridge line.  from there we ascended quickly through heather and trees to the broad ridgeline above and moved westerly.  We then descended slightly under the main summit wall.  There was still a small snowfield below the summit.  Just to the left of the summit there is a narrow gully (10' +/-), take it.  It will curve slightly to the right, from there push your way through the small trees at the top and your within 20' of the summit. There is nice rock at the summit with great hand and foot holds that will take you to the top.  The summit is small with limited room or one may say no room.

    We descended the same route.

The day of our trip was expected to be very warm, on the return trip home I stopped in Concrete and asked the temperature.  I was greeted with response of 93 degrees F.  This was warmer than I had expected.

We left the trailhead at 7:45AM, reached the summit about 12:30PM, and returned to the trailhead at 5:15PM.  This is an unusual year in may ways and everyone's conditioning wasn't where they would like it to be but with that said we took our time and had a great trip.  We took many breaks and made certain everyone was hydrated and eating well.

This is a great scramble that provides a great alpine experience with both rock and snow skills being required.

A good time was had by all.