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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Snoqualmie Mountain

May 20th 2017 was a very pleasant day for a successful scramble for 2 leaders and 8 first-time scramblers. Challenging snow conditions made this a more difficult trip than usual.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The lower part of the route  had snow that was fairly hard and icy, and it was often difficult to get ice axes very far into the snow. There were numerous slips in this area on our descent, none resulting in injury, and almost all stopped by self-belay.  On the upper slopes, there was enough fresh snow to make the trip a bit of a slog.  There were a few places where we caused a layer of a few inches of snow to slide, but the snow below was well-enough consolidated that avalanche risk was low.  There are cornices at and near the summit, so we stayed well away from them.  Conditions did not allow for as much glissading as we would have liked (I made sure we bypassed some earlier glissade tracks that were unsafe).

We stayed fairly close to the usual route, crossing the stream at the usual place below the falls, although we could see tracks made by the only other group we saw that day who found a way to cross above the falls.  Icy conditions on the lower 1500 vertical feet made for a more difficult scramble than was advertised, but the students generally coped very well.  Weather was pleasant; clouds kept things cool at first, and then the views started to open up while we were on the summit.  We were never able to see as far as any of the volcanoes but did have views as far as Kaleetan, Garfield and Chikamin.  On the way down, we made use of the limited opportunities for self-arrest practice and glissading.