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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Snoqualmie Mountain

Trip was 5/17/19 . A less than ideal weather did not prevent us from safely reaching the summit. Good learning for students on challenging late spring conditions.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

    Not ideal weather and challenging spring conditions made this short but very steep scramble slower and more challenging than typical. Lots of post-holing in the boulder field area.  Lots of water at the stream crossing by the  waterfall.  Poles very helpful. Some snow slabs poorly plastered to rock right below the summit must be avoided. They should slide off soon. Micro-spikes or crampons needed still. Ice ax and poles as well.





Weather forecast was for rain and snow showers for the whole day but the group decided to stick with the plan and to not re-schedule and the weather turned out not so bad after all .

Started at the trail head at 8:00 am.  The steep climber's trail was challenging for some but we were soon at the boulder field at the fork with the Guye Peak route. Only small snow patches before this area but here snow here became more continuous and challenging with some post-holing around boulders and and logs and not losing the trail on an off on the snow. We found easily the stream crossing at the waterfall. Very full, we had to wade it but everyone had full boots and high gaters so this was not an issue. Poles helpful.

After the crossing the route veers left and up on a mix of dirt and snow on steep forested slopes. This was the most challenging section for some.

Finally above tree line, the snow became more continuous on the ridge but still patches of trail and rocks were distinguishable on an off. Wore micro-spikes or crampons from here to the summit and back to this section and used ice ax and helmet as well.  Some steep snow sections slowed us down a bit and right below the summit we veered to the left of the ridge crest to avoid cornices and loose slabs of snow plastered to the rock. These should snuff off soon.

Reached the summit 4 hours from the start under light snow showers. Not as windy or wet as predicted so we were grateful. A short summit rest to consume some calories and we headed back down as the skies begun to open up a bit and offered us some views of Guye Peak and the Alpental and Snoqualmie Pass area.

Descending was also slow as we down-climbed a few steep snow pitches and re-traced our route through the mixed terrain slippery sections. 

Back at the cars at 3:30  pm. Good group of scramble students. Good team work from all participants. Overall a better than expected day.