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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - South Bessemer Mountain

Highly recommend this snowshoe trip on a day with good visibility.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Middle Fork Road now paved to trailhead except for one brief section.  Patchy snow from beginning at 900'.  Donned snowshoes at 2200'.  We elected to leave ice axes at car, and they would not be needed except perhaps under very icy conditions as you approach the last leftward switchback approaching the summit.

Instead of the frozen crust we expected after last week's heavy rains, there was up to 6-8" of heavy snow much of the way, more near the summit, that made it harder work than expected.  Views change and improve frequently on this trip, culminating in summit panorama from Baker to Adams, Olympics, central Cascades and Seattle skyline as well as Rainier and the Middle Fork area.  We took 5.5 hours to summit and <3 hours returning to car.  This trip should be doable in most avy conditions.  It is a worthy conditioner.  We saw tracks of bobcat and snowshoe hare, but don't know if they met up for lunch.