Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Sperry Peak

Successful Labor-Day weekend scramble.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Lake Elan (between Vesper & Sperry) partially thawed, with a small snowfield remaining on NE side of lake. Snowfield was low-angle and appeared soft enough to safely travel, but elected to traverse on rock above snowfield, due to not having ice axes / crampons, and high consequence of a slip (could result in sliding into ice water on edge of lake). Other than that, scrambling route was 99% snow-free. Climber's path pretty straightforward, except braided, confusing & hard to follow upon entering krummholz trees 300' below summit, where the trees block visibility of the route. Recommend, if climber's path fades out, to back off until finding a clearer branch of the path. Also recommend to ditch any trekking poles at this point, as free hands are needed for scrambling / veggie belay, and krummholz trees are thick enough to catch on trekking poles stowed on a pack.IMG_1998.JPG

Fortunate to have bluebird day with dry vegetation & cool temperature. Stunning views from summit. Strong group that cruised up ascent efficiently. Progress was slowed by difficulty following route through krummholz trees near summit, both on ascent & descent. Progress was also slowed a bit by not having ice axes, and detouring around snowfield on NE side of Lake Elan. Time 4:45 hr ascent, 4:00 hr descent.

The trip contributed to the search efforts for missing scrambler Sam Sayers. Search & Rescue efforts had previously searched a massive area, but at that point had not searched the scrambling route of Sperry. We did not find any signs of Sam on Sperry. We recorded & reported names from the Sperry summit register; no names were entered on Aug 1 (the day of her disappearance), but several names were entered on Aug 4.