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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Stevens Peak

Loop trip from Unicorn saddle to Boundary peak then Stevens peak, exiting via Maple creek.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Still enough snow above snow lake to make travel direct.  Did not need crampons at all but it was a close call in the Unicorn saddle gully.  Moat above Unicorn saddle was a short, moderate scramble. Ridge to Boundary was mixed snow and bare rock as was the ridge to Stevens. Route down Maple creek was snow-covered with  a few sketchy moat areas near the rocky areas, making for minimal glissading.

From Snow lake trailhead traveled beyond snow lake to Unicorn saddle then followed ridge south to Boundary which we skirted along the west and summitted from the easy south side.  Exited Boundary to the south along the ridge until getting cliffed out, backed up a bit and found a gully that took us off the ridge to the west so we could circle around the rock buttress and access the Boundary/Stevens saddle.  Ascended Stevens staying on the ridge with the exception of dropping down along the south side to avoid the messed up section halfway up the ridge. Returned to the Boundary/Stevens saddle and curled around into the Maple creek drainage where we descended to about 4900' or so and ascended the obvious notch to gain the north ridge. Contoured west for about a 1/4 mile to reach the arm that juts north from Unicorn's east buttress and followed that ridge north for about 1/4 mile to it's natural end where we found a bootpath down toward a small boulder field followed by a heinous bushwhack through slide alder down to the north end of Snow lake where we connected to the trail. I'm still debating whether the Maple creek exit is better than returning via Unicorn saddle. It's shorter, and doesn't require the elevation gain back to the Boundary/Unicorn saddle, but that bushwhack at the end of a 12 hour day was absolutely brutal.