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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Vesper Peak

Beautiful weather and views. Crowded. No snow to speak of.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Rockfall on the trail below the pass was a danger and there were a lot of people on the trail above us so we helmeted up at that point.

    The river crossing of the South Fork Stillaguamish was just a trickle.  That can be a challenge in the earlier season but was just a step across.

Set a meeting time of 8AM at the Verlot Visitor Information Center and we were ready to go at the trailhead just past 8:30.  That gives plenty of time for a trip and getting back at a reasonable hour, however I didn't expect such a large number of cars and people at the trailhead.  The most I've seen there.  I think a half hour earlier would have been better at this time of year.

There are a couple of wash out points on the Sunrise Mine road, one even has a road closed sign off to the side, however the road was not too bad and travel to the trail head was uneventful.  Low rider cars might want to take care but most vehicles could make it.

Weather was great.  Nice and sunny but not too hot.  Visibility much better than previous weeks when we had all the fire haze.  There was one fire out of the Vantage area but it was a single large plume of smoke to the south and didn't obscure the views too much.  Both Goat Rocks and Rainier were quite visible.  Views to the North and East were spectacular.

Blue huckleberries dotted the trail in the valley below Headlee pass.  

Once past Headlee pass and at the water outlook from the lake, instead of taking the trail which heads up and West along the South ridge, we went towards the lake and followed a prominent arm up the hillside.  This is a much better scramble route.

Only patches of snow between the lake and summit.  Those were easily avoided so no ice axes were needed.  One advantage of the low snow levels is that the rock slopes were wide open and there was a variety of scramble routes of all difficulty levels.  Those who wanted an easier experience and those who wanted more of a challenge were both satisfied.

About eight and half hours round trip.