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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Wilson Cleaver Loop

A gorgeous and strenuous ~6000'/15 mile loop with tons of variety: cross country travel, water falls, sweeping glacial views, a bit of rock scrambling, with great plunge stepping and a comfy trail for descent.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Encountered continuous snow at ~5100' above Comet Falls. Sign at junction to Van Trump Park is buried or missing. High snow line at ~7900' allows minimization of rock fall hazard by traversing into the steep gulley, then traversing back the other way (after gathering everyone up to avoid being in one another's fall line) to finally gain the Wilson Cleaver. Access to cleaver is also possible a bit higher which we used on descent.  

A gorgeous and strenuous loop of ~6000'/15 miles with tons of variety: cross country travel, water falls, sweeping glacial views, a bit of rock scrambling, with great plunge stepping and a comfy trail for descent. All students (previously vetted for this 'graduates only' trip on prior trips) took a turn with cross county compass navigation between Cougar Rock Picnic Area and Comet Falls trailhead. Many in party brought approach shoes (in addition to mountain boots) which we took off at ~5100' on ascent, and donned at ~5100' on the Rampart Ridge trail. Route through Van Trump Park was straight forward with several opportunities for gaining the Wilson Cleaver at ~7900' and above. Interesting snow bank at ~8100' with a graduated steep slope afforded good plunge stepping practice. Total time was ~11 hours with ~4 hours down, there was even a table for 8 at the Copper Creek Inn! Photos (including a map of our route) can be seen here.

 

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