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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Yellow Aster Butte

Successful scramble. Fall colors were bursting!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Light/ scattered showers in the forecast for later in the day.  Got to trailhead around 9am- rainy and windy.  Party donned full rain gear at started up at 9:30 hoping rain would stop.  10 minutes and the rain/wind stopped.  Note we parked at the first road sign for YAB, but if we drove a bit further up we could have gotten closer to the actual trail.  Many friday overnight campers were leaving as weather was coming in. Road wasn't too bad, but narrow (1-way) for quite a bit of it.  

Fall colors were at their peak and made the trip worthy just for that.  Despite the hordes of people on the trail (even a cloudy day like today), there were still blueberries to pick.   After doing research and talking to others, the scramble these days is really just from the end of the trail at the southern end of the ridge to the summit on the north ridge.  There still is evidence of the scramble trail that goes up to the southern ridge and is in the route description (right at the tarn at 5300')- it's at the west end of the cirque past the permanent snow field.  The hordes of hikers stop at the trail end (only a couple of people went to scramble the true summit) and we had the scramble route to ourselves. 20180930_062107.jpg

Previous trip reports (from Chuck G.) do an excellent job describing the scramble up the summit block.  We went up the slabs and under the tree which was obvious once you got there. This seemed the most straightforward and not difficult at all.   We could see rain approaching from across the valley and made haste to tag the summit and make our way back.  A few rain drops were starting to fall and even that light amount made the slab super slippery and we used a spotter to help one another down.  If at all wet, you may find you'll have to avoid the slab ( for reference it's 4 to 5 feet in length).   It was wet and cold on the ridge, so we didn't do much hanging around,  car to car about 5.5 hours at a moderate pace.  Looked to be fabulous campsites amongst the tarns, I can see why it's so popular!  Scramble up nearby Tommie Hoi as a long day or an overnight trip is something to consider.