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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Duke of Kent (winter)

A little bit of everything summed up this outing.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The route is fairly straight forward starting a McClellan Butte TH and following trail, maintained logging road, then unmaintained logging road that is in poor shape.  Final abandoned logging roll leads to the scree field which is in view of the steep approach gully.  Scree field has rock just the right size to be completely unstable.  The gully is steep and melting out quickly with snow widths in places down to 5 feet wide and also a short section of mud & loose rock very near the top.  The final scramble is on steep mossy covered rock and dirt.

Weather started off great and we made good progress to the scree field.  The scree field has rocks just the right size to be unpleasantly unstable.  The snow gully is steep with hard snow and some objective rock fall hazards.  We decided to use a running belay with pickets that worked nicely.  Toward the top, there is a melted out section that is muddy and loose.  We dropped our rope and crampons at the top of the gully and then search for the way to the peak.  This peak has limited beta.  Following what was available, we dropped down about 200 ft. and then traversed (skiers right) around a rib and followed the next gully up to a mossy, dirty, steep face that leads to the summit.  On the way back, found a better route to/from the gully.  We found that we didn't need to drop down 200 ft., but rather upon exit from the gully, just drop a few feet down and follow the west side of the ridge across the two small ribs to the same mossy, dirty, steep face leading to the summit.  We had intermittent rain showers staring at noon which slowed progress on the rock and scree sections.  Steady rain started about 90 minutes out from the car.