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Trip Report    

Mount Phelps

  • Fri, May 8, 2015
  • Mount Phelps
  • Scrambling

SummitPost on Phelps is good description.

The following adds to it:

All winter snow had melted, but fresh snow of several inches had fallen making conditions very slippery on the steep heather slopes. Not enough snow to kick steps.

We took the "purple route" on Summit Post which ascends the South Ridge staying on the right side of the ridge. At about 4800 the ridge ends with steep rock slabs on the right and a gully on the left. In front are rock walls and on the left and above 4900 feet are rock buttresses. Summit Post suggests that the purple route goes by continuing basically straight up. I do NOT think this is the case. In any event at 4900 feet we traversed left at under the rock buttresses. We traversed all the way around to the Southwest Ridge and summited as per Summit Post Route.

The route to the summit is bascially heather slopes. No rock scrambling necessary. This is not to minimize the effort or technicality. The heater was quite tricky with the wet snow layer.

We descended as per the normal (Red) route: straight down the Southwest Ridge to 4200 and then traversed left. This is probably fine in snow scrambling conditions but it was quite brushy and would be much more brushy later in the summer. For a summer trip it probably would be best to retrace the purple ascent route. We did not take our ascent route back because there is some modest exposure on the traverse and with the snow the footing was a bit sketchy.

All in all a somewhat challenging summit without any particular bit being particularly technical.