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Trip Report    

West Granite

  • Sat, Jun 14, 2014
  • West Granite
  • Scrambling

A nice day in the mountains with fun people! We followed the trail to the ridge between Olallie Lake and Pratt Lake and then began the scramble from this point to give our student plenty of route-finding/brush-bashing/leading experience. On the ascent, we did PLENTY of boulder-hopping since we stayed just below the ridgeline on the south side. While we encountered snow multiple times at lower elevations, we didn't encounter significant snow until roughly 5000'. At that point, we stopped to have our student demonstrate his snow skills, such as walking in balance, self-arrest, and plunge stepping, etc. Then we continued on to the summit. We were in the clouds the entire time we were on the ridge, and while eating lunch, it began to mist on us. This made boulder-hopping on the descent extremely slippery due to the now wet lichen. Therefore, we made every effort to avoid the boulders by staying on top of the ridge on the dirt whenever possible, using as many veggie belays as we could get our hands on. (Yes, we were tree-huggers in earnest!) Some boulder-hopping could not be avoided so the spidering technique had to be used to prevent us from wiping out. We descended via the ridge to the saddle between Olallie Lake and the tarn to the ESE of Pratt Lake and then turned in a southerly direction, avoiding boulders and slide alder, until we regained the trail. Luckily, the weather gods didn't choose to let loose the downpour until we were back at the trailhead! Timing is EVERYTHING! Total trip time including breaks and snow skills practice was 8:20.