Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Aurora Peak (winter)

Lots of solitude from the shore of Lake Crescent to Aurora Peak on this ~9 mile/~5000’ gain trip. Pristine views of North Fork Soleduc valley and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Alpine skills came into play early thanks to the government shutdown (the Storm King restrooms were locked, and nearby portapotties were padlocked). Snow started at ~1500’, but snowshoes were not needed until the saddle at 4050’.  The ridge crest leading east to Aurora Peak had a surprisingly low snow cover which gave us an unexpected amount of practice negotiating fallen timber.  We experienced exhilarating ~30mph gusts on the open slope just SW of the summit, with much lower winds on the remainder of the route.

A great day in the mountains with tree drip in the morning, no precipitation for most of the day, and steady rain starting at 3:30pm.  We were very surprised by the low snow cover with recent reports of excessive snowfall elsewhere.  Headed out from the unmarked trailhead at 9:10am, summited at 1:30pm and with a brief break for food and clothing, headed down at 2pm.  Reached the cars at 4:40pm (just after sunset) for a 7.5 hour total trip time.  Photos from past trips can be seen here.