Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Emerald Ridge Loop

Beautiful/strenuous loop of Emerald Ridge by way of the tumultuous stream bed/abandoned trail of Tahoma Creek.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The West Side Road is OPEN to dry falls, with no snow on the road until ~3300’.  Due to current conditions we left our snowshoes in the cars and did not miss them until the road walk on descent from Round Pass to 3300’.  The continuous snow coverage transition for the south side of Emerald Ridge began near the suspension bridge at ~4400’, and this transition was near the South Puyallup Camp at ~4100’ for the north side of Emerald Ridge.  Crampons were greatly appreciated near the crossing of Emerald Ridge and portions of our descent to South Puyallup Camp.  The abandoned Tahoma Creek trail has yet to receive this year’s updates (pumice rock lanes, cairns, flagging, stream mitigations), so the portion immediately east of the West Side Road is ‘interesting’.   The ice covered rock below the summit of Point 6032 (plus howling winds/sideways snow/low temps) caused us to use a wind sheltered bump just west of the Wonderland Trail crossing of Emerald Ridge as our ‘summit’.

A great ‘skill-honing’ trip (e.g. cramponing) with varied terrain and just about every type of weather except for rain (snow level was just below the cars, by design of course ;). Total time was just under 8 hours with greatly appreciated sun basking break near the the Tahoma Creek suspension bridge.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.