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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Evergreen Mountain Lookout

A mellow romp up a snowy ridge to a scenic top

  • Road recommended for high clearance only
  • The snow doesn't begin (once into the forest) until about 3000'.  It was soft and deep, so our snowshoes came in useful.  Even so there were occasional voids hidden below the surface.  Ensnared party members were able to extricate themselves without using one of our shovels.  Some cornices had formed in places along broader sections of the ridge but these were easily avoided.  We  were always on the ridge or in forest the entire way - so this route appears to be pretty avy-safe.

Beckler River road is currently drivable to the Rapid River road (6530) intersection - by AWD vehicles with good clearance only.  We hiked the road (passable only to large-tired 4WD vehicles), deciding that since there was no snow at this level to bypass the originally planned cross-country scramble up to the old trail, hiking the additional mile.  I believe it would have "gone", but without snow and given all of the downed trees would probably have taken considerably more time.  Finding the trail start took a minor search, but once found was easy to follow up to the snow line - by which time we were on the ridge which was our hand-rail the rest of the way.

There aren't any significant technical difficulties, making this a good destination for participants who are are still learning the finer points of snowshoeing.  The ridge has a few sections that are somewhat narrow and steep, making it not entirely 'easy'.

The weather was much nicer than what had been predicted by the NWS.  The precipitation that lightly showered our drive in stopped by the time we parked, and the low clouds that obscured our objective as we approached largely dissipated by the time we summitted.  Unfortunately there were enough clouds at low enough elevation to obscure views of the many peaks around us.  We stayed on top for about 40 minutes before the gentle breeze convinced us that we need to be on the move.  The snow had become mushy enough on the descent to exercise significant caution in our footwork.

Shortly after departing the parking spot we came across a couple stuck in the snow in their MiniCooper.  Between our shovel-work and providing a bit of a manual push we got them moving again in the single-car-track roadway.  We enjoyed dinner in Gold Bar (La Hacienda), with even the problematic trip leader finding a workable vegetarian meal.