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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - First Top & Point 4795 Loop

Beautiful mountain and sea views on a very strenuous winter scramble (~12 mi, ~6,000 ft) that visits First Top as well as Point 4795 above Lake Angeles. This shared outing is made possible by utilizing portions of the Heather Park Trail as well as the Lake Angeles/Kalhane Ridge Trail which both begin at the Heart of the Hills parking area.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow line was very high, between ~2500' and  ~3000' depending on the aspect. Micro spikes were very useful on icy trail below the snow line, and snowshoes above it.

Incredibly beautiful and breath taking vistas due to great weather conditions.  We did Point 4795 first, then First Top owing to the high snow line.  Our total time for this ~6000' elevation gain and ~12 mile trip loop trip was 9.5 hours.  Photos can be seen here.

Notes
This loop can be done in either direction, but the key determinant as to the best direction for a particular day are the snow conditions on the steep portion of the cross country section between the two trails. This section is between the ~2,500 ft elevation on the Lake Angeles Trail, to the ~3,500 ft elevation on the ridge crest that trends NNE between First Top and the Heart of the Hills parking area. For mostly bare ground or hard snow conditions it is best to travel this section east to west (uphill). For non-consolidated snow that lends itself to plunge stepping (either snowshoes or on foot), it is best to travel this section west to east (downhill).

Approach and Ascent
From the Heart of the Hills parking area follow the Lake Angeles Trail to the 4,000 ft elevation. Turn west and head uphill to reach the ridge crest, then follow the ridge crest uphill to reach Point 4795. To reach the next section of the loop descend your ascent route to reach the west side of Ennis Creek (~2,500 ft elevation). Just after crossing Ennis Creek, head uphill in a mostly westerly direction in a line affording the best progress through brush (it quickly thins as you gain elevation) to reach the ~3,500 ft elevation on the ridge crest trending NNE between First Top and the Heart of the Hills parking area. Ascend this ridge crest in a SSW direction to reach the summit of First Top (5,510 ft), taking very careful note of your crossing of the Heather Park Trail at the ~4,500 ft. elevation. Descend your track from First Top to reach the Heather Park Trail at 4,500 ft, then follow this trail to the Heart of the Hills parking lot.

 

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