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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Granite Mountain

12 scramblers completed Granite Mountain the day after the first snows of the season

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We had snow on the trail from the Pratt Lake trailhead all the way up to the top of Granite Mountain.  We brought our microspikes and snowshoes but did not need them.  We had terrific weather.

We had a full group of 12 scramblers meet at the Pratt Lake trailhead at 7:30am.  We had fresh snow from the previous days storm and the parking lot was covered in about of 3 inches of snow.   The group discussed the game plan which was to head up the Granite Mountain trail.  It was believed that there would be about a foot of new snow but since there was no snow two days previous, we felt that it would be safe to cross the avalanche chutes.  We agreed on a turnaround time of 1:30.  There was some discussion of heading over to West Granite, but with such a large group, we doubted we would be nimble enough to do the entire loop.

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We departed the trailhead at 7:50am.  Those who had chosen to put on microspikes quickly realized that they would be of little use as the sticky snow immediately balled up. We made it to the Granite Mountain/Pratt Lake intersection.  After a layer break, the group continued up the Granite Mountain trail.  There were a couple of people ahead of us who must have broken trail, so we just continued following the regular summer path all the way to Granite Peak.    We did not make great time for a combination of factors including snow, group size, and some equipment adjustments, but we were all at the top by 12:45pm.

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The views were spectacular from the lookout tower.  Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker and all of the nearby peaks were clearly visible.   There were a few passing clouds, but it was mostly sunny during our time up top.  We took our obligatory summit shots, had lunch, and headed down just after 1.  We made it back to the cars at 3:45.

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There were quite a few other people on the trail as well.  With upcoming storms this week, today was probably the last day to safety do Granite as the avalanche danger will likely increase with new snow forecast.

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