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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Happy Lake Ridge

A beautiful and strenuous winter scramble from Lake Crescent to vistas of Storm King and Baldy.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow until the ~4000’ elevation, and it did not become continuous until ~4500’ on the last 250’ of gain to the summit. Only used snowshoes briefly in the summit area. Both foot bridges used to reach the ridge leading to the objective were in great shape (albeit a bit long in the tooth).

A beautiful and strenuous winter scramble from Lake Crescent to vistas of Storm King and Baldy of ~8 miles and ~5000’ elevation gain. The objective ridge is reached just after the 2nd of two foot bridges encountered on the Barnes Creek trail. This ridge was surprisingly brush free except for the less steep area above ~4000’ elevation, and even there, can be avoided by paralleling the ridge crest through open woods on the west side. We bypassed a sudden rocky drop in the ridge at ~4500’ by switchbacking down and north (on the west side of the ridge) before traversing back to the low spot (on ascent), but on our descent it was a relatively straightforward bit of rock scrambling to follow the ridge crest. We avoided rocky problems on the crest for the final 250’ of ascent by ascending snow slopes on the east side of the ridge below the crest. Total time was ~10 hours with 5 hours on ascent. Photos from this trip (including a map of our route) can be seen here.

 

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