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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Howard Peak & Florence Peak

Winter scramble of Howard Peak

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trail was snow free until about 4k' and lightly covered after that.   The road is still washed out 50 yards before the Carbon River entrance but there is plenty of parking on the side of the road.  

    Note that the park service expects you to have your park pass displaced even though you are not in the national park (we all had payment envelopes on our windshields upon return).  

We started about 7:45 am.  The trail was clear of snow to 4000' but lots of water in places.  There is one stream crossing that is a bit tricky to not get your boots wet on.

At 4500' the trail crested the ridge and we followed the ridge east towards Florence.  We crossed under Florence at 5200' to meet the ridge to Howard on its east side.  At this point we finally had enough snow for snowshoes and used them to the summit of Howard staying on the ridge crest or to the right side when that was not feasible.  

Passing around the 5480' bump before Howard, is open terrain you would want to ensure was moderate avalanche danger or less and probably ice axes if it was hard and icy.   However, in decent conditions an ice axe would not be needed and most of our group did not use them.  

The summit is very non-descript and we basically searched until we decided that the bump we were on was the highest "bump" on the flat top of Howard.  

The return was in high winds and a front closing in.  We got back to the cars JUST before it started raining.  

Total round trip was 7.5 hours.