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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount Ararat (winter)

Sunny weather, no wind, and low avalanche conditions on MLK? Can't beat that! It ended up being a perfect day for a winter scramble of Mt. Ararat

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Indian Henry's trail is completely clear below 3,800 feet save for one small log.  Snow and ice starting at 3,800 feet just before the creek crossing necessitated microspikes.  There was a faint trail through the snow which led to a minor route finding issues.  Once at Ararat itself, the snow had softened some during the day and we were able to use existing steps up to the summit.

We had a group of 6 for this scheduled Mountaineers trip.  Meet time at  Kautz Creek Trailhead was  8am and we were on the trail at 8:10 am.   Skies were clear.  A turnaround time of 2:00pm had been agreed to.

We made good time from the trailhead up to 3,800 feet just before the creek crossing.  Trail conditions changed from no snow at all, to a trail completely covered in snow and ice.  We put on our microspikes, and continued upward.  There were a few route finding issues because of the snow cover and there is so little traffic up there, we lost the trail a number of times.  But, with good GPS tracks we got back on track and finally came up to the 5,320 ft high point.  After a short break, we continued to the base of Ararat and then  up the SW ridge.  There were tracks from a party earlier in the weekend, so we just kick stepped up those tracks to the very top.  Our time was 4 hours and 30 minutes to the peak.

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The weather was terrific so we spent a good half an hour at the top.  After lunch and the obligatory summit pictures, we headed down the way we came.  One person glissaded since the snow was soft enough snow with acceptable run out, but most of us simply plunged stepped down.  Once at the base of the ridge, two of us put on snowshoes.  Apparently my "Covid 15" weight gain in the past year caused me to have a few busting through the snow, so the snowshoes helped with that issue.  I kept the snowshoes on all the way back to 3,800 feet, the rest of the group left their microspikes on.  After we got below the snow line, we took off our traction and had an easy hike out.  Our total time car to car was 8:10, but this included our 30 minute lunch break and other breaks along the day.

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The snow conditions and weather was suburb.  We had a good strong group and we all took turns leading the way at various points along the trip.  It was a great way to spend a holiday.

I have a public GPS track in case you are interested: