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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount Teneriffe (winter)

A fun winter workout marred only by having to turn around within sight of the top (avy concerns).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Due to precipitation we opted for taking the official Kamikaze Falls trail to the Falls rather than attempting a possible bush-bash going up the old stream-bed route.  It was warm enough that the falls was icicle-free (darn!).  There was less than a couple of inches of snow on the ground at the Falls.  Most of us put on traction devices to ascend to the ridge.  That ascent was nicer than I remembered, possibly from the clean fresh snow.  Ascending the ridge was fairly pleasant, an easy boot up to about 4000', when the snow suddenly got much deeper (snowshoe time!) and the air seemed much cooler.  What had seemed "obviously safe" became "ok so far but really pay attention" as we traversed through fairly dense forest.  Nearing the top there are clearings which we almost entirely bypassed, opting to stay in tree cover though this was longer and harder.  By now the fresh snow averaged about a foot deep, requiring frequent rotations of who was leading the way.  We got within perhaps 20m of the top when we ran out of forest.  At this point there were several ill signs, including a possible "whump" sound, obviously unconsolidated snow, and a slope of about 40deg by my compass inclinometer.  So we turned back from the summit at that point.

Our return trip went fine though our experiment looking for a new road-bypass trail that one of the party members enthused could not be found, so we ended up returning via the long road.  The weather gods had bestowed this route with an extra helping of snow, which along with prolonged routing on a 4000' plateau kept us plodding through the deep soft stuff for miles.  We got the snow workout we were looking for, and got back to the cars comfortably before sunset.  Light precipitation the whole day, though mostly "white" rather than liquid form so it was tolerable.

Final stats: 4.2mi up; 7.4mi down; ~4450' elevation gain.

P.S.  I have noticed that some recent trips have been marked "successful" though the report has clearly described how they actually did not summit.  I'm sticking with the old meaning here - is this passe?