Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Noble Knob

A nice workout with expansive views (listed under Mutton Mountain due to its proximity and popularity for Winter Scrambles). A hike in the summer, the substantial snows still remaining make this a great winter scramble of ~16 miles and ~4000’ gain using the Ranger Creek trail.

  • Sat, May 8, 2021
  • Mutton Mountain
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Intermittent snow began at ~4000’ on the Ranger Creek Trail, with substantial hard snow covered by fresh snow (~8” depth or more) above ~4600’.  On steeper side hill traverses this fresh layer had a tendency to shear away leading to a tendency for boots to slip on the underlying hard snow (our crampons easily addressed this situation). We wore crampons continuously from ~5500’ to the summit, and until ~4400’ on descent.

We parked at the small lot at the western end of the bridge that leads to the Ranger Creek Airfield.

The ~5500’ saddle that is 2/3 mile WSW of Noble Knob is almost completely topped by a cornice with 12’ high walls on the lee side (the north side), but a short section on the western portion allows egress to below these imposing walls.  The topside of the cornices (looking towards Noble Knob in the distance):


The bottom side of the cornices, taken on our return:


The only challenging part of this trip was the 1/8 mile traverse from this saddle that roughly follows the summer trail and passes below cliffs with a short ‘attention getting’ runout exposure in one spot (shown here on return):


The final portion was an easy ridge run, albeit with a false summit requiring just a bit more work to reach the true summit:


A great day in the mountains in spite of so-so forecast.  The total time was ~10 hours with ~6 hours up and ~4 hours down.  Photos from this trip can be seen here.