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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Snoqualmie Mountain, East Peak

A beautiful snow scramble up to Cave Ridge, but not much further due to snow conditions.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

After several days of fresh snowfall, eight of us attempted the east peak of Snoqualmie Mountain, but had to settle for Cave Ridge, plus a little bit.  At dawn's early light, we turned off the Alpental Road onto a snow-burried forest road, just north of Commonwealth Creek, and headed straight for the looming Guye Peak.  At about 3400 ft, we descended slightly to the right into the woods, and wrapped around the south face of Guye, keeping more or less at 3500 ft.  We crossed a couple of streams, or perhaps the same stream twice.  For the first hour or more, we were accompanied by the sound of cannon, as the nearby ski area tried to safely knock down the avalanches.

Slightly beyond due east from Guye, we started up, heading NW, right of the creek, and then more north, up and over a steeper portion to the first little peak of Cave Ridge.  Down and up a bit to the top of Cave Ridge, at about 11 am, we could see our objective.  The ridge going NNW up to the east summit of Snoqualmie stood, covered in deep, recent snow.  The terrain was completely open, with steep slopes on both sides of the ridge.  We went down a couple hundred feet, and then hiked up to the ridge proper at about 5400.  Having a good look at the ridge, we decided it was too much.   Along the ridge itself, there was not a bare, rocky path, it was all buried, with a slight cornice to the right.  Further up there were 2 or 3 large rock outcrops where going around them would put you on a steeper, possibly unstable snow slope.  No dice.

So it was a great hike to Cave Ridge!  After a little snow, the sun and blue sky came out while we were still out in the open, and it was gorgeous.  We all headed to the China Star in Issaquah, which was excellent!

2830 ft gain, 5 miles, 8:20 hours

 

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Andy Cahn
Andy Cahn says:
Fri, Jan 18, 2019 4:03 AM

Nice report. One addendum: It was the sun that forced the decision to turn around. Within a half hour of the sun coming out the snow softened and we started to see first lots of pinwheels and then sloughs. I was surprised at how quickly conditions changed.