Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Teebone Ridge/Southwest Spur

A brisk, sunny 5000’ workout in the North Cascades, with gorgeous views of the Alma Creek Basin between Little Devil and Big Devil peaks.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Our party of 4 encountered snow at ~2000’, with snowshoes on at ~2500’.  Throughout the day we had an unusual situation of a very hard/icy layer below (impenetrable by snowshoe rails), with  substantial amounts of powder snow on top.  The slipping/sliding on this underlying icy layer added to the day’s workout (especially for folks following the broken trail).  We never did revert to crampons.  The icy layer became less of a problem up higher where the overlying snow was deeper.   On the ridge crest just below our ‘summit’, a succession of vertical snow walls presented a final challenge, giving us lots of skill practice and strength/flexibility training (planting the ice axe up high for self-belay, then kicking steps with snowshoes).

A beautiful but cold day in the mountains, so much so that every time we encountered a sunny spot we would turn and bask in the rays of the golden orb:


Eventually the clouds cleared above our ‘summit’, allowing a pleasant hour basking in the sun before starting our descent:


We encountered a number of folks on descent near 3000’ that had followed our tracks in the snow with minimal gear (i.e. no packs or snowshoes), ultimately turning around a short distance above.    A great day in the outdoors with 5 hours for the ascent, ~3 hours for the descent, and a total time of 9 hours (back in Seattle before sunset!).  Photos from this (and other trips) to this venue can be seen here.