Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Vesper Peak

Great trip but turned around a bit early for a number of reasons.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Icy roads in the morning but no real problems getting to the trailhead. Some ice on the lower trail and increasing snow heading up into the valley and Headley Pass. 1-2 feet of snow on the upper slopes. No river crossing issues. 

Left the trailhead at dawn about 730am. No issues with stream crossings. Encountered snow about a mile up the trail heading into the valley. About a foot of snow on the trail up to Headley Pass but broken from the party the day before. Snowing significantly on the pass. Continued to the lake then up the slopes to Vesper with snow continuing to fall. Due to a team member concerned with back issues, we moved at a somewhat slower pace and did not make it to the summit area. We already had concerns about summitting based on beta from the Mountaineer's trip from the day before who encountered significant ice on the upper slopes. Since we hit our turnaround time (130pm), snowing significantly, and concerns about back hurting, we decided to head back to the trailhead. We moved cautiously to avoid hurting the person's back and arrived at cars after dark having used headlamps for only a short section of the trail (5pm).

Great scramble, although minimal views due to clouds and snow. Upper slopes accumulating enough snow to warrant snowshoes soon. Nice to have the trail broken by previous party. Crampons were very useful but microspikes worked as well. 

Great winter scramble and great teammates.