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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - West Granite

Beautiful sunny day and reasonably good snow conditions made for a great day in the mountains.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Route was well-packed snow on the trail to Olallie lake, then deep snow covered with a 3-inch icy crust. Snowshoes alone would have been ok but we chose to switch crampons for the steeper and more icy section of the climb on the NW ridge.

We started a the Pratt Lake trail head just before 8 am.  The trail was all snow from the start but very well packed up to Olallie lake. Some participants wore micro-spikes but others were ok with no traction. We left the trail at 4040 feet and donned snowshoes. We caught the ridge at 4120 ft and proceeded up hugging the nose of the ridge right to the right all the way to the summit.  Snow had a 3 inch icy crust and was soft and deep in places below making travel a bit challenging. Concerned about getting more icy on the steep slope above we changed into crampons and pulled out ice ax and helmet at about 4600 feet. In retrospect, it would have probably been ok keeping snowshoes on for the duration and would have avoided some post-holing on the upper flatter section. Some participants expressed they were glad to have crampons especially on the way down. Having had a recent experience with that route in icy conditions and wishing to have had crampons made me choose to err on the side of caution. We reached the summit around 12:30 and found a sheltered spit right below that a private group of Mountaineers had kept "warm" for us.  After a 30 min break, we descended back approximately the same route  rejoining the trail very close to where we had left it. Following the trail back the same way, we got back to the cars about 8 hours after we started.

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