Mount Snoqualmie Scramble

A midweek scramble with the mountaineers. Didn’t quite make it to the top but all part of going in a group and having folks with varied experience. It was everyone’s 2nd scramble beside the leader Jordan’s.

~300M from the top, our turnaround point. Bonus Mt. Rainier in the background.

The beta for this route was 6 miles and 3000 feet, we ended up doing 2200 feet in less then a mile, soooo a bit off 😄. The gpx track on Gaia did give a good indication the beta was off. It loaded just fine on the fenix and we kept mostly to the track.

One section that was new to me was climbing right under a waterfall with a snow bridge. I asked Jordan how will you know when the snow is too weak. The answer was when you fall though 😂.

Things got somewhat interesting on the ridge to the summit when winds picked up to gusts 50km/hr+ and some ice pellets kicked in. This is when one person of the group used their veto and after a quick discussion we turned around. I believe strongly in the AIARE framework where it’s up to everyone to speak up and call a turnaround at any time.




Usual standard gear but a typical new addition:

Grivel Radical Light 21 Pack

Worked really well. The peak design capture clip fits. I added some custom shock cord to match what our Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45’s have to mount the crampons. It was pretty comfortable but this was a short mission. It has a few more party tricks than the Alpha but is a lot smaller and a touch lighter.

I think this may become the new pack for less technical stuff. Will update after more than one trip on it.

Lessons Learned

I have a feeling this section may become a regular on the blog.

  • Scarpa Charmoz’s are too cold for 100% snow travel. Compared to last week’s scramble up Foss the Charmoz’s made my toes feel quite cold even halfway up the trip. The Phantom Tech’s are much warmer.
  • No gaiters + snow = soaked shoes. Never needed spare socks but would have appreciated them for the way home.
  • The only way down is full send. Much easier to glissade or plunge step quickly then being extra careful. The occasional post hole is worth it.

Route beta

GPX file below. (WordPress is blocking the direct file, will sort this out for future posts.) Seemed like a pretty standard scramble in winter. Spring snow conditions so avalanches seem like less of a concern. YMMV. We had crampons and microspikes and used neither. Was good step kicking snow all the way up.

Route finding seemed pretty clear but was great to have the topo on the watch as usual. That ridge got pretty windy other wise was sheltered for the first 2/3rd’s that we completed.