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Ascent of Rampart Ridge on 2014-08-02

Climber: Greg Slayden

Date:Saturday, August 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rampart Ridge
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5870 ft / 1789 m

Ascent Trip Report

Glenn's friend was not feeling well after the first sections of the rough and steep Rocky Run unmaintained trail, so the two of them stayed back at a slower pace and I quickly hiked ahead, since I was in training for a trip to Alaska the next weekend. At Lake Lillian I could not find the shortcut across the rock face to get past the buttress, so I went up and over to get to the lakeshore trail and then hike up the steep, rutted path to the crest of the cirque overlooking the lake. It was very muggy and I was drenched in sweat.

Once above the lake cirque I traversed pleasant meadows, streams, lakes, and snowbanks. I lost the trail at one point and heard voices above me, and a path led up that way, so I headed up to the ridge. I stopped to chat with the party of three, who were concerned about the distant peals of thunder. Then it started raining, so we all waited it out under some trees for five minutes. Then I took off up along the ridge--the path got faint and I had to scramble along a rock fin and bushwhack a bit. I waited out another short bout of rain, and the climbed the final summit hump of Rampart Ridge.

The highest rocks are at the far north end of the summit ridge and present some class 3 scrambling up some big rock steps. For me they were a bit slippery due to the recent showers and I took extra care. It rained lightly as I ate my summit snack but then cleared and dried out very quickly.

For the descent I followed the well-established herd path downhill towards a series of pretty little tarns, avoiding the ridge route I has ascended. Near the last tarn I intersected my upward path--I had missed the continuation at a snowbank. Then it was steep downhill hiking to Lake Lillian, and the humidity was such that even downhill hiking made me sweat gallons. I caught up to the party I had seen higher--they had turned back when electrical activity had made someone's hair stand on end!

On the hike down from Lake Lillian I was looking for the trail to Mount Margaret, and realized that it was the same as the Rocky Run trail at first. And, not long after, I came to an unfamiliar rockslide traverse and knew I had made a wrong turn. Retracing my steps, I found the junction, totally unsigned, where the steep Rocky Run trail heads down and the Mount Margaret trail continues at a less steep angle. Very easy to miss this.

I made a aide-trip to cliff-ringed Lake Laura on the way down, and soon after that a group of 4 asked me where this trail went. Turns out they also made the wrong turn at the unsigned junction, and they wanted the Margaret trail. We both had made different wrong turns at the same place! I sent them back uphill and told them where to look for the junction.

I was down at the car uneventfully by 1:40 PM, where Glenn and his friend had been waiting. They had hiked to both lakes.

The Rocky Run trail is a very short and quick route to some nice high country, but it is a particularly rough and steep unmaintained trail and probably a poor choice for novice hikers, so I felt a little bad about dragging them along. I was glad they did get some exercise and some exposure to rugged Cascades hiking.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2510 ft / 763 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:Lake Lillian
    Trailhead:Rocky Run TH  3760 ft / 1146 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3 summit block
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Raining, Hot, Breezy, Overcast
T-storms, thunder
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 35 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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