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Ascent of Rampart Ridge on 2014-10-29

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Date:Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rampart Ridge
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5870 ft / 1789 m

Ascent Trip Report

1730 Seattle
~1850 TH

Hike was completely in the dark, with flashlight/headlamp. The only nice weather day this week so I figured I should take advantage of it. Fairly straightforward until Lake Lillian. Here, the short rock scramble to continue on the trail was a bit confusing, and care was needed on the wet rocks. Patches of snow starting at about 4500 ft, fairly consistent snow starting at about 5100 ft. The snow made the trail a bit hard to follow, but I managed to follow it (I think), until suddenly the trail seemed to head right into and thru a shallow pond, as if the trail had been severely flooded (incidentally, with all the mud, snow and just water on the ground throughout the hike, I was very happy to have my mountaineering boots). I looked to my left and saw two large cairns, so climbed up this way.

Unfortunately, this was a grave mistake, as I learned on the way back that I should have continued straight, skirting the edge of the pond, after which remnants of a trail continued. But on the way up, climbing to the left over mixed moss, shallow snow, and wet slippery rock, I eventually reached the ridge. I thought it would be easy to follow northward, but I was wrong: instead, it turned out to be a mix of exposed wet rock / knife edge ridge (I carefully crawled a short portion), shallow snow over brush/moss/rocks, and moderately light bushwhacking thru trees. At this point I was still over a half mile from the summit and progress was slow and did not feel completely safe. The darkness-induced route-finding difficulty undoubtedly added to the sense of adventure / danger. Still, I didn't want to go back the way I had come, so resolved to at least go forward to reach the GPS tracks I had downloaded, where I had seen most people had ascended. I called this section "the tortuous traverse".

2040 Eventually I reached those GPS tracks, and the terrain was more open and less steep. I hiked the final quarter-mile (about 300 ft elevation gain) with little difficulty, although still a bit slowly. The final rock scramble was wet and required care, but was less nerve-wracking than the tortuous traverse. Looking for a summit register to no avail, I eventually convinced myself that I was indeed on the highest point.

~2100 Summit
2230 Car
2350 Seattle

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2070 ft / 631 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2070 ft / 631 m
    Trailhead:3800 ft / 1158 m
Descent Statistics



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