Ascent of North Little Scraggy Peak on 2019-05-11

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Dan Conner
Date:Saturday, May 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:North Little Scraggy Peak
    Elevation:9120 ft / 2779 m

Ascent Trip Report

After summitting Little Scraggy we made our way to North Scraggy. We read most reports on LOJ gives it a class 4 rating but we found other routes that were easier more on that later. I can post the GPS track as it exceeded 3000 points for the day. But basically we headed off Little Scraggy in a NE bearing. We slid around many of the towers, pinnacles and other rocky obstructions on the way but there is a lot of additional gain coming this way. We slid around to the right and took the ridge to NE and then looped around to the final plateau for collecting this interesting peak. We found a large boulder cave that I recognized from LOJ photos and took some ourselves. There are three candidate peaks all showing a closed contour all above 9120 feet. The middle one has a USGS point of 9139 and it has a cairn and the official register. According to Gerry Roach, the NW subpeak is actually the taller by 2 inches. Fortunately for you purists you can reach all three pretty safely as described below:

SW peak. There are three ways up to the top of this one and it actually has two small peaks the one most SW is clearly taller which is a bummer since the northern bump is an easy class 2+/3 scramble. The taller is more demanding. If you attack it from the south, it is pretty steep and exposed scramble we did not attempt. You can slip around the western side with some exposed scrambling in the 3+/4 range but the easiest way is to go around the east side and there is a class 2 crack up the final move. That is the easiest approach by far. No matter what the final move is a short easy up class 3+ but the downclimb is a bit tricky because you can have trouble seeing your feet placement and there is exposure off the west fall. We accomplished this summit by taking turns since the upclimb is easy using a guy below to help guide the downclimbers feet into the big obvious foot holds that are very hard to see from above without a spotter.

Central Peak. This one again has two subpeaks. The southern one is NOT the taller. We could not tell from below but once you are top you realize you wasted your time climbing it. If you do, it has a stiff class 3+ approach from the SE side or an easier class 3 approach from the west side of it. I took the easier class 3 and Dan did the 3+. On top you look over and realize dang.....the other subpeak has the cairn on the top and is clearly much higher so off we went. Approaching from the south nothing at first looked all that great. Everything looked exposed class 3+ and 4. I found the narrow little chimney climb that someone described in LOJ or somewhere I read and it is doable but looks hard. Class 4 perhaps class 5 with a lot of strenuous chimney/stemming required. Dan then found a class 3+ move up to the slabs but the downclimb was sketchy ( he did it anyway) and I kept sliding around to the left and found a sneaky easy class 2+ alley behind the boulder Dan was on and walked mostly up to the cairn. Easy. The jar had the register but we took it out and it was totally soaked and no way to sign it.

NW Peak. According the Hakes on LOJ and Roach this is the true peak. It looks daunting from the central peak but if you pick around it actually has a pretty easy route along the east side that is no more than class 2+/3. We found a crack up the rock with a big pine tree that was far more challenging (class 3+) and headed up it and summitted the easy top boulder. Coming down we took the obvious easier class 2+ route down.

Then coming home we took a very long nearly 6 mile trip down the North bearing looking for the easiest contours. We ended up in a deep ravine that does not show up on the topo but it is there! It is just east of several large towers of rock. The ravine had ice in it and was steep sided and we had to up climb and down climb way too many times to stay safe. Near the bottom was a section of enormous boulders that made a tricky maze of class 4 and 5 challenges with precarious drops. We worked hard to find a route out of there and had to cross the stream (that does not show up on the topo) at least 5 times. Getting out there safely was the biggest challenge of the day. The bushwhack to the car from here was herculean effort. We crossed ravine after ravine, rock outcrop after outcrop and picked up hundreds of tedious extra gain. Still we had enough energy to climb up unlisted peak point 8023 a nice fun scramble before calling it day (again adding way more additional gain). dan was spent by now so we headed back to the road and hike the road back to the car.

In all we did over 10 miles and about 3000 feet of gain but really explored the entire area in one massive loop
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1185 ft / 361 m
    Total Elevation Loss:945 ft / 287 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Grade/Class:2, 2+, 3, 3+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:335 ft / 102 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 240 ft / 73 m; Extra: 95 ft / 28m
    Loss on way in:95 ft / 28 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:bushwhack to scrambles
    Start Trailhead:saddle between peaks  8880 ft / 2706 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:850 ft / 259 m
    Gain on way out:850 ft / 259 m
    Distance:5.9 mi / 9.5 km
    Route:scrarmbles and bushwhacks
    End Trailhead:truck near campground  
Ascent Part of Trip: Little Scraggy Circuit

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Scraggy Point2019-05-11 a159 ft / 48 m
2Little Scraggy Peak2019-05-11 b1676 ft / 511 m
3North Little Scraggy Peak2019-05-11 c1185 ft / 361 m
Total Trip Gain: 3020 ft / 920 m    Total Trip Loss: 1417 ft / 432 m

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