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Ascent of Roaring Ridge on 2013-02-03

Climber: Chad Straub

Others in Party:Automahn (k9)
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, February 3, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Roaring Ridge
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:4988 ft / 1520 m

Ascent Trip Report

When I saw the low avalanche danger forecast for super bowl Sunday I made plans to summit Scout Peak, hoping to avoid most of the target practice crowd. I knew I would be walking a few miles of the access road on the way in, but i was disappointed to find Tinkham Road rutted out from the start beyond the capabilities of my sedan. Now for the backup plan: Roaring Ridge.

I parked North of road 9070 at the winter "trailhead-ish" next to the sewage plant. Road 9070 or the Cold Creek X-Country ski trail was freshly groomed with manufactured ski tracks on both sides, makes me wish I had a ski setup. I turned left off the groomed road before crossing Cold Creek and donned snowshoes for the direct ascent before the next major drainage.

Orange paint around most of the large trees above the road suggest a timber harvest soon to come. The paint stopped sharply as we crossed the sharp boundary line of the last logging here. Above the tree line Keechelus Ridge and the frozen lake below it sat under a low cloud ceiling, the only significant view I would get all day.

I could see the wide open gully NW of the summit from below, but chose a more direct route up lee slopes to the South. What little time this saved was wasted when I continued up to the false summit before I realized where I was. There were a few sets of snomobile tracks at the lookout site that came and went from the East. The foundation blocks were completely buried under snow.

The ridge walk to Point 4902 was pretty straightforward. I'm glad that Auto is smart enough to stay in my snowshoe tracks in the powder, as this made it easy to keep him safely away from the countless heavy cornices along the way. The topo map accurately portrays the north face as incredibly steep. I surveyed several potential descent routes, and I think I chose the safest one on the way out. A light snow began as we rested at the top.

Point 4902 probably has a decent view through the trees, but I saw nothing but white. the clouds cleared above Cottonwood Lake enough for a hazy picture as I passed by on the decent. The only part of my descent route that I would have changed would be to have stayed to the East of a steep avalanche chute that was solid thanks to recent movement, but made the dog pretty nervous. I saw a tiny patch of blue sky as we crossed the bridge over Cold Creek. It promptly closed up and began to rain, which continued until we reached the car.

I saw nobody between leaving and returning to road 9070, which was busy with X-Country skiers. Snow conditions ranged from 6" of soft powder to a solid icy crust.


~10 miles round trip
~3200' elevation gain
3 hours to lookout site
3 hours back to car via Pt. 4902

pictures and route map @ http://jebtastic.blogspot.com/2013/02/roaring-ridge-snowshoe-4902-bonus-points.html
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2628 ft / 801 m
    Total Elevation Loss:556 ft / 168 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2628 ft / 801 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2428 ft / 740 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:NE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Sewage plant winter TH  2560 ft / 780 m
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:356 ft / 108 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Ridgewalk
    End Trailhead:Saddle to Point 4902  4632 ft / 1411 m
    Time:40 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Roaring Ridge and Point 4902

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Roaring Ridge2013-02-032628 ft / 801 m
2Point 49022013-02-03410 ft / 125 m
Total Trip Gain: 3038 ft / 926 m    Total Trip Loss: 3038 ft / 926 m



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