Monday, June 25, 2007

Scatter Benchmark 6.25.07

Today's escapades had eerie similarities to my trip from last week. Again the weather was much improved over the previous day's unsettled mess. Again I was forced to try my planned trip in reverse. Again I was only able to summit a point that is not on my list. Again I changed my descent to enjoy a nice snowy basin. Again I had a wonderful day! After making my way more than half way down the Salmon La Sac Road I realized that I had forgotten to leave a map or any directions for my intended route with my wife. This was unsettling to me because no one would have any idea where I was or where I was going. This is not a good recipe for a solo hike. I parked just before Scatter Creek even though I was pretty sure I could have driven across without incident. I thought why risk it. I could see the sign for the North Scatter trail, was that my trail? I thought I remembered that there was two different Scatter trailheads. I didn't remember seeing one on the way in. I thought I better go back and look to be sure. My maps don't do this area justice the North Scatter trail is not listed on my maps. I found the South Trailhead and parked. I packed up and was off just after Noon. My goal for the day was to climb Solomon Mt. (aka Fisheagle Peak) but because I hadn't left any directions I thought it better to stay on trail as much as possible. I was sure I could make the Scatter Benchmark without being too far off trail. Patchy snow obscures the trail but there is never too long of a stretch where the trail doesn't show itself. Once I reached more consolidated snow I just kicked stepped my way to the ridgeline and headed east along the easy ridge. I had no trouble making Pt. 6897 and then continued East toward Scatter Two (Pt.6953). I looked down the South side where I could have done a steep traverse to get to the Saddle just to the SW of Scatter Two. I didn't think I wanted to continue on this route solo so I retraced my steps. Looking down on the snowy basin below me I thought I would mix it up and still make a loop out of the day. I was able to drop 700ft quickly on snow and then just dropped some rockslides until I was able to reach forest again. The grade is very pleasing and I had no trouble connecting with the trail at the creek crossing at 5040ft. I dropped pack and had a nice lunch before I made my way back to the car.

Approx 12 miles 3600ft of climb 5:45 car to car

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