Friday, September 12, 2008

Scatter Peak 9.12.08

With the recent nice weather streak coninciding with my vacation I thought it best to take advantage. I had hoped to do a long day but my family needed me in the morning. I had to scramble for a back up plan that didn't involve the full day. I hadn't been up the Fortune Creek Road via car so I wasn't sure how far I would be able to drive. I thankfully was able to drive to the 4WD road that leaves to Van Epp's Pass. The road was barricaded due to the fire in the Jack Creek area. I knew I wouldn't access any of the closed areas so I promptly disregarded the trail closed signs. I was a little surprised to see two other rigs parked. Since I had such a late start (1PM) it was warmer than what I would have liked. I walked the road until I reached the North Fortune Creek Trail. I always enjoy being on a trail for the first time. The trail was in good shape and was steep in some spots. The plan was leave the trail just after crossing to the East of North Fortune Creek. I was struggling with heavy legs so I decided to stay on trail instead. As it turns out I would be much faster to leave the trail. After joining the County Line Trail you have to give back substantial amount of elevation. The County Line trail is easy to follow in places and not existent in others. I left the CLT aiming for the basin just below Scatter Peak. There are many meadowy/swampy areas that you could go through. I chose to stay on the margin of the rockslides on the East side of the basin. Soon I reached the lovely basin and dropped pack. It appeared to me that there are a few ways to go from the basin. It does look harder than it really is. I chose to head up almost directly to the summit. The footing wasn't great but I have seen much worse. I rounded an outcropping an reached a sub ridge that I followed a short ways to some slabs. I wasn't thrilled with crossing the crumbly slabs but thankfully the pitch isn't that steep. I was able to tease a route up to the summit using some small cracks. I topped out and was able to find the summit regsiter which I quickly signed. I snapped a few pictures before making my way very slowly down the crack system. I hadn't noticed the fires still burning in the Jack Creek area until I returned to look at the pictures. I guess I was much more concerned about my downclimb. On the way down I angled more towards the 6600' pass between Scatter Peak and

Scatter 2. The footing seemed more secure and I didn't have to cross the boulder field to rejoin my belongings in the basin below. Once I reached my pack I had a quick bite to eat and was off for the descent. I decided to forgo the CLT and instead just freewheel the descent. I was able to make it back to the NFCT without any issue. From there it was a quick jaunt to the car.

Approx 7 miles 3200ft of climb 5:30 car to car

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