Photos from this trip can be found here.
Round Mountain was not so kind with its steep incline. With an average of 1,500’ elevation gain per mile, it felt more brutal than Baring Mountain. First time hiking in the area since Mount Higgins nearly two and a half years ago. Lucky for us, the service road was clear of snow all the way to the road closure.
Scramble route located at half mile beyond the road closure, the steep incline began immediately with no sign of easing until the bench at 2,900’. The bench also marked the beginning of solid snow all the way to the summit. After a momentary relief from steepness, there was more of it all the way to the ridge line.
On the ridge at 3,500’ there were foot tracks that looked like they’d been there for a while. The fact I was still able to see them meant that the recent snow level has been higher up. The aggressive incline has eased up from this point to the knob at 4,360’. After losing some elevation traversing northerly down from the knob, it was followed by more steepness heading up the south ridge. A large rock face at 4,600’ so we traversed northeasterly on a steep snow slope to avoid it. We then regained the ridge at 5,000’ to finish the last bit of scramble.
The summit was flat with lots of space for the dogs to run around. Possible cornices on the north side but I didn’t need to get closer to the edge to check. Lots of photo opps on this clear, sunny day. With little to no wind on the summit, the weather was surprisingly warm. Got carried away with taking photos, we stayed for nearly an hour before making our way back down.
I used microspikes for traction, brought my snowshoes and crampons but didn’t need to use either.