Photos from this trip can be found here.
Mountain Loop Highway looked to have been free of snow for quite some time this season. The stretch from Barlow Pass to road 49 and to the trailhead were full of potholes in many places. No other cars when we arrived at the trailhead, which was somewhat expected since the mountain doesn’t get a whole of visit each year. Since the area hadn’t had much snowfall in the past week, we decided to leave snowshoes at the car.
Lost Creek Ridge Trail was in great conditions with some down trees to get around. Moderate elevation gain for the first half mile, then it shot straight up to Bingley Gap with many switchbacks. Snow patches started just past the gap, then soon trail was buried in full snow. Staying south of the ridge crest, we eventually came out of the forest and began scrambling.
Two climbing parties were just here last week, so we follow the semi fresh boot tracks to the Round Lake Trail junction where Breccia Peak first came into full view. From there we negotiated two more knobs by staying south of the ridge and then travelled north to reach Sunup Lake. A tiny lake, hard to see which part of the snow-covered area was the lake itself. Summit was directly north of here.
West face below summit’s south ridge was somewhat steep with ice in some places. Overall snow conditions were good, so we were able to make solid steps across the slopes with direct view of Round Lake at the bottom.
Another vantage point with amazing views after a laborious climb. Along the way we were treated with glimpses of nearby high points. Seeing Mount Pugh, Sloan Peak, Bedal Peak, Glacier Peak, plus others from the top was beyond words. A little windy, but we managed to stay awhile to savor the views before retracing our steps back down.
Access: Lost Creek Ridge Trailhead