Start at the Main Ski Lodge and head up towards the Pine Marten ski lift summit. You can either go up dirt/scree or pick and chose some of the service roads to make it easier. Once you get to the top of the ski lift area, there is a trail of some sorts through the large rocks that leads to the glacier. You can ascend the glacier (bring crampons, it gets steep) or climb the rock ridge to the right. The sides of the ridge are extremely loose and large portions want to give way with each step (firsthand knowledge). The ridge itself is not bad and is pretty direct to the summit. I found this to be a nice route and more challenging and rewarding than the main trail route although you obviously can not take this route during ski season. Total elevation gain is just over 2700 feet in about 1.8 miles.
One note: you can purchase a lift ticket at the ski area and ride the lift to he Pine Marten ski lift summit and climb from there but this would be cheating bigtime.
None needed unless you want to climb the glacier; then, I'd bring crampons and maybe some trekking poles.
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While some prefer heading straight up the lift right-of-way or one of the ridges along this route, the switchback trail from just above the lower summit lift terminus isn't a bad way to go for more consistently firm footing. It is fairly simple to find the trail head--just follow the service road above the lower lift building for a couple of switchbacks and look for the trail that proceeds up through a tree-lined ridge immediately to the East (left) of the lift. Some loose scree along this trail but overall an easier way to the top.
Posted Aug 25, 2009 1:19 am
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"Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."