OverviewThere are 3 scramble routes from Leroy Basin up to Maude:
1. Hike south to 6800' saddle, then way around south to 7600' saddle overlooking ice lake, then up south slope.
2, Hike south to 6800' saddle, then scramble north-east up to the ridge near 7900', then hike up rest of south slope.
3. Hike south to 6450 where trail crosses the south fork of Leroy Creek, then scramble east-southeast up the gully to the ridge near 8000, then hike up the rest of the south slope.
Most of the other route descriptions you will find on the web describe #1 and #2. This route description is for #3
ApproachFrom the Phelps Creek trail-head hike up the Spider Meadows trail for about 90 minutes to Leroy Creek. Right on the other side of the creek is the trail up to Leroy Basin. In May and early June, the creek may be hard to cross. If that is the case, you don't really have to. You can scramble up through the forest on the south side of Leroy Creek. Certainly the trail is faster, but not if you can't cross the creek.
Assuming you went up the trail...
Follow the trail up to the big obvious camp sites in Leroy Basin. The trail continues up toward Seven Fingered Jack, in what appears to be completely the wrong direction for Maude. Go with it. It is looping way up to the northeast before it turns south so it can cross high over the bump that divides the north and south portions of Leroy basin.
After a bit the trail turns south toward the 6800' saddle southwest of Maude, crosses over the dividing ridge, then comes to a very cool trench that formed in 2003. That fall/winter, there was a huge slide and/or avalanche down from Maude that caused a 15' deep, 30' wide and 200 yards long trench to be gouged in the south fork of Leroy Creek. The trail crosses the trench at about 6450' (UTM: NAD27 662-340, 5333-450). There are several trip descriptions on wta.org and other places that talk of it being very difficult to cross the trench. In October of 2006, there was an adequate path carved through the trench.
Route DescriptionFrom where the trail crosses the trench that was the south fork of Leroy Creek, stop and look up at Maude. There is a huge wide gully coming down the mountain. That's where you are going.
From the trail, scramble up the hill side, (class 2) to the white colored rocks at the head of the trench. You can cross the trench where the trail does or up by the white rocks.
At the head of the trench are the steep white rocks. The general idea is to go over to the south and scramble up the easier rocks, then traverse back to the left above the steep rocks. That will put you in the neighborhood of 7200' directly above the big trench.
At around 7300' there is a big head wall. Traverse around it to the left.
At this point, the gully starts getting very wide and you have lots of choices. Any way that goes up gets you there. If you have several people in your party, spread out left and right to reduce the risk of kicking rocks down on each other. The sportier way is to go up and to the right on toward a big black tower rock. The left side is more of a scree hike.
The gully finally joins the southwest ridge of Maude at about 8000'. At that point there is a trail to the summit.
When we did this route in October, there was no snow and it was 98% class 2 scrambling with just a bit of class 3 traversing and rock scrambling. I think it would be a fine way to go when there is lots of snow. Just be careful crossing over the steep rocks I describe above.
For a nice loop, go up this way and back down via the 7600 and 6800 foot saddles.
What's really nice about this route, (verses #2), is that route finding is really really easy. With route #2, you head northeast up from the 6800' saddle into a maze of steep rocks. Many route descriptions talk of people getting cliffed out. With this route, the most difficult part is right at the top of the trench. Above there, the route gets easier not harder.
Essential GearIce Axe until mid August. A rock helmet is probably a good idea if you go on a weekend in mid August to mid September. During that period, there is a higher chance that somebody above you might kick rocks down.
External LinksIn the following trip report:
Eric's way down from Maude is this route up. See the picture with the arrows.
For you GPS folks, Here are some UTM coordinates of the route we took, (which included a traverse all the way down to Carne Mtn. If you have "Topo" software, you should be able to import these, then download them into your GPS.
TOPO! GPS Data Format UTM NAD27 ElevFeet UTC-Time
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