Ascent of Alta Mountain on 2016-07-24

Climber: Jeremy Benezra

Others in Party:Samara
Macy - dog
Date:Sunday, July 24, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Alta Mountain
    Elevation:6240 ft / 1901 m

Ascent Trip Report

We are doing the Enchantments in August and some of our friends are newer to backpacking, so we decided to do a test run backpack trip to Lila Lake and up Alta Mountain. Besides me and my wife, we brought our 8 year old pup Macy and they brought their 8 year old son.

We had a relatively late start, by the time we got to the TH, both parking lots were full and we backtracked a bit and parked on the side of the road, somewhat in the bushes. Left our car at 11:11. Through the forest and up the hill. Steep work at times. With many rest breaks, one at the base of a nice waterfall, we made Rachel Lake at 2:40. Signs were easy to follow, don’t miss the trail for Lila lake carved into a tree in the center of the trail. Rampart left, Lila right. Continued up a ways. Eventually hit a fork where left is Alta summit, right is Lila. We head right to Lila for now, but we’ll be back tomorrow. Mosquitos were out in force but I had 2 long sleeve bugsaway shirts, warm during this hot of a day but they fended off the buggers.

A lot of people on the trail means finding a camp site wasn’t super easy. All the good ones were taken. We did find a spot big enough for two tents and made camp at the North end of Lila Lake.

We had some beautiful stars that night and it was easy to see the Milky Way. The next morning we left a couple people at camp and headed back up trail towards the summit of Alta….

We knew there would be many false summits, but the going isn’t too difficult, the false summits never too disheartening, and we made it! It’s a pretty defined trail all the way, a couple big moves up and down, but nothing a lab sized dog can’t do. We signed the summit register. Macy has another summit under her paws. She was pretty warm, even with all the water we gave her. So when we passed the 1 snowfield next to trail we made her lay down in it while I rubbed melting snow on her back. You could see joy on her face and she cooled down quite a bit.

There were mosquitos intermittently on the climb up but fairly bad on the summit. Could see some of Baker to the North, most of the Summit at Snoq, and Rainier and Adams to the South.

Headed back down to Lila. Packed up camp. Back up hill a bit to the fork for Rachel Lake then all the way down to the TH.

Super pleasant backpack and summit despite the crowds.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Animal/Pet, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear

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