Andesite Ridge and Peak

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 3.4 miles round trip
7200 feet
+1000, -1000 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Half day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Use Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Norden
Start The plowed loading zone on the north side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak Area and Boreal Ridge exit. Parking is at the Donner Pass Sno-Park located at the east end of the frontage road on the south side of the interstate at the same exit.

Description   Link to more information about description

You will find the panoramic views from the summit of Andesite Peak grand. Unlike the easier (less steep) ascent described in the Andesite Peak tour, approaching via the main ridge as described here provides you with many more vistas. It is also a more direct route. Or you can experience the best of both tours by ascending as described here via the ridge and returning via the easier route.

Image on final ascent to summit of Andesite Peak

Skier making final ascent along ridge to summit of Andesite Peak

Image on the summit of Andesite Peak

On the summit of Andesite Peak

You will find a short steep section near the beginning of the tour that leads to Andesite Ridge and a much longer steep section that leads to the summit. Along the ridge the timber ranges from nonexistent to heavy. In open areas winds from the west can form cornices on the lee side of the ridge and peak; stay away from the steep edges in these areas.

Image of traveling in open area just before entering dense trees

Easy traveling in an open area before entering dense trees

You can convert this tour into a loop that includes Castle Pass and Castle Valley by intersecting the Andesite Ridge Loop tour to the west of Andesite Peak.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: +100 feet 

From the trailhead (1) ski east on the snow-covered road that parallels the interstate and then northwest for a total of 0.3 mile until you reach a road junction (2). The road continuing northwest (straight) leads to Castle Valley, which is closed to snowmobile use, while this tour follows the road to the west (left). 

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.3 - 0.5
Elevation change: +100 feet 

Turn west (left) and follow the snow-covered road for 0.2 mile until you reach a location where you can leave the road to the north (3). There is no landmark here, but the route to the north heads up a drainage between two knobs. 

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 0.5 - 0.6
Elevation change: +150 feet 

Leave the road and ascend northwest and then north for a total of 0.1 mile until you reach Andesite Ridge (4).

Image of route up to the ridge that ascends the steep section on the camera side of the rock nose in the right of the image

The route up to the ridge ascends the steep section on the camera side of the rock nose in the right of the image

Image of miners cabin

This miner's cabin lies to the southeast on the ridge and just to the northwest of Peak 7605

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 0.6 - 1.7
Elevation change: +650 

Follow Andesite Ridge to the northwest for 0.6 mile until the terrain abruptly becomes more steep and then 0.5 mile more to the summit of Andesite Peak (5).  

Return to trailhead
Miles: 1.7 - 3.4
Elevation change: -1000 feet 

Retrace the route for 1.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour