Mount Houghton Via Radio Tower

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 9.4 miles round trip
8850 feet
+1900, -1900 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Most of a day
Season December through April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted on first mile of road nor north of point on Relay Ridge indicated on map. Low to moderate on remainder of road. See description for more details. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Mount Rose
Start Highway 431, 7.8 miles northeast of Highway 28 and 0.3 mile southwest of Mt. Rose Summit. A building and snow-covered road are located on the north side of the highway. Parking is limited; as an alternative start the tour at the parking area located 0.4 mile to the west.

Description   Link to more information about description

This tour to Mount Houghton is an obvious extension of the Relay Ridge tour. It adds 0.8 mile, takes you 327 feet higher than the radio tower on the ridge, and adds a notch of difficulty to the tour. You will be treated to an exciting ski along the narrow ridge in addition to all the scenic attributes of the Relay Ridge tour.

This is one of two tours to Mount Houghton described in this guide. The Mount Houghton Direct tour is "steep and sweet." It makes a bee line from the saddle that separates Third Creek and Galena Creek to the summit and is rated advanced because it is exceptionally steep near the summit. The two tours to Mount Houghton can be combined to form a loop.

A note about safety is necessary. Do not let the road give you false sense of security — the ascent to Relay Ridge and the radio tower crosses avalanche terrain and should not be skied when unstable conditions exist.

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 - 2.4
Elevation change: +550 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski west on the snow-covered road, which gradually turns north up the Third Creek drainage, for a total of 2.4 miles until you reach a saddle (2). The saddle separates Third Creek and Galena Creek.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 2.4 - 2.9
Elevation change: +250 feet

Ski generally west on the snow-covered road for 0.5 mile until you reach the bend in the road (3) at the base of the tramway. In this section, especially near the saddle you are leaving behind, the road may be difficult to discern.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles:2.9 - 3.5
Elevation change: +250 feet

Ski southwest on the snow-covered road for 0.6 mile until you reach a 180-degree turn to the right (4).

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 3.5 - 3.9
Elevation change: +200 feet

Turn north (right) and follow the snow-covered road for 0.4 mile until you reach Relay Ridge and the radio tower (5).

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 3.9 - 4.7
Elevation change: +500, -150 feet

Ascend the ridge to the north for 0.8 mile until you reach the summit of Mount Houghton (6).

Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.7 - 9.4
Elevation change: +150, -1750 feet

Retrace the route for 4.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour