|Length||9.4 miles round trip|
|+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.|
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.
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).