This scramble had been on my list to do solo some time when I felt like moving fast in the mountains. It just so happened that Erica was up for joining me, so we piled my mountain bike and cyclocross bikes inside my car and drove up on Sunday morning. We eventually found the gated bridge, geared up, and started riding at about 9:30am, only to quickly realize why the book suggested pushing the bikes—it was steeper than expected and biking with a backpack on is a pain.
At the trail turnoff, we left the bikes. About 2 hours brought us to the "trailhead" at 4,000 feet where we left our running shoes. From there, we headed up snow and then quickly started scrambling our way along the ridge. There were only a few sections steep enough to give Erica pause and we finished scrambling our way to the summit at 3:30pm.
Another party had climbed the ridge with skis on their backs and we waited at the top for them to try skiing the face since it was a warm day and we were a bit worried about the slope letting loose. Thankfully, the snow on the North Face was perfect and there weren't any issues. We down-climbed the first 100 feet or so before plunge-stepping and glissading down the rest of the way.
A brief bushwhack brought us back to our shoes and then another bit on the trail brought us to our bikes. Coasting down was marvelous—I'll miss that on future descents for sure!