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[TR] Slesse Mountain - Northeast Buttress 8/12/2017

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Trip: Slesse Mountain - Northeast Buttress

 

Date: 8/12/2017

 

Trip Report:

Carl & myself and Doug & Sasha climbed Slesse over the weekend as two teams of two. In summer and with a rope I still found it "very exciting". We timed the weather well, shortening our schedule and climbing the buttress all on Saturday to avoid being on wet rock in bad weather on Sunday.

 

Friday evening we staged a truck on the Slesse Creek Road (2wd fine) and drove around to the TH on the Nesakwatch Creek Road (higher clearance recommended). Left the trailhead at dark and hiked 2+ hours up to the propeller cairn for a nice bivy. Our plan was to carry our light bivy gear up the route and crash somewhere on the backside if necessary.

 

Saturday we were up at dawn and moving towards the start of the route. The buttress looming above us in the early morning light:

IMG_7210.JPG

 

The pocket glacier was effectively gone, leaving nicely polished slabs to walk up to the bypass ramps.

IMG_7215.JPG

 

We scrambled up the ramps and all the way to a small gendarme several hundred feet up the route. If you're comfortable getting across an exposed 4th class step around midway up the ramp then you should have no problem making it to the gendarme unroped. Starting up the ramps:

IMG_7221.JPG

 

We made it from the gendarme to the big bivy ledge via the direct buttress in 5 pitches with a bit of simuling. The crux 5.10 pitch was fun and juggy. The 5.9 pitch above it had a short tricky step that we thought was the hardest move of the climb. Carl leading the crux pitch:

IMG_7232.JPG

 

There's still some patchy snow for water above the bivy ledge:

IMG_72371.JPG

 

From the bivy ledge we made it to the summit in 6 pitches with a bit more of simuling. Carl arriving at the Slesse Sheraton with the buttress laid out below:

IMG_7247.JPG

 

Overall it took about 9 hours of efficient roped climbing up the route. Views on top were shrouded in smoke and clouds. Baker:

IMG_7256.JPG

 

Shuksan:

IMG_7257.JPG

 

Summit cheese:

IMG_7285.JPG

 

The register was an impressive read. "Very exciting" indeed:

IMG_7270.JPG

 

We crashed all the way back down to the truck around midnight, just as the first drops of rain started to fall. Perfect timing!

 

Gear Notes:

Crampons and an axe were not needed nor carried.

 

Approach Notes:

The trail is well marked and beaten in. It's amusing to read older trip reports about folks bashing through brush on the approach. It's a highway at this point.

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Lots of flowing water at the propeller cairn. Two weeks ago there was decent sized snow patch(es) above the big bivy ledge which may still be there. My guess is yes. You won't know until you hit the ledge though. There was also a smaller snow patch at the summit that may not still be there.

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