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bonathanjarrett

[TR] - Torment-Forbidden Traverse 7/8/2012

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Trip: - Torment-Forbidden Traverse

 

Date: 7/8/2012

 

Trip Report:

Partner and I banged out the T-F traverse on Monday, after an amazing lightning show over J-Berg for most the night. We found good conditions, minimal route finding issues, and patient parties on the West Ridge that allowed us to nicely play through both going up and going down.

 

There is plenty of beta floating around already, so I will just give you what you came for: pics.

 

Torment From Afar

Torment2.JPG

 

Conditions at the base of the SE Face

Base_of_SE_Face_Torment.JPG

 

Climbing above the moat onto the SE Face

Ascending_from_moat_crossing_to_SE_Face.JPG

 

Traversing 4th Class

Traversing_4th_class_to_base_of_the_West_Ridge_of_Forbidden.JPG

 

Traversing Steep Snow

Traversing_steep_snow_early_on.JPG

 

Snow_traverse.JPG

 

Getting back on the rock

Back_onto_the_4th_class_ledge_system.JPG

 

Traversing the sidewalk (caught the theme yet?)

Along_the_sidewalk.JPG

 

Summit of Forbidden

Jonathan_on_Summit_of_Forbidden.jpg

 

Descending from the West Ridge of Forbidden

Descending_Couloir_2.JPG

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caught the theme yet?

Photos of me catching my breath? :laf:

 

Here’s a longer version –

 

Jonathan and I met in Everett Sunday afternoon intending to climb Torment and descend to the first bivy site at the Torment Col and then complete the traverse to Forbidden on Monday. With a clear sky, and wanting to pack light, we only brought sleeping bags and pads, no shelter.

 

Upon arriving at Boston Basin less hydrated (it was hot!) and not as early as we’d planned, we prudently decided to camp there overnight and make a 3 am departure for Torment. Thunder and lightning started just after dark, putting on a show over Johannesburg and reinforcing the intimidating nature of that mountain. Rain started pelting our down bags sometime after midnight and continued until 4:00am. While snuggled into my damp bag, I thought the day was shot and we’d probably slog out after dawn or at best, salvage a climb of the West Ridge of Forbidden if the weather had improved. At 4:30 we realized the sky had completely cleared and after a quick breakfast, were on the approach to the ridge.

 

We chatted about the potentially revised agenda and talked through the different factors, (route conditions, team, did our wardrobe match, weather, etc.) eventually deciding to stick with our original plan despite concerns of a late start and not having matching gaiters. :rolleyes: We reached the head of the Taboo Glacier at about 6:30 am and Jonathan launched over the schrund and up the South East face of Torment, reaching the summit by 8:30, setting the prompt pace for the rest of the day. With the register quickly signed, we carefully down climbed to the Col and made the rap onto the north side of the ridge. Jonathan improvised a fireman’s rap for me so I wouldn’t have to attempt the dyno tool stick :shock: that he skillfully performed to snag the lip of the glacier from the overhanging rock face. I don’t consider myself a complete slouch but my partner for this climb was incredibly fit and competent, graciously allowing me to draft behind him and really enjoy the route.

 

From there, the route is pretty straightforward, there are a lot of options that seem feasible, some just more efficient than others. We made a lot of snow/rock transitions and with the soft snow, crampons weren’t really necessary for much of the climb. I sure appreciated the security of two tools on the “steep snow traverse”. The quality of the rock improves as the traverse progresses and eventually the intermittent snow gave way to pleasant ridge running on dry rock.

 

We reached the West Ridge Col sometime around noon and after a quick break, continued climbing (incorporating a sit start) up the enjoyable west ridge, keeping one or two pieces between us, flipping the rope behind horns and flakes, only stopping when Jonathan ran low on gear and to give me a formal belay at the “crux” 5.6 move. Encountering two other parties on the West ridge that graciously allowed us to squeeze by; we summited and returned to the Col by 2:30 pm, down climbed the West Ridge Couloir and back to Boston Basin by 4:30 pm.

 

We gladly drank a bunch of water upon reaching the slabs above camp as I had underestimated my stove fuel and had only consumed about 3 liters of water each throughout the day, attempting to augment hydration by eating snow while on the move. I estimate that I lost 7-8 lbs of water weight during the day and experienced crazy old man cramps in my hands like never before. :cry: If Jonathan was hurting, it never showed.

 

As reputed, this is a very enjoyable route that is reasonable to do in a long day from Boston Basin although I can see why most prefer to bivy on the ridge. It’s a great position, ample of water sources and plenty of good platforms. We finished the day at the BBQ Caboose in Marblemount, good food after an awesome day with a great partner in the North Cascades. :moondance:

 

 

 

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That snow traverse looks pretty tame compared to photos I've seen of it late season. :eek: Looks like you guys had a great trip!

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Awesome work! I was wondering about you guys when the T-storms rolled thru the Skagit Sunday night. I'm glad you weren't up on the ridge, though it sounds like it was mainly over J-Berg? You also avoided death by snaffle, which is a real possibility if you camp just before the snow traverse. Just ask the runningdog...

 

That is a classic trip, glad it worked out!

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Nice!

 

Most parties seem to go from Torment to Forbidden, but I have wondered about the idea of climbing the E Ridge of Forbidden to start the traverse, and then going from Forbidden to Torment. Seems like a more aesthetic route, since it has no backtracking.

 

I guess it might be a bummer to watch rock quality deteriorate for the whole time between peaks, and maybe the descent down Torment is not so great?

 

What do you think?

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Finding a route up onto Torment could be tricky.

 

There's a bunch of rap stations coming down the SE Face of Torment, but it is a chossy place to be pulling ropes. Not sure I'd want to descend that way. You might be able to down climb the South Ridge with one rap.

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I've down climbed torment after getting injured, it pretty much sucked ass

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I'd recommend the east ledges descent on Forbidden. It is much faster than down climbing the west ridge and makes for a full traverse experience. It is nice to finish with the stellar rock on the west ridge too, and descending Torment isn't as nice as descending Forbidden, having done both.

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i would not recommend the east ledges descent when the west ridge couloir is still a go. loose, dirty, and generally unpleasant IMO.

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I've down climbed torment after getting injured, it pretty much sucked ass

 

What the heck happened?

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I'd recommend the east ledges descent on Forbidden. It is much faster than down climbing the west ridge and makes for a full traverse experience. It is nice to finish with the stellar rock on the west ridge too, and descending Torment isn't as nice as descending Forbidden, having done both.

 

For those competent enough to do the T-F traverse, the east ledges are reasonable, but I still think they suck pretty bad. Loose, shitty, unprotectable, nervewracking. I do agree it is cool as far as taking your route clear around the mountain. YMMV!

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Bronco, where did you hang your food? Any trees in the basin? I hear there's bears up there.

 

Your law-abiding pal,

 

Juan

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Bear canisters are the only NPS approved option these days...a bother on technical climbing for sure, especially given that bears will not be up on the T-F Traverse (or Jberg, NR Forbidden, etc). Rodents on the other hand...

 

You can suggest comments to the NPS for on-route/uber-high bivy food securing options: noca_wilderness@nps.gov

 

Thanks for the tracks, BTW. :tup:

 

Quoted document below

-------

 

Backcountry Food Storage: Update of Policy, April 2012

 

To protect visitors and wildlife and to provide for clear food storage

direction, during 2011 the National Park Service proposed phasing in the

mandatory use of approved portable hard-sided food storage canisters for

certain areas (not the entire park) by 2012. During the summer of 2011,

however, many issues were raised that do not yet have resolution (for

example, the efficacy of Ursack products, electric fences, etc.). Some of

these issues are currently being researched and tested, and thus

implementation of canister requirements are being delayed until there is

greater clarification and resolution on these issues.

 

Thus, park regulations for proper food storage remain unchanged. Currently

there are only two approved methods for storing your food and scented items

in the backcountry: hanging (minimum 10 feet off the ground, 4 feet from

any tree limb or trunk) or using an approved hard-sided container. Ursacks

and electric fences are not currently approved as proper food storage

devices on their own. Ursack products have been shown to fail with both

bears and rodents. The latest Ursack model, with aluminum liner, is being

considered for approval, as are electric fences, but neither method is

approved at this time. There are many camping areas where it is either

exceedingly difficult or completely impossible to hang food properly. In

many of these areas food storage violations have resulted in wildlife that

is becoming conditioned to human food. Proper food storage in the

wilderness is essential to safeguarding the health and safety of visitors

and wildlife, and is crucial to maintaining the park’s wilderness

character. Human food is an attractive source of calories for many animals,

including rodents, marmots, goats, bears, deer, etc.

 

Areas under consideration for mandatory food storage canisters include:

Desolation, Fireweed, Fisher, Hooter, Junction, Monogram, North Fork,

Pierce Mountain, Sahale Glacier, Sourdough, Thornton Lakes, Thunder Basin,

Trapper Inlet, and Whatcom camps as well as Boston Basin, Hidden Lake, and

Tapto cross-country zones. These areas have been selected for one or more

of the following factors: 1) hanging food is either very difficult or

impossible due to the nature of the vegetation or lack of trees suitable

for hanging; 2) wildlife have obtained food from a hang and have become

human-food-conditioned, making hanging food risky and merely a delaying

mechanism; and 3) presence of bears and/or other wildlife is high.

 

To provide feedback or to discuss comments, questions or concerns, please

contact the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 854-7245 or email

noca_wilderness@nps.gov.

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Juan,

 

In abiding by my light and fast ethic, we didn't eat in order to cut pack weight so deterring bears, rodents, etc was a non-issue.

 

Edited by bonathanjarrett

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While checking in at the Marblemount Ranger Station, I overheard that they've done away with the climbing registration book. Now you should leave your itinerary with family/friends along with the phone number for the climbing rangers.

 

Speaking of that,there were a couple of rescues this weekend:

 

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/4-injured-climbers-rescued-from-N-Cascades-National-Park-162531766.html

 

Juan: I thought those blue bags the rangers give you were for storing food. Remember we found some full of Baby Ruth candy bars and napkins in the creek up on Mt. Baker? :anger:

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I heard that they're still doing the voluntary climber registration, but as part of your permit process -- no longer a check-out,check-back-in self service book.

 

 

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