Mt. Fury East Peak Single PushDate:
Colin Abercrombie and I climbed the East Peak of Mount Fury in a single push in 25 hours roundtrip. It was one of the most scenic days I have spent in the mountains, but also one of the most exhausting. We were very fortunate to have perfect weather and great route conditions. I couldnít have asked for a better partner for this undertaking and we were extremely happy to summit Fury after skipping it on our Luna cirque traverse in 2005
. Location (Elevation): Time Elapsed / Split / Real Time
Big Beaver Camp (1,800 ft) : 0
Big Beaver Log Crossing (~2,500 ft) : 2:36:59
Head of Access Creek (4,200 ft) : 4:45:44
Luna Col (7,200 ft) : 7:21:48
Arrive Summit (8,288 ft) : 10:48:52
Depart Summit (8,288 ft) : 11:20:13
Luna Col (7,200 ft) : ~14:50
Head of Access Creek (4,200 ft) : ~17:20
Big Beaver Log Crossing (~2,500 ft) : ~20:30
Big Beaver Camp (1,800 ft) : ~25:00
We rode the boat over to Big Beaver camp in the afternoon and got some rest. We were up at 2:20 am and off on the trail at 3:00 am. The Big Beaver trail continually undulates, but we didnít feel the gradual inclines and declines at this point because we were fresh (not so on the way back!). We made good time to Luna Camp and then dropped down to the Big Beaver shortly afterwards. We stumbled upon a great log crossing in a short amount of time and began heading up the slope on the south side of Access Creek.
The going was rough at first with thick huckleberry but then the forest became open and travel was surprisingly fast. We crossed over to the north side of the stream where the slide alder patches began. We stayed on the north side until the 3,900 ft level and then ascended boulder fields up to the head of Access Creek. The mosquitoes were horrendous here so we kept moving. It felt good to reach the 6,100 ft notch in the ridge and see the classic view of the Southern Pickets.
I had forgotten how long it takes to traverse the basin and ascend to Luna col. We first descended a few hundred feet to a bench and then ascended steep heather, slabs, and snowfields to the col. The ridge walk from Luna Col to the Southeast Glacier was super fun with outrageous views in every direction.
Luna Lake and Luna Cirque
Mount Fury from the ridge.
Luna Cirque panorama from ridge.
Once off the ridge, we traversed snow slopes and rounded the buttress using a key ledge at 6,800 feet. The glacier was in good shape with few crevasses to negotiate, but we could see how this glacier could really open up later in the season or in a lower snow year.
Traverse to the Southeast Glacier
The Southeast Glacier of Fury.
The final couple hundred feet of 40 degree snow to the summit arÍte was tiring due to the heat and the effort we had already exerted, but we were very happy to reach the summit.
Final snow slopes to the summit.
We signed the register, ate, rested, and took photos for a half an hour.
View of Fury West Peak, Baker, and Shuksan
We were able to descend the glacier fast, but the ridge portion took longer because there is a net elevation gain on the way back to Luna col. We also stopped to soak in the tremendous views.
Glissading down from the snow arÍte.
Lots of taking crampons on and off. Here we decided to leave them on for a stream crossing.
Fury looking wicked in the afternoon.
Downclimbing the 5.0 step on the ridge.
Luna from the ridge.
View north to Redoubt, Spickard, and Mox Peaks.
We took a break at Luna col and then continued on hoping to cover as much ground as possible before dark. The descent down to the head of Access Creek took almost as long as the ascent with loose rocks and slippery heather. It grew dark just as we reached the woods on the lower part of Access Creek. Nighttime travel was slow through the brushy lower section, but we finally reached the Big Beaver and a found a log across the river a few minutes downstream of the confluence of Access Creek and Big Beaver. This was the 12 inch log mentioned in the previous trip report. Iím sure the easier, safer log crossing we used in the morning was just slightly further downstream, but it was dark and we were tired. Ascending the slopes on the other side of the Big Beaver, we missed the intersecting trail and spent a few minutes backtracking. We had intended to jog the 11 miles of trail back to the Big Beaver camp, but with 6 miles to go it was a walking affair. We finally arrived at Big Beaver at 4 am and got some much needed rest.
We had originally hoped to climb Fury in 20 hours roundtrip. Judging by the mileage and the elevation gain, this estimate seemed reasonable at the time. However, our memories from the 2005 traverse must have faded and we quickly found out that every off trail mile of this trip was rugged and physically taxing. There is definitely a price to be paid to climb Fury, but I thought it was totally worth it! Gear Notes:
La Sportiva Exum Ridge Scrambling shoes, crampons, axe, jungle juice, gaiters. Approach Notes:
Lots of mosquitoes!!
There are at least two log crossings across the Big Beaver.
We also walked back the 7 miles from Big Beaver to Ross Dam the next morning. Good idea?? No, haha.