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#1155476 - 07/05/17 12:25 PM [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Trip: Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge

Date: 7/3/2017

Trip Report:
Last year I attempted Dome and Sinister but only got Dome. I had plans to go back and bag the N Face via the Agnes Creek approach. With the snow pack and late-notice partner bailing I opted for the standard approach. And I had 4 days.

The plan was to move heavy packs up to the bivy sites at 8700' on Dome in two days, then summit the N face of Sinister on day 3, move back towards the cars a bit, then finish the hike out on Day 4. We got most of the plan done except we bailed on the N face and opted for the "sure thing".

My pack at the cars weighed 47 lbs on the way in and 42 on the way out. We used approach shoes for Downey Creek Trail and part of Bachelor, so carrying mountaineering boots accounted for some of the weight. The rest was food and gear.

The approach took 11 hours. I really felt the heavy pack. The Bachelor Creek trail was better than I recall from last year. A lot of the deadfall has now been pounded flat and bootpath established around and over it. The old stream crossing has now been completely abandoned in favor of the "bypass" at 4000' and there has been some gardening done in there on the slide alder. There is a clear path through this section.

Allthough I'd like to use flowery language here and say that we had a vegetation ass-raping or scrubbed our teeth with foliage, I can't really. It was long and time-consuming but not horrible. Perhaps I am just inured to this type of terrain? Perhaps it's the beat-down of life finally wearing me down to submission? Thank you sir, can I have another?

We arrived at Cub Lake around 7 pm. It was frozen over and nobody was camping there.


Most folks were camping in the flats or on the benches just past Cub Lake. So did we. There was an army of people there - it was almost like being in the Enchantments. Crazy!

We got up at 5am on Sunday and hiked up to the bivy spots on Dome. It took about 7 hours with the heavy packs. The standard trail was still snowy and there was fresh stuff breaking off the waterfalls so most folks went up the bypass to Itswoot. So did we.

View from Itswoot in the morning:


I collapsed in my bivy for a bit waiting for the party of 8 Mountaineers on the summit to start back. My partner and I then climbed up there. The ridge was melted back plenty so we could scramble right up to the crux and quickly belay it. While on the summit clouds blew in and got worse all evening and most of the night.

Sinister from our bivy spot:


Looking close at the N face a crack was visible with several holes on the left and right of it. I did not like the looks of this. My partner was sure we could bypass it. After haulting 40+ lbs of shit up over two days I wanted a "sure thing" and no shenanigans so I pussed out and talked my partner into bailing on the N face and doing the standard.

Big crack mid-way up the N face of Sinister:


Alarms went off at 3:40 am and we were surprised by a clear sky. We were off to sinister!

Sunrise!


Views were glorious on the Chickamin Glacier.



There were serious crevasses and seracs en route to the Dome-Sinister col but a good boot path wound around them. Right now it's a fairly easy and safe path. I'm not sure how long that will last.

Once at the col we picked a way up that looked scrambly. Soon we were on a 4th class section and pitched out one 40m rope length. From there we scrambled up. My partner opted for the snow slopes on the NW face and even got some steep snice (he reported 70 degree, see 'fins' in the snow in the picture above). I stuck to rock to the right along the W ridge and scrambled class 2 and 3 to the final snowfield (very moderate). We were then on the summit: 3:15 from camp to summit.

Summit shots:




From the register we saw that two parties had summitted so far in 2017- both the day before. We were the third. On the way down two parties of two were headed up. WTF? Sinister is getting busy - and the Bulgers popular!

Descending the W ridge of Sinister. Dome in the background:


We returned to our camp from the first night and decided to stay there. I had stashed a trekking pole and approach shoes there. Separately, under a rock, I had stashed a mountain house wrapper with some garbage inside. Some asshole busy body took my garbage, shoved it in my shoes, and left a passive-agressive note, lecturing me about the pristine environment and packing out my stuff. To you, asshole, I left that garbage under a rock to keep the critters out, separate from my poles and shoes, so the critters were not attracted to them. The garbage was always meant to be packed out. And it was -along with much more. Next time mind your own fucking business and don't jump to conclusions. fahq




Gear Notes:
Standard Glacier gear. 40 m rope was a bit short for our rappel.

Approach Notes:
Bachelor Creek
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#1155478 - 07/05/17 05:33 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Passive aggressive crowds at Itswoot Ridge?? Beat in trail up Bachelor creek? Say it ain't so! How times change....

That's a beautiful area, and a difficult summit to reach. Nice work!
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#1155485 - 07/06/17 11:40 AM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
scottk Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 68
TRs: 5 Photos: 16
Loc: Seattle Area
We were hanging out on Itswoot Ridge when you came back through. Thanks to you and all the other parties that put in a nice boot track over to Sinister and back.
We were rather surprised by the crowds. I'm hoping it's just one weekend a year that this occurs since it's an attractive destination for a 4-day weekend in early July. Given the recent reports of bergschrund issues on Sinister, it's a pretty narrow climbing window. Hopefully, they never get serious about maintaining the Bachelor Creek trail. Otherwise, this area is going to look pretty over-used in a few years.

Too bad about the nasty note. Approach shoes, poles, garbage? Seems like a good working assumption that you left behind a few items to pick up on the way out.

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#1155486 - 07/06/17 03:15 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: scottk]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Originally Posted By: scottk
We were hanging out on Itswoot Ridge when you came back through. Thanks to you and all the other parties that put in a nice boot track over to Sinister and back.
We were rather surprised by the crowds. I'm hoping it's just one weekend a year that this occurs since it's an attractive destination for a 4-day weekend in early July. Given the recent reports of bergschrund issues on Sinister, it's a pretty narrow climbing window. Hopefully, they never get serious about maintaining the Bachelor Creek trail. Otherwise, this area is going to look pretty over-used in a few years.

Too bad about the nasty note. Approach shoes, poles, garbage? Seems like a good working assumption that you left behind a few items to pick up on the way out.


Yeah, that was way too many people frown Keep Bachelor Creek wild and brutal!

Hope you had a great climb!
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#1155487 - 07/06/17 03:32 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
So how many people total up on Dome and Sinister this past weekend?
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#1155490 - 07/06/17 05:39 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Originally Posted By: JasonG
So how many people total up on Dome and Sinister this past weekend?


Sinister: 5 or 6 on Sunday, 6 on Monday. That I know of.
Dome: Hell, 30? 40? I don't know for sure
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#1155493 - 07/06/17 09:15 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
That is just plain crazy. I never would have imagined numbers like that up there. The couple of times I've been to Dome and Sinister it felt like one of the most lonely spots in all of the Cascades.
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#1155494 - 07/06/17 09:45 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Originally Posted By: JasonG
That is just plain crazy. I never would have imagined numbers like that up there. The couple of times I've been to Dome and Sinister it felt like one of the most lonely spots in all of the Cascades.


Last year when we went we were alone. WTF, people, stay home on your couches, eat pizza and drink beer. Leave the mountains for me!
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#1155558 - 07/10/17 02:38 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
Juan Sharp Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 72
TRs: 0 Photos: 1
Der Literer,

Hah, just kidding. Regarding Sinister's North Face, the crack that's 2/3rds of the way up ran almost the entire width of the face in mid-August last year. I led up to it on the right and my strong young partner, Dana Bellows, then led about 75 ft. of poorly protected rock to get back onto the snow. Had I stayed far left below the crack, the snow was probably continuous. In other words, for others considering the North Face, the crack is not a show-stopper. Our challenges had more to do with the very broken up glacier getting to and from Sinister via the D-C Col. And, of course, the dreaded "Ice Bear," which was pretty spooky. See the TR by Bellows from last August.

Now that so many more people are heading in to the area let's hope they act as good stewards of the environment. It's a special place.

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#1155559 - 07/10/17 02:56 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: Juan Sharp]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Originally Posted By: Juan Sharp
In other words, for others considering the North Face, the crack is not a show-stopper.


Totally. It's just I made a trip there last year and got turned around. After a two day approach with a full pack this year on my second attempt I wanted a "sure thing".
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#1155561 - 07/10/17 03:12 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
Juan Sharp Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 72
TRs: 0 Photos: 1
Makes sense. Too far to go to get turned around. Any ground bees yet on the BC trail?

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#1155562 - 07/10/17 03:14 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: Juan Sharp]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
Originally Posted By: Juan Sharp
Makes sense. Too far to go to get turned around. Any ground bees yet on the BC trail?


Nope. Life was as good as it can be there smile
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#1155596 - 07/12/17 12:56 PM Re: [TR] Sinister Peak - NW Face/W Ridge 7/3/2017 [Re: KaskadskyjKozak]
Gaucho Argentino Offline
member

Registered: 08/13/10
Posts: 172
TRs: 12 Photos: 124
Loc: Seattle
FYMF!!!!
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