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  1. 9 points
    Trip: Mount Goode - Megalodon Ridge Trip Date: 07/19/2021 Trip Report: “Hey bear!” I shout, followed by a convincing monkey call from Sean. We are only a couple hundred yards away from the trail, but swallowed deep in the eight foot tall slide alder of the North Fork of Bridge Creek. Maybe we’re off route, maybe there is no route. A couple days prior Sean and I had been throwing around ideas for the weekend. Sean was interested in something hard on CBR, while I was craving some choss and adventure. Being the great friend and partner that he is, Sean agreed to my idea of Goode, and adjusted his schedule to fit mine. Meeting at the parking lot on Sunday, I ask Sean how comfortable he is soloing most of the ridge. He’s psyched on the idea, and I’m psyched to slim down the rack. I ditch the 4 and a few other pieces. With that I grab a couple bubbly waters to stash in a creek along the way and we’re off. In classic fashion, Sean takes off jogging almost immediately, it feels so good to be moving. The hiking flies by and we soon find ourselves stumbling down an alder infested hillside down to Bridge Creek. With no obvious entry point on the other side, we start hiking upstream along the river bank until the alder overtakes us, and we’re forced to wade up stream in the biting glacier melt water. Just in time for my feet to go fully numb, I find a narrow tunnel through the brush and out of the river. After a brief bout of screaming barfies we’re off and moving again. From this point, things got a little weird. All previous reports of this route seemed intentionally vague about how to gain the ridge. The alpine basin that looked like steep meadows on the map proved to be alder choked waterfalls. After re-reading Dan’s TR, I’m pretty sure we cut up the hill too early and endured some hellish bushwacking. Following the waterfall a little further seems like a better idea. Once re-birthed from the thicket, we followed a loose low 5th class gully up to the ridge crest. Freedom at last! The trudge up the treed ridge felt like it went on for eternity. Every roll, followed by another buttress and so on. It was at this point in the day that the true enormity of Jens and Dan’s single push effort set in. We were tired, and the idea of continuing up the ridge did not appeal. Maybe with tiny packs and perfect approach beta, but even then... As we tucked in for the night, a small plane flew circles around the summit. I assumed it could only be John Scurlock. After a nice night nestled into a bed of heather, we woke with the sun and enjoyed a warm pot of coffee to start the day. The initial part of the ridge proper was phenomenal. Highly textured white stone flowed up the mountain in a stunning spine feature. This section up to the first point would be a classic route on it’s own. I can not overstate how good the rock was through this section. Just perfect scrambling. Now atop point 8200, a cold wind ripped from the shady south side, adding to the intimidation of the ominous drop off ahead. Rather than onsight down-solo into the abyss, we opted to rope up here and simul down to the notch. This section did not boast the same quality rock, but made for comfortable down climbing with adequate protection. Once down, we again unroped and began back up to SE peak. Scrambling across this ridge was an incredible experience. I found myself falling into a flow state unlike much other. The climbing isn’t too hard, nor very sustained, so you are really able to enjoy the movement. Finally below the headwall, we roped up again. I lead a long somewhat loose and scary pitch of 5.9 slightly to the right of the FA party’s route. It went, but I can’t say I recommend it. Sean then took the lead, and after bailing on a N-side option, led an incredible 55m pitch up and left through splitter corners and up a striking arete feature. This pitch onward is definitely the same route that the FA party took. The last ~70m pitch took me up a very poorly protected arete composed of brick sized loose blocks up onto the ridge. As Blake says, “no lifeguard on duty here”. Sean questing the wrong way. Now with the biggest obstacle behind us, we basked in the sun before unroping and scrambling down to the snow patch, and top of the ski line. Things had gone very smoothly up to this point, so we took our time hanging out and brewing up. Sitting there looking at the steep grey ice, and rotten gendarmes was making me nervous. We only had one chintzy light axe between the two of us and no crampons. If there wasn’t a way around, we would be in a pretty bad spot. As we scampered further up the ridge, I theorized how we could dead-man some rocks to rap down the snow and swing over to the other side. Once over the ridge, I was relieved to find a casual (albeit shitty) scree slope taking us around the back side. More scrambling took us through looser and more convoluted gendarmes up towards the Black Tooth notch. Roping up one last time, I lead down and around the final gendarme into black tooth notch. I found this pitch to be easier than the proposed 5.10 grade, probably 5.8 or 5.9 and truly well protected. Maybe after 11 hours of FA questing with big packs this could feel like 10-. A short simul block took us to the summit and nap time! Having mentally prepared for an epic 12+ hour day, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive on the summit in the early afternoon with plenty of day to spare. We had full water bottles and a full seven hours to nap and enjoy the views. Life is Goode! The descent sucked, and the hike out only sucked for the last hour. Too many good photos to share in this TR. Our full photo album can be found HERE Gear Notes: If Simuling/pitching out most of the ridge Double rack .1-2 Single 3&4. If scrambling all but the cruxes, a single rack .1-3 should be fine. Small cams in the .1-.2 range are most useful. Fish themed snacks. Approach Notes: IDK, try and gain the ridge as soon as possible? Follow the waterfall? Maybe someone who has done it right will chime in.
  2. 9 points
    Trip: West Fury - Mongo Ridge Trip Date: 07/05/2021 Trip Report: In our relentless pursuit to ride the coattails of THE Wayne Wallace, Priti and I made the second ascent of Mongo Ridge (the SW Ridge of West Fury in the Northern Pickets of the North Cascades). It is a Stegasaurus ridge which rises 4,000ft over a mile from Goodell Creek punctuated by thick clusters of gendarmes that look like they’re straight out of the Karakoram. We first heard about Mongo when Wayne came to speak for a BOEALPS - Boeing Employees Alpine Society Banquet in 2015 and regaled a captive audience with his bold adventures. We warmed up Wayne's feature presentation with a talk on our trip to Patagonia climbing Aguja de l'S. Then Wayne came on stage talking about Mongo, making de l'S look like a mole-hill. Wayne climbed this route in 2006 SOLO, like a boss, questing into unknown terrain that easily could have landed him into mandatory hard free climbing. With vertiginous cliffs on both sides, he knew that bailing from the route was not an option and that he had to climb whatever the mountain presented. The difficulties on the route were up to 5.9, with an additional 5.10b pitch (a routefinding error), but the towers presented possibilities up to 5.11 if we weren’t lucky enough to have Wayne’s beta. The first ascent is one of the legendary, mythical ascents of the Cascades and even of the climbing world. After 15 years, only a handful of folks to my knowledge have even considered attempting it again. The bottom half of the ridge has four narrow towers which require you to summit and rappel in order to make vertical progress on the ridge. Long, double-rope rappels and hard technical climbing discouragingly makes it take hours just to ascent 100ft at times. Above these four towers are the “Rooster Comb” and the “Pole of Remoteness” (named by John Roper who figured it was the hardest place to get to in the lower 48). After Tower 4 and before the Rooster Comb, we scramble traversed low around each of these features and did not summit the Pole of Remoteness since it was getting dark and we did not bring bivy gear. At Wayne’s suggestion, we planned to climb camp-to-camp which was situated at the summit of East Fury. This means that while we did ascend the topographic feature of Mongo Ridge to the summit of West Fury, we did not truly climb “Wayne Wallace’s Mongo Ridge” in the manner that he climbed, including many more pitches of technical terrain. When we talked to Wayne in 2019, I told him that “Somebody needs to repeat this route, just so the world can understand what you accomplished.” It’s impossible to understand the scale of this route without being on it, competing as “one of the largest features on any mountain anywhere.” “You have to climb a major mountain [East Fury] just to start a most major climb.” Even with Wayne’s pictures and descriptions, we were still filled with dread as we attempted to route-find up each tower. While I am proud of what we did accomplish, I am still shaken at the boldness and audacity of the first ascent. Our tale should be considered a celebration of that event. Wayne called it Alpine Grade VI, but Beckey downgraded it to V deeming it (incorrectly imho) similar in commitment to Slesse NE Buttress (ref. Cascade Alpine Guide Book 3, pg. 118). We concur with Wayne's Grade VI rating, although I won't be even slightly offended if anyone wants to challenge the grade while ensconced in sofa cushions. Our itinerary: -7/3/21: 2PM boat ride from Ross Lake Resort to Big Beaver TH. Bivy in Access Creek basin. -7/4/21: Access Creek Basin to East Fury Summit. Left summit bivy in situ. -7/5/21: 23hr day camp-to-camp including Mongo Ridge and the traverse from West Fury to East Fury. -7/6/21: East Fury to Access Creek Basin -7/7/21: Access Creek Basin to Big Beaver TH. 2:30PM boat back to RLR. Here are collected links regarding Wayne's FA, for reference: https://waynewallace.wordpress.com/2014/05/ http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP19/climbing-note-fury https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/21/sports/othersports/21outdoors.html http://www.alpenglow.org/nwmj/07/071_Mongo.html http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/12200713002?fbclid=IwAR0iS9vNBvJ1XUQPOTPIXy8eymiTsuWFHI5TJtuAvLJUNb5LknfgeYgTriI Scurlock Picture: https://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/65948954 I won't go through too much detail on our approach to Luna Col and East Fury, since it is detailed well in many other places: https://onehikeaweek.com/2020/08/02/mount-fury/ http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8021967 (specifically useful here is the traverse from East Fury to West Fury) Since we planned to do the route camp-to-camp (situated on the summit of East Fury), we studied the traverse from West Fury to East Fury in detail since we figured we'd be onsighting it in the dark to get back to camp. I will point out the "Red Ledge" (pictured above) just past Luna Col is reached by staying directly on the ridgeline from the col to begin the traverse over to East Fury. Past the Red Ledge, the next tower (called "Crux Tower" in some reports) is ascended directly via 4th class ledges and short 5.4 steps. A rope and gear would not be useful here. There is significant foreshortening here, as the route looks much more accessible as you get closer. Unless you're climbing in Winter or Spring, you will not be able to get across the bergshrund (as shown in the Beckey overlay), but instead will traverse left then right to reach the summit arête. Furthermore, the approach to the base of Mongo Ridge from East Fury's summit as discovered by Wayne is the easiest approach. While it is possible to reach Mongo's base via Picket Pass (either by navigating over Outrigger Peak "Southeast Peak" or Otto-Himmel Col), these approaches would be significantly more effort...or bushwhack for days up Goodell Creek. As you approach, notice the grey washboard streak with an overhanging gully. The route will start to the right of this feature. The 4,000ft descent from East Fury's summit may involve a lot of slab if the snow levels are low. We regret not bringing bivy gear on route. An alternative itinerary could be: -Day 1: Big Beaver TH to Luna Col -Day 2: Luna Col to Mongo Ridge Tower 1. Option to leave stove and tent on East Fury Summit as you pass by. There are no good bivouac sites on route. Just bring a sit pad and a sleeping bag and open bivy if splitter forecast. -Day 3: Tower 1 to either East Fury or Luna Col. A note on weather: The Pickets have notoriously unpredictable weather. Even with a splitter forecast, you can still have rain or even storms. Consider a tarp as backup shelter. Crossing the moat is the first crux. The moat is huge! Only found one place where it touched the rock slightly. On the approach, don't come down anything you can't go back up! Here I had to cross a giant moat (unprotectable compact snow), using both Gully tools (then passed the tools down to Priti). A picket here would have been very useful...but that's a big cost. Might have to bury a tool and rap/swing across the moat. Tower 1 was a TIME KILLER! Wayne reported a 5.8 overhang crux which we did not find. Instead we got suckered into a runout 5.10b overhang in the grey washboard gully. Recommend future parties to avoid this gully completely, and instead stay on the face to its right. Our second mistake was getting suckered into a difficult 5.8 grassy gully. Wayne later clarified that he immediately captured the ridge first, then went straight up the ridge (recommended). We started in an obvious chimney (5.6), gaining the face on the left then going right (many variations). After the chimney, we went left to the 5.10b overhanging grey gully instead of going up. It looked harder to gain the face above, but it is 5.8 if you can find Wayne's Way. The slopes to gain the ridge are all STEEP. We breathed a sigh of relief once we were on situated on the upper slopes of Tower 1, but route finding continued to be a challenge. A 30m rappel took us down to the notch between Tower 1 and 2. It seems possible to bail here back down the glacier and back up to East Fury. Perhaps the last legitimate bail option, so we considered the time and knew we would be climbing through the night. Tower 2 is only 2 pitches of 5.7 with no real route finding difficulty and went pretty quickly. The rock is REALLY loose however, so I was careful not to knock anything down on my belayer. Route lines are all approximate by the way! The first double rope rappel from Tower 2 led to the notch between Tower 2 and Tower 3. Tower 3 is the technical crux of the route and another TIME KILLER! It takes hours just to gain 100ft elevation. Once atop, it's demoralizing to look down and see the top of Tower 2 so close. Wayne reported a 5.10a bulge which I think we avoided by staying on and just right of the ridgeline. From the notch between Towers 2 and 3, a 5.4 traverse gains a grassy belay with 5 more pitches above ( 5.9 30m, 5.9 30m, 5.9 30m, 5.9 50m, 5.6 65m). Priti stopped whenever she found a good belay spot. We also hauled packs on 4 pitches expecting 5.10a climbing at any moment. It was real 5.9 climbing, consistently on decent rock for four pitches. Next time, instead of hauling just load everything into the follower pack and leave the leader with a mostly empty backpack instead. We took two backpacks on this climb to evenly distribute weight and bulk while simul-climbing. This was a good method. We consistently trended right above the belay. Higher Hiiiiiigher Hiiiiiiiiiigher Another 60m rappel deposited us to the notch between Towers 3 and 4. Finally, we got through the technical crux and we were losing sun fast! We knew we were in for an open bivy or a heartbreaking omission of the Pole of Remoteness. Tower 4 is another quick one. Two pitches, 5.9 then 5.7. It looks like really hard climbing going straight up! Instead we followed Wayne's advice and traversed out right for ~20m on 5.9 terrain with decent protection, then up following flakes and grass to a good belay. As you start climbing up, the climbing doesn't ease up, but instead is engaging, fun 5.9. Then 65m simul-climb to the summit. A final 50m rappel down to the base of the Rooster Comb. We were a bit confused here since the terrain opened up into a minefield of gendarmes. The Pole of Remoteness was indistinguishable among all of the towers. We knew we had to boogie so we took all the shortcuts that we could find. We noticed that the Rooster Comb could be bypassed on the right on low-5th terrain by taking another 30m rappel, then down climbing and traversing its Eastern flanks to a grassy gully. Wayne went up and over the Rooster Comb, not realizing there was a bypass. The Rooster Comb is very complex with several small flagpoles that required rappels. Wayne describes the final rappel off the rooster comb as a "diagonal rappel" that you can redirect off of horns, after which he flicked the rope to retrieve. There are at least two more intermediate gendarmes between the Rooster Comb and the Pole of Remoteness that we skirted around. Wayne found himself on their left side while we were on their right side. Wayne captured the upper 4th class slopes via a grassy gully (shown above). From here it's all 4th class to the "False Fury" summit. I coin the label "False Fury" because we stared at this point almost along the entire route thinking it was the West Fury Summit, but instead is fairly far from the true West Fury summit. Above is pictured our Rooster Comb bypass route which required an additional 30m rappel (or easy down climb). This was the first time we encountered snow on route, but don't count on it being there! Bring 4L water each. Southern Pickets in all their glory. Wayne traversed around the right side of the Pole of Remoteness to reach the col and summit it from the backside. To climb it directly would probably be 5 pitches of hard, loose climbing. From the notch between "False Fury" and the Pole of Remoteness, Wayne reported 1 pitch of 5.7 to reach the summit of the PoR. There is no anchor on top, so he threw a rope around a loose block and solo downclimbed, using the rope as a backup. If you are a team, consider downclimb-belaying. We sadly felt the need to skip the pole since it was total darkness by the time we got to the notch with a lot of traversing left to go. Once atop "False Fury", we couldn't find the summit register and realized that the real West Fury was maybe .25miles away separated by 4 more gendarmes, first downclimbing (or rappelling) down and right and traversing around the first gendarme, then weaving up, over, and around the others to finally reach the real West Fury summit. Glad to have put in the time to memorize the traverse beta between West and East Fury, it went off slowly but smoothly. One piece of key beta was at the end of Tower 1 (the last tower between the Fury's), you can find a secret 4th class ramp around to the North (climber's left) to find the rappel station that leads to the final push up the slopes back to East Fury. This is a 30m rope stretcher rappel, by the way! Thanks to Wayne for all of your support and encouragement! I think this route is more of a classic in the way that Hummingbird Ridge is a classic. We should really just sit back and marvel at the first ascent. It's a true Picketeering adventure, but loose rock, lack of bail options, and lack of bivy sites is pretty discouraging. The Pole of Remoteness still needs a second ascent, however! But it would a pretty doable day to get to PoR in-a-day from your East Fury bivouac by traversing high along the ridge and scrambling down from "False Fury", then reversing the route. Gear Notes: Single Rack .1 to 2, doubles .3-.75, small cams (TCU 00, TCU0). We like small cams in the Pickets! Small rack of nuts. 1 screw and 1 V-threader for glacier (didn't use). 60m single rope, 60m pull cord (three long rappels + optional pack hauling), 1 Petzl Gully (technical light ice axe) each, 10 single alpine draws, 3 double alpine draws, 1 quad, 50ft 5mm cord for rap anchors (used it all), left three caribeeners on rappel stations, steel horizontal front-point crampons. Approach Notes: Boat from Ross Lake Resort to Big Beaver Creek - Access Creek - Luna Col - East Fury - 4000ft descent on South side - Mongo Ridge - West Fury - Easy Fury
  3. 5 points
    Trip: Darrington - Squire Creek Wall -> Buckeye -> Whitehorse Trip Date: 06/19/2021 Trip Report: @jenny.abegg and I did a linkup of Skeena26 on Squire Creek Wall, Buckeye Peak, and Whitehorse. It was a full value 16 hour day, even with nearly everything going "right". Super fun, if you don't mind some jungling and adventure climbing. The MP approach beta for Skeena26 is spot on. We did not find the bolts until the top of P3, and from there on it was still hard to follow the route as the bolts hide in the shade. The upper section of the buttress above the route is pretty blue collar, as is the top of Squire Creek Wall. We were happy to be on snow climbing up to Buckeye Peak. The ridge heading north from Buckeye was very aesthetic, featuring mid fifth class climbing over steep gendarmes with wild exposure. We did a few pitches and a few rappels and then ended up at the SE Ridge of Whitehorse. The SE Ridge definitely felt a bit fifth class to us for a few hundred feet, but we were definitely pretty tired. It is "Beckey 4th class" after all. The rock is ok. Rappel over the bergschrund, then long hike out. https://climberkyle.com/2021/06/19/the-darrington-rodeo/ D-Town is cool! Skeena26 is definitely worth checking out! Gear Notes: Single 60 m rope was enough. A few moderate sized cams, lots of long runners. Approach Notes: About 6-8 minutes after the official Squire Creek Trail sign, there is a white rock cairn. This marks the trail, which leads down to Squire Creek. Found a log crossing just downstream. Then hike up the trail on the other side.
  4. 5 points
    Trip: 9 Days in the Chiliwack Range - SE Mox, Lemolo. Redoubt, Spickard, NW Mox Trip Date: 06/24/2021 Trip Report: 9 Days in the Chilliwack Range - North Cascades National Park Climbers: Jake Johnson - Fort Collins, CO Adam Moline - Sacramento, CA Emilio Taiveaho - Chapel Hill, NC Summary: Days 1 & 2 - Boat ride and bushwack up Perry Creek Basin Day 3 - SE Mox and Lemolo Day 4 - Move to Camp 7200 at head of Redoubt Glacier Day 5 - Redoubt Day 6 - Spickard and NW Mox Day 7 - Rest / Weather Day Day 8 - Attempt at West Buttress of W Subpeak of NW Mox, return to Perry Creek Day 9 - Hike out and Boat back to civilization A pilgrimage to the North Cascades has become an annual tradition and with climbing partners like Adam and Emilio, the draw to more remote and chossier locations grows steadily with each visit. This trip to the Chilliwack Range marked our first climbs in the Cascades outside of the Pickets. With Covid restrictions complicating entry from Canada, we were stoked about likely having the peaks of this range to ourselves for the week, which it appeared we did. Day 1: The first day of our adventure started as many good adventures do: on 3 hours of anxious sleep. Adam and Emilio had driven up from California on I-5 the day before and picked me up in Seattle in the late evening, not allowing much time for slumber. An early boat ride across Ross Lake to Little Beaver gave us plenty of daylight to trudge up the trail-less Perry Creek valley, but with 10 days worth of food and gear and virtually no sleep, we recognized it wouldn’t be an easy day. Emilio stretching out: The boat ride: 4.5 miles of maintained trail walking provided some early views, and then a comfortable forested grind to the Perry Creek Shelter. Views of Ross on the first mile of the Little Beaver trail: After some initial route finding and stream crossings up the valley, the real schwacking began, and I would agree with all statements of parties that have come before us - some of the densest growth that I’ve forced my body through. A classic North Cascades stream crossing: The best picture I could find of the dense growth sections: A few hours later we were blessed with some talus and space to breathe and refill on water from the creek before plunging back into some older growth for several less abusive miles. A tattered and needle-covered Emilio: Talus relief from the dense brush bushwhacking: By mid afternoon the towering summit of Lemolo was in sight, but the lack of sleep and pounds of pine needles accumulating under our clothing started taking a toll and we found some large boulders in the talus to call home for the evening. Upper Perry Creek Basin: Day 2: The next morning we were faced with a decision: to push hard to the top of the valley and ascend the snowpack to the ridge (our original plan), or to take it a bit easier and settle for camp at the top of the valley. With over a week remaining in the backcountry we opted for the later, and in retrospect this was the right decision. Bushwhacking in the upper portion of the valley: The schwacking re-intensified a bit higher in the valley and we were happy to take the evening to wash our clothes and bodies at the head of Perry Creek. Dinner and a bath at the headwaters of Perry Creek: Some underwear bouldering: Day 3: With an early start, we had the opportunity to make back some time in our schedule. We trudged up the glacier slowly and steadily, gaining the elevation to the ridge with heavy packs over several hours. Steady progress climbing up out of Perry Creek Basin: By midday we were standing at the base of the gully that marks the start of the route up SE Mox (aka Hard Mox). Leaving the packs behind, we quickly soloed the loose but easy pitches to the summit. The initial gully on SE Mox: More exposed climbing on the upper pitches: From here we eyed our primary objective of the trip: a deliciously exposed ridge connecting SE Mox to its sub peak - known as Hardest Mox until Eric Wherley and Rolf Larsen summited it via the East Face in 2007. They dubbed it Lemolo, and the lack of visitors to such a wild and untamed peak was too intriguing for us to resist. Eric was kind enough to share some beta for the region and encourage us to attempt the climb to the summit of Lemolo via the ridge (their descent route after their first ascent of the summit). Looking from SE Mox across to Lemolo: Navigating the first portion of the ridge: After about 2.5 min of admiration and intimidation, we began moving along the ridge and found it to be exactly what we had hoped for; exposed choss with just enough relief to keep me pressing forward. Some sections actually did have some solid stone, and made for some of the most fun 5.fun climbing I’ve done in my life. Adam and Emilio making moves on the traverse: Shot of me on the ridge - This is probably the best photo to demonstrate scale and position of the route: Upon reaching the summit tower of Lemolo, we found Eric and Rolf’s tat from 2007, and we enjoyed the views in all directions, especially savoring the view looking back at SE Mox which few have had the privilege of soaking in. In the event that this traverse to the summit is a new route to the peak, we’d call it “Process and Reality” 5.4 X. Old rappel tat on the Summit of Lemolo: Group summit selfie: “Solo for safety” was the motto of the day, as we avoided roping up and placing gear for all the climbing due to all the loose blocks. The theme was confirmed as we rappelled the SE Mox route - falling rock from pulling the rope provided the most apparent danger we experienced all day. Rappel on SE Mox A bit of caving beneath the upper glacier provided the evening’s water, and we settled onto a steep scree slope for the night. The layers of sky at dusk after a full day of mountain moving brought a smile to my chapped lips as we drifted into dreamland. Bivy just below the route on SE Mox: Day 4: Emilio and I sipped some coffee and enjoyed the morning as Adam descended the upper part of the glacier to retrieve a Croc that had escaped in the night. The versatile footwear was far too valuable to leave behind until our descent back into the valley later in the week. Additionally, the risk of failing to recover it later and littering the most pristine place any of us had ever been was unacceptable. When we finally got moving around midmorning, the going was slow, and our route finding was unimpressive. Most beta for the area assumes an approach from the West, so crossing the Ridge of Gendarmes from the East was a bit of a trick. Convinced that the “canon hole” described by Becky was the intended route, Adam and I waited as Emilio loaded himself into the tight gully only to be shot back out along with some airborne scree. Some failed route finding in unstable gullies: Looking back at SE Mox: We eventually found the correct route and slid and rambled and postholed our way to Camp 7200 beneath the impressive SE crown of Redoubt. View of the long and sunny trudge from Ridge of Gendarmes to Camp 7200: Gnarly broken snow and ice: Camp 7200': Day 5: With the assumption that Mt. Redoubt would probably be an easy 3rd class venture, we prepared ourselves accordingly and set off around midmorning. The glacier walking was smooth and enjoyable without the weight of the packs, and we gleefully scampered up the steeper sections on the south side of the mountain, often stopping to look back and eye lines on Bear Mountain. Climbing towards Mt Redoubt: A wild Emilio and Bear Mountain: I found the towering buttresses of Redoubt to be super impressive, and our gully of choice took us deep within the heart of the mountain. We found ourselves beneath the summit block with a couple of options, all appearing to be 5th class. After making some mental adjustments and reframing the level of focus that would be required, we made the few easy moves without issue. Exploring the low 5th class options to the true summit: Knowing our return to camp would only require an hour or so, we spent the better part of the morning on top of the mountain, hanging in the shade just off the summit and traversing across the buttresses and subpeaks on the summit ridge. A morning spent on the summit of Redoubt: Downclimbing off the summit block required some focus again, but then it was smooth sailing down the gully and joyful plunging on the glacier back to camp. Downclimbing the 5th class: Enjoying views on the slide down: Relaxing in camp: Milky Way: Day 6: After some discussion about how we wanted to spend the remaining days of the trip, it was determined that we would try to double up and hit Spickard and NW Mox on day 6. Again, leaving the packs behind made for smooth glacier walking, and Adam and I were soon following Emilio’s charge up the firm snow of Spickard’s SW couloir in the early morning. SW Couloir of Spickard (taken later in the day): Following Emilio and Adam up Spickard: Views of Silver Lake, a quick stop on the summit, and a descent via the south slopes made for a nice tour of the mountain. Silver Lake as seen from Mt Spickard: It’s worth noting that the prize for “Chossiest Gully” of the trip might go our chosen route back over the ridge from the south slopes of Spickard into the Ouzel Basin. Descending snow beneath the angry gully: Back on the main glacier. NW Mox up next (top left of photo): Next up was NW Mox (aka Easy Mox). Our intent was to ascend via the North Ridge and descend via the West Ridge for variety, so the crampons and axes came along for the ride as we hopped off the snow and onto the long but easy scramble up the ridge. Easy Walking up NW Mox. Spickard in background: Lemolo and SW Mox from NW Mox: The summit block was steep, but in the time it took for me to consider roping up, Emilio and Adam had soloed half of the route with ice axes in hand. Solid rock led to the summit, where we realized that a West Ridge descent might have been more than bargained for. The choices were steep and intimidating downclimbing or more rappels than we had tat for. We reluctantly returned to the glacier via the North Ridge and stumbled back to camp, out of water and a bit delirious. Returning to the shade and water of camp was a dream, but the mountain continued to provide magic to the evening as a Wolverine appeared over the col just yards from camp and charged past us on the snow, clearly startled by our presence. Wolverine on Redoubt Glacier: By the time I grabbed the camera it was a ways off on the Redoubt glacier, but I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. Likely a once in a lifetime encounter for me. Day 7: We awoke to zero visibility. The truth is that we really didn’t have plans for the day, so the weather just confirmed that it would be a rest day in camp - washing of clothes and bodies, yoga, and naps. Watching the fog ride over the rock and ice of these mountains will always be awe inspiring to me, and the lazy day flew by quicker than most. Day 8: After a full week of aggressive calorie deficit, I was feeling lean, mean, and ready to climb. We returned through some thick fog, towards the Ridge of Gendarmes, but stopped at an impressive buttress on the subpeak west of NW Mox. Trekking through the fog: A little break in the fog, revealing the buttress: I had seen several references to this buttress being unclimbed, and we gave the weather some time to stir in hopes of making an attempt. A short break in the fog and a glance up the tower was all it took, and we roped up and moved upwards. I led the first pitch, which was primarily 4th class starting at the right base of the buttress and trending left towards the giant flake. P1, 4th class up a chossy chimney: I brought up Adam and Emilio and then sent upwards again on some steeper climbing. Thankfully the guys had a slight overhang to shield themselves from all the rubble I sent down on them. For about an hour and a half, Adam and Emilio discussed life and risk at the belay as I shouted “rock!” and tried to calm shaking calves. The featured sections I had identified from the ground were typically too loose to be useful, but I was impressed with some fun sections of face climbing that I would call somewhere around 5.8. However, an overhanging section of loose blocks turned me back on my first line. My second choice involved a massive chimney leading far left to the giant flake, but I deemed it unprotectable and not for that day, despite Emilio’s vocal desire to take the lead on it. I worked up again but further to the right sticking more true to the buttress, and this route - despite initially looking the most intimidating - seemed to have the most potential once I was in the thick of it. Again I worked up, 50-100 ft or so, but when I set a nut behind a giant block and the whole thing moved, my remaining stoke for the day was drained. Looking up at the second pitch options: Emilio on rappel: We rappelled back down into the clouds below. Upon reviewing some photos, it appears the steepness of the climbing eases a bit just beyond my high point, and with that knowledge to haunt me, I’m sure we’ll be back to give it another go at some point. A shot of the buttress taken earlier in the week: The remainder of the day included ascending the quicksand up Col of the Wild, and scrambling out of the clouds over Ridge of Gendarmes. Then plunging down the now-much-smaller glacier back to the top of Perry Creek Basin. Day 9: Exiting the long and remote and savage valley was a bit easier than entering it, since we knew what we were up against. We geared up for a long day and plugged away at it. We were surprised to find a jetboil and nalgene perched on a boulder in a talus field, midway down the valley. We certainly didn’t expect to see any signs of recent human activity in the valley, and finding these two items with no other clues left us puzzled. We made note to include it in this trip report to see if we were perhaps not the only party in the Perry Creek valley on 7/3/21. An open section in the Perry Creek jungle: Mystery Jetboil and Nalgene The densest sections of growth towards the bottom of the valley ravaged us as expected, swimming through trees, with many meters of continuous travel without feet contacting ground. Finally - relief as the forest opened up, we crossed the creek, and met the Little Beaver trail. Walking the maintained trail felt like floating and we were at Ross lake in no time. A boat ride across Ross Lake with beautiful dogs on board, and then, with no time to waste, we hauled up to the car to race into Marblemount before the diner closed. Final Thoughts: I believe a successful trip involves a couple things: coming back in one piece, strengthening the bond between friends, completing some objectives, but also - leaving something to be desired. For every objective I complete in these mountains, I come home with at least a dozen more to add to my list. I cannot unsee the dark and intense north faces of Bear Mountain, and I cannot help but think that if I was just a little stronger - mentally and physically - that we might have seen success on our attempt of that buttress. These thoughts will consume me and drive me to be better until I inevitably return again to test myself. Gear Notes: Light rack and too much rope Approach Notes: Type 2 fun
  5. 4 points
    Trip: Crescent Creek - Terror W ridge, wild hair crack, chopping black NE Trip Date: 07/15/2021 Trip Report: Went to the crescent creek area 7/15-18 with Alex. Shwack before terror creek is confusing at times but not exactly heinous. The creek crossing (ford) was easy for us. Trail on the other side is superb, possibly the steepest I’ve hiked, and very beautiful too. Not as enjoyable going down though. Once at the crest the path becomes ambiguous again. Didn’t have any trouble on the way up but somehow kept losing it on the way back. It took a while to reach the 6400’ notch and weather was coming in so we opted to just rest in the evening. We could see only the lower portions of the basin, and the going looked tough from afar. The spires were still a mystery at this point. Top priority for the trip was Wild Hair Crack, and Stoddard was 2nd. We needed two full days of good weather on days 2-3 to pull them both off. Waking to very low visibility on the morning of the 2nd day we called off Stoddard (next time) and planned to push wild hair to day3. We caught up on sleep for a while, finally getting going after noon towards the west ridge of terror as consolation, because the weather didn’t seem to be getting any worse. Traversing the basin ended up not being as bad as it looked. Took an hour to reach the base of the gully leading to Terror. Crux of the day was in the middle of the gully where a break in the snow forced a tenuous step down onto slabby choss and a few moves up from there before returning to snow. On the way back we chopped back snow to excavate an anchor at that spot. If I’m not mistaken the chockstone flexed when I tested it, but we rapped anyway. Poor visibility made it hard to find the start of the route but eventually we did one diagonal pitch from a notch to a slung rock. We unroped and scrambled from here in the mist. Some of the rock on the route is quite nice, more like the granite in the basin than the crap in the gully. Just as we were reaching the summit the cloud layer thinned out. I was remarking that this was glory weather and sure enough, a large white ring formed behind Terror. We got flashes of clear views to Fury and MacMillan. Saw our own halos for a minute then headed back. The climb was done to pass the time during poor weather, but a glory sighting took it to another level, validated the whole day. The weather finally cleared mid morning day3 and we were soon at the Otto Himmel col. The chockstone had fun looking moves on its right side, but probably 5th class so we kept it simple with ledges on the left a little ways below the stone. WHC did not disappoint. I mostly took small cams and they were mostly useless. The first good spot I noticed above the runout chimney is a thin horizontal crack, so some small pro helps. Other than that it seemed like most pro opportunities were in #2-3 range. The climbing was easy and solid enough that I was fine with long run outs. We relished the views up top, calling to the tiny figure over on the summit of Terror, our neighbor for a couple days. Descending with 60m rope worked fine, there are probably more anchors around now than in the past. On our last day we went to the NE side of chopping block, doing some exposed scrambling before roping up at a rap anchor. To my surprise I reached the summit in one 60m from there. This is another great vantage a place to mull over various traverse schemes deep in the backcountry. As we were packing up for the hike back, someone arrived at our spot. It was not his face but his lack of a backpack that helped me correctly guess his identity. Not a lot of people do day trips in the pickets. At least one who does has posted some insane reports here. My suspicion was confirmed and it was nice to meet and chat with dr dirtbag himself A dip in Terror creek and another in Goodell at the end of the trail helped wash away the grind of the descent, literally and metaphorically. Gear Notes: Axe and crampons for gullies Try to keep it light but mostly large in the cams Approach Notes: Useful gpx are out there
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Squire Creek Wall - Concerto in C for Drill and Hammer Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: On Saturday, July 17th I met Brian Young at the Shell station in Darrington for a trip up Concerto in C for Drill and Hammer on Squire Creek Wall. Glad that I'd borrowed Brian's brush cutter earlier this year, the bike ride up the old logging road was pleasant. In no hurry with only the approach to do this day, it took us 3 hours to get to camp. Then we carried our ropes and climbing gear up to the top of Pitch 1, having soloed the easy first pitch, and clipped it all to the anchor there. On Sunday the 18th we awoke at 4:30, first light, and departed after breakfast. At first we worried about the pack weight for the second, as it contained four full water bottles, all drilling gear, a chain anchor, and six bolts with hangers. We even discussed fixing each pitch and the second doing them on jumars. Instead, I tried climbing with it, and not one complaint was aired all day. We climbed rapidly and were at the Bubba Compactor at 7:30am! Brian took Pitch 2, which had me worried, but he cruised it and every even-numbered pitch thereafter. I followed Pitch 10 with no problem with the pack, it was even fun! I noted the piton was still there on Pitch 11; this point didn't seem as scary as on the FA. On Pitch 14 Brian yelled that this was the scariest pitch of the whole route! We noted that a bolt or two would be good on the sandy slabs there. We reached the summit at 2:00. I quickly made ready for drilling the list of fixups, which included: 1) Installing a chain anchor on the summit 2) Adding two bolts to Pitch 14 3) Replacing the piton on Pitch 11 with a bolt 4) Replacing the two quarter-inch buttonheads on Pitch 10 with fat bolts I drilled the summit anchor, and we descended. On the pitches with drilling tasks, we fixed the lead rope and I rapped down it, got on jumars, did the work, and rapped to the next anchor. Then Brian unfixed the rope and rapped both ropes normally. It all got done smoothly but took time and we knew we would be hiking out partly by headlamp. As it turned out, we crossed Squire Creek in the last of the dusky light. We dried off our feet, donned headlamps, hiked and biked down to the trailhead, and reached the cars at around 11:00. The C-shaped route On Pitch 11, with the "inverted prow" on the left Brian taking the summit shot Drilling the top anchor 20210719_002635000_iOS.MOV (an experiment to include a video file, may not work, or may show sideways) Replacing a quarter-inch buttonhead on Pitch 10. When drilling out a smaller hole, you have to make small hits, at first, to keep from binding the drill bit This is now a 14-pitch route, as I measured the remaining rope when Brian reached the "tree belay" atop Pitch 14, and know we could just as well have clambered up the summit blocks to the top. I will be editing the topo and posting it later. While descending high on the ridge we saw two climbers topping out on Skeena26. Good to see that route getting some use. The amazing linkup by Kyle and Jenny will have an effect! My thanks go to a smart, cautious, and patient partner; good on ya' Brian. And thanks, Kellie, for making the suggestion of a bolt on the 'white hump' on Pitch 14, corroborated by Brian; it is now a better pitch. All photos by Brian Young Gear Notes: Standard single rack to 3". Approach Notes: The boot track now has two detours around winter blowdowns. They are pretty well kicked in, watch for the piles of sticks blocking the original way, and turn right.
  7. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: This weekend I roped up with my wife for the first time in several years on an outstandingly beautiful climb. I immediately understood why Becky included Fisher Chimneys in his 100 favorite climbs of North America. We lucked out in every way: fantastic weather that wasn’t too hot or cold, easy route finding up the chimneys, cruiser snow and glacier conditions, and only a few other parties on the summit pyramid scramble. And most importantly, excellent two day child care on the home front! We bivied at the truck Friday night and started hiking Saturday morning. The hike to the chimneys was straight forward, as were the chimneys. We bivied below Winnies Slide, which doesn’t have running water but is a short 10 minute jaunt up to the upper bivies where there is running water. Winnies slide is all steep snow right now. Sunday we were moving at first light. The Upper Curtis is mostly smooth sailing with just a bit of steep snow/ice at the start and some steep snow at the exit up to the Sulphide Glacier. We scrambled up the central gully on the pyramid, putting the rope in my pack and not taking it out until a couple rappels on the way down. Views were spectacular. It took us about 7 hours round trip from our bivy. We had a nice nap back at camp and relaxed for a bit before packing up and heading out. The chimneys took a bit longer going down than they did coming up. We were tired by that point and did a few rappels and were pretty cautious with the exposure in the chimneys. Back at the truck ~8:00 and at home in bed by midnight. Hiking to Lake Ann Spectacular views 24-7 Starting the first scramble section: View of the chimneys. The route finding is fairly obvious once you start up. Relaxing in camp below Winnies Slide Early morning on the Upper Curtis Glacier View of the summit pyramid Katie leading up the central gulley All smiles on top! Parting shot on the drive out Post Script: Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother passed away gracefully at the age of 101 on Saturday night. Sometime around her passing I woke up to look outside and check the weather. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars. I’m not an especially religious person, but in retrospect it seems as though a greater being was calling me out to see her ascend to heaven. RIP Margaret Colson Devot. Gear Notes: Brought a second tool for the steep snow and potential ice but it wasn't necessary Approach Notes: Road closed at Heather Meadows added ~1 mile to the approach
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Mt Index - North-Middle-Main Traverse Trip Date: 07/10/2021 Trip Report: The weekend of the 10th and 11th of July Bobby, Chad, and I spent 2 days climbing the North, Middle, and Main peaks of Mount Index. Done as a traverse from north to south this route offers amazing exposure, complex route finding, and engaging climbing. Most interestingly is the proximity to civilization; the remote feeling you get high up on the peaks in juxtaposition of the ever present crowds of Lake Serene and the thrum of the weekend traffic is a dynamic I have not found elsewhere in the Cascades. I have stared at this mountain many times over the years, but always put off the traverse due to timing, lack of solid parters, or lack of physical ability. Fortunately all of the pieces fell together this summer and I had no reason not to do the climb, besides the well deserved reputation of the mountain and the route. It is a big route indeed with over 4k feet of technical scrambling and climbing. Long sections of steep sometimes loose rock on the way up and committing rappels on the way down keep you from gaining each peak. Also for any normal person, it takes an overnight bivy on the middle peak that may or may not have water. For us it was two 14+ hour days, but they were rewarded with one of the most amazing bivies I have slept at and stunning ridge climbing with views not only of Glacier Peak, but Seattle and Bellevue as well. Information on this route was a little hard to come by and it was one of the first times in a while I found the Becky book to have the most reliable route description. We also used trip reports from Tom Sjolseth and Jason Griffith found on this site. Both were helpful. I have added some beta to this trip report for those interested as there were some definite holes in the becky description. We left the parking lot about 6:30 am and enjoyed a talking pace up to the lake on the steep trail. The first views of the route come just before the lake when you can see the traverse in its entirety. As we got to the lake we got fresh water. We did not know when we would be able to get water next as the N face appeared basically dry. Bobby pondering what he had gotten himself into. We skirted the trail along the west side of the lake until the talus slope then headed up to the base of the North Face. The North face of the North Peak of Index is about 2500 feet of technical climbing and scrambling. None of it is extremely hard, but protection can be poor and belays hard to come by at times. While we climbed we passed many rappel station of various quality as well as old fixed pins so it was not too difficult to know we were on route. Route overlay of North Face of North Peak of Index. From the toe of the NNE rib we started up very brushy trees until you could gain the rib. We followed the rib straight up for about 100' then cut left at a bushy section to get into an open book. Climb up this before trending back right onto a long slabby section. Ascend the slab until reach a small roof feature. There is an anchor here made form a pin and nut just under the roof. From here we began simul climbing off left trending around overhanging roof features. The steep walls will kept pushing us left until we gained a treed ledge with an open book above. This is the crux of the route. I climbed an open book, that is more of a face, up about 50-60 feet until it forces you off right on a sharp traverse to gain a long gully system. There were 2 fixed pins at the point of the traverse right that I clipped for pro. The gulley system can't bee seen from the lake or trail as it is facing north. We went up the gully for 300-400 feet until we were able to traverse right into the open bowl of the north face. This put us in about the middle of the bowl at this point. Once there we went left into the obvious large gulley system. Most climbing was done on the right of the gulley until you can traverse right to the notch at the start of the North RIb. The North Rib is pretty obvious once you are there. It is great exposed climbing for 2-3 pitches. Looking down from above the North RIb. Once above the North rib the climbing is below 5th class with mostly exposed moved of 4th class. The false summit is gained via steep heather gullies on the east. We were able to find a patch of Snow just below the False summit and refreshed our water supply. From the false summit you scramble through a series of steep gendarmes. While the climbing is technically easy the exposure it insane. The final climb to the true summit is on the North face and is mostly heather and loose rock. Nothing too difficult, just very exposed. Exposed scrambling along the ridge from the North False Summit to the North Summit. More Insane exposure along the ridge to the North Peak. North peak at top of picture. View toward Main Peak from North Summit. We summited the North peak at about 3 pm. This is where the real choice is made. It is still possible to descend the North face, but once you head down to the North-Middle notch coming back becomes much more difficult. Of course we didn't do all that climbing with overnight packs to not at least try to find our way. At this point it seemed very unclear from the becky description as to where to go. He illiterates to descending to 4880' in a gulley to the west, which is not at all what we did. We descended the south side of the peak to the first gendarme and rappelled to the west about a rope length down a gulley from a block that is kinda hidden behind the gendarme. HFrom the end of the rappel we traversed back up the east side under the gendarme and descended down a gulley to the east about 150'. We did one rappel down the gulley to the east, but could have easily down-climbed. From here you climb back west and up to a notch between the second and third gendarme and rappel down to the west side of the ridge. Traverse down along the ridge on the west side until you get just above the North-Middle notch then do one rappel down to the notch. Not too complicated right? North Peak as viewed from the Middle peak. One can see pretty well how the descent from the North Peak to the North-Middle notch is done from here. This is the second rappel shown in the picture above. The block with all the slings is a pretty obvious point to get to and know you're on the right track. Chad and I getting ready to rap off the block down to the west side of the ridge. Once down to the North-Middle notch it is a simple matter of getting up onto the ridge then climbing this up and over the false summit of Middle to a bivy site we were hoping would have a patch of snow near it. Exactly where to ascend up to the ridge from the notch was unclear. We ended up traversing left about 50' and ascending a shallow east facing corner, which I think is what becky describes in his guide. We could not see that the corner was shallower until we got right underneath it. Once we gained the ridge we were treated with some of the best climbing of the trip. Gorgeous views all around on a knife edge ridge that went on for about 3-4 pitches. We continued this up and over the Middle false summit to one slightly overhanging rappel down to the notch between the Middle Peak false summit and Middle Peak. And just as luck had it there was still a small snow patch to get water from for the night. Amazing ridge climbing in route to Middle Peak. Almost to the Middle Peak false summit. Chad hoping for the long day to be over along the North Ridge of Middle Peak. We got the bivy about 8:30 PM. We melted snow, drank a little Jim Beam, and settled in for the night. The bivy is first class given what else is on the route. Plush and flat with plenty of room for 3, and perfectly located to split the climb into 2 relatively equal days of work. Celebrating getting to the bivy and a good night of sleep. Beautiful sunset over Mt. Persis. The next morning we got going around 7:30 AM and began the ascent to the Middle peak true summit. Most of the mornings travels were fairly easy given yesterdays work. The Middle peak is gained by the east face. Traverse to the east side and ascend broken slabs and heater until the summit is gained. Bobby excited to get up the Middle Peak of Index, one of the most difficult to reach in the state. Sunset falls can be seen in the middle of the photo in the background. From here Becky describes getting to the Middle-Main notch in one sentence. "Descend easily to the Middle-Main Peak notch". I am gonna have to disagree with Becky on this one and say it was a bit more involved then that. We did 2 rappels on the way there and switched from one side of the ridge to the other multiple times. We started mainly on the crest until steep rock forced us down to a gulley to the east. After passing this first gendarme we were forced back onto the west side with a short rappel down to a ledge system. We traversed the ledge system until we went back east onto a broad series of light colored slabby ledges. These ledges had snow for water. From here we went down the slab until we cliffed out and had to cross back to the east side down a steep series of steps leading directly toward the notch. From here one can see the notch. A steep red colored gulley trends back east and we set up a rap anchor on a tree above this gulley then rappelled down it under a chockstone. At the end of the rappel we traversed into the notch. In all parts there was basically only one way to go or it cliffed out. During this whole descent we were treated with the view of the impending north face of the Main Peak. It is very ominous looked at straight on. Foreshortening can be a real mind killer, but it is all there and the climbing is moderate, if not loose and sketchy in places. Technical crux of Main Peak north face coming out of the Middle-Main Notch. We climbed a short chimney out of the notch that lead to more low 5th class climbing. overall the idea was to climb the initial steep wall out of the notch, then trend left until the main ridge emanating from the South Norwegian buttress can be gained. This is climbed until the Wedge gendarme is reached. The climbing involves sections of trees and exposed ridge as well as a cool left facing corner to gain the upper ridge. Once at the Wedge gendarme we down climbed a short section then up the main face until we found a suitable place to traverse across the giant red gash through the middle of the face. View of the North Face of Main Peak from the descent down to the Middle-Main notch. High quality rock we had to traverse to get out of the north face and onto easier terrain. Once across the gulley we traversed ledges until you can pass through a notch and onto the west side of the Main peak. From here the technical climbing is over and it is a short trip to the summit. We continued traversing south from the notch past 3 gullies until we could ascend a heather and dirt gully up to gentle slopes near the summit. Walk SE toward the broad summit of the Main Peak of Index. We were excited to reach the summit. 3 peaks in 2 days of 1 mountain and still we were only half way there. Index does not give up the goods easily and we still had the arduous descent of the Hourglass gulley to get done. None of us had crampons and I only had approach shoes on, so the idea of descending steep snow was questionable at best. The trip to the top of the gulley was a quick easterly traverse from the summit. At the top of the gulley system we stayed skiers left and did one initial rappel off a tree to get onto a snow field. We made a gingerly descent of the snow field to a band of rocks and trees and did two more rappels from here to get down below the hourglass feature. At the time we passed it there was a 5-8 foot wide moat at the bottom of the hourglass that was very deep. Tedious down climbing of snow and a few good snow bollards got us down to the talus slope and most of the difficult descent behind us. We headed down until we got to the top of the ridge visible from Lake serene. We followed the ridge along its crest and did one rappel along the ridge where it got very steep. Talus down to the lake and traverse along the south side until we got to the main trail. It was a long day to get down and we didn't get back to the parking lot until 10:30 pm. It was well worth it though to be able to do such a big adventure so close to home. I am pretty sure I could see my house from the bivy. I would recommend this climb to anyone looking for a big adventure. If you have honed your alpine climbing skills and wish to test them all then Index provides as it always has. Gear Notes: single 60 or 70m rope will work double rack to 2" and set of nuts Long slings for trees and horns. Extra tat for rapel anchors as necessary Approach Notes: Lake serene trail is pretty nice given some of the approaches to climbs in this state.
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Kyes Peak (7227') & Monte Cristo Peak (7136') - South Ridge & Northwest Face Trip Date: 07/10/2021 Trip Report: I climbed Kyes Peak - South Ridge (7227') & Monte Cristo Peak - Northwest Face (7136') over the weekend. I started the climb from the Blanca Lake Trailhead Approach (Trail 1052) outside Skykomish, WA. The weather was looking perfect again and I had some more free time, so time for the mountains. I planned for a basic 2 day climb but it turned into a 3 day epic instead. Saturday: I drove to the Blanca Lake Trailhead and was starting the trip at 11:00am. I headed up the well traveled trail to Virgin Lake (4540’). I headed to the northeast side of the lake and looked for the climbers trail going north up the ridge toward Kyes Peak. I didn’t find a defined trail but I found something close and started up the ridge. The trail up the ridge comes and goes the whole way up. Sometimes the trail is beautiful and other times it disappears into oblivion. When the trail disappeared it was usually because it took a sharp turn straight up toward the crest of the ridge. The trail is vertical in several spots where you need to use tree branches to make it up. There are several sections of bushwacking in the middle of the trail & also a fair amount of loose rock. Once I dropped down below the west side of point 5845’, I was looking for a good route across the cliffy ridge to the open slopes above Columbia Glacier. I read a report that said you should go back up to the ridge once around point 5845’. I did not do that. I instead saw a nice looking traverse around the toe of the cliffy ridge. The traverse start elevation was about 5300’ and dropped down to about 5200’ while crossing. I hugged close to the toe of the cliffy ridge and found good game/climbers paths throughout the cross over. Some bushwacking through trees and brush on the way over but not bad. The traverse spit me out right in front of a stream and into much better terrain. I climbed up to about 5500’ and found a nice bluff to setup camp, right between two streams and flat. Called it a day at 6:00pm. Sunday: I left the bluff camp at 7:00am and climbed straight up toward the Roundabout Point gap. Took me an hour to get to the gap and then another hour to reach the summit of Kyes Peak. The climbing was relaxing and straight forward. The ridge to Kyes Peak looks pretty steep and exposed from a distance but once on the summit ridge it is basic Class 2-3. A great start to the day and I was making good time. I was thinking that I had plenty of time to hit Monte Cristo Peak next and get back to camp and then head out. Ignorance is bliss. From what I had read, Monte Cristo Peak has several class 3-4 routes up the mountain so I was just going to pick one and make it happen. I traversed below Roundabout Point and decided I wanted to do the Southwest Ridge route to Monte Cristo. I needed to make it down to the Columbia Glacier where I would head straight over to the ridge. Sounds easy. I spent the next 3 hours trying to find a route down to the Columbia Glacier finding nothing but cliffs and deep gullies that both required rapelling to make the glacier below. My only problem being that I did not bring a rope, thinking both peaks were going to be basic class 3-4. I needed to find a section I could down climb without too much risk. Finally at the end of the 3 hours I found the only rock ledge system that would get me to Monte Cristo Peak without a rope. I had to go high up to the base of the cliffs above, and traverse around at about 6650’. The ledge system led to the snow basin between Monte Cristo and the NW ridge of Kyes. I crossed the snow basin to the SE Ridge of Monte Cristo. The SE Ridge of Monte Cristo is supposed to be class 3-4 with a section of 5th. The route looked more like class 3 straight into vertical class 5 for several pitches. I decided to circle around the east side of Monte Cristo to see if there was another section that fit the Class 3-4 description. I made it to the North Col between Monte Cristo and Cadet Peak and still everything looked too vertical. I circle around to the NW Face of Monte Cristo and finally found a section that looked like Class 3-4 down low. I decided to climb this route thinking this must be another one of the Class 3-4 routes up. Wrong! The Class 3-4 turned into 5th Class about 50 feet up the route. I came across 3 different sling/piton setups for placing protection or rappelling along the route. Evidently I was right in the middle of the mid 5th Class route going to the summit, possibly climbing up the rappel route. All of the rock I was encountering was loose, downsloping, steep and nasty. Full suck mode was engaged. The rock quality was so poor that there was no way I wanted to attempt to down climb any of the route. My best option was to keep climbing to the summit and find an easy route down. Finding good holds going up was difficult at best. The rock on the entire side of the mountain was garbage. I would try going left or right to find better rock, but it did not matter, it all sucked. After a few more hours and several years off my life, I finally made the summit at 7:00pm. I found the summit registry in a PVC pipe. The registry was completely water logged and dissolving into pieces. Only the main portion of the summit log remains intact. The PVC pipe summit registries that I have been coming across do not keep out water and seems to absorb water into the pipe. Waterproof paper is a must for the summit registries. Now it was time to find the easy route down off of Monte Cristo. Yeah right! Monte Cristo Peak is basically a giant gravel pit with downsloping loose rock everywhere. The easiest route that I could find was going down the South Face. This was slow and tedious, like walking on marbles spread out all over a hardwood floor sloping off to a cliff. Did I mention that the rock on Monte Cristo Peak sucks? I finally made it down to the snow just as the sun was going down. Thank you Jesus! Out come the lights and I travel back to camp over much easier terrain arriving at 12:30am. I under estimated Monte Cristo Peak and paid a hefty toll. The best lessons are learned the hard way, that way you remember them forever. Monday: I left the bluff camp at 9:30am. I reversed my route all the way back to the car arriving at 4:30pm. I decided to make a stop at Blanca Lake to relax on the way back. Looking up the lake to the Columbia Glacier, there is a giant horseshoe of cliffs surrounding the glacier. The only easy way to the glacier is walking up the side of the lake to the base of the glacier. One thing I wished I knew before starting the climbs. Some Tips and Notes: 1. I’ve climbed a lot of peaks and I can say without a doubt that Monte Cristo Peak has some of the worst rock quality of any peak in the North Cascades. 2. If climbing Monte Cristo Peak, bring a rope for rappelling. Down climbing on the loose garbage rock is about as fun as slamming your hand in a car door. 3. The lower traverse from 5300’ to 5200’ across the toe of the cliffy ridge before the nice slope under Kyes Peak worked well both ways. 4. If you are not bringing a rope, the only route I could find to get to Monte Cristo’s SE Ridge from Kyes Peak is a ledge system at 6650’, on the NW side of the NW Ridge of Kyes Peak. 5. The ridge between Virgin Lake & the Camp below Kyes Peak is dry. Be sure to carry enough water. 6. There are several good camp options on the way up to Kyes Peak, look for the bluffs. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to bluff Camp – 7 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits, back to Camp - 17 hours Monday: Bluff camp to Car - 7 hours Gear used: Whippet, Crampons, Helmet - Could have used an ice axe & a rope Virgin Lake still mostly snow covered. Ridge Trail down low. Ridge Trail up higher. Looking straight across cliffy ridge traverse from 5300' View up toward Roundabout Gap and cross over bluff from camp. Summit ridge of Kyes Peak. On the way to Monte Cristo. Part of 3 hour tour getting to Monte Cristo. Cross over bluff, excellent camp spot. Looking back at the 6650' rock shelf to the SE Ridge of Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo South Face & SE Ridge. On Northwest Face route of Monte Cristo. Relaxing at Blanca Lake. Gear Notes: Gear used: Whippet, Crampons, Helmet - Could have used an ice axe & a rope Approach Notes: Blanca Lake Trailhead (Trail 1052) - Climbed ridge north of Virgin Lake to camp.
  10. 3 points
    Trip: Monument Peak (8592'), Lake Mountain (8371'), Bird Peak (8330') - East Ridge Up, SE Ridge Down Trip Date: 07/03/2021 Trip Report: I climbed three peaks over the holiday weekend. Monument Peak (8592'), Lake Mountain (8371'), Bird Peak (8330') outside Mazama, Pistol Pass Approach. Started the climb from the Monument Creek Trailhead (Trail 484). The weather was looking perfect again and a holiday weekend, time for another east side climb. Headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. Saturday: I planned for 3 days as the trip is long with lots of climbing. I headed up Monument Creek Trail to the Eureka Creek ford to the Pistol Pass Trail and up the ridge. There used to be a bridge across Eureka Creek years ago but it came down and has not been replaced. There is a nice bridge base and a solid rock platform on the other side of the creek that is begging for a new bridge. Sure would do wonders for connecting the trails in the area for a nice big loop around the mountains of the area. The ford across Eureka Creek is not too bad, knee to mid-thigh deep depending on the crossing location. I found it easiest to cross a little way down the trail toward a rocky river bank. The Pistol Pass ridge trail is bone dry the whole way up. There is no water from Eureka Creek to Lake of the Woods Lake. I filled up with 3 liters of water at the creek and still had to travel about 2.5 hours without water before I got to Lake of the Woods to set up camp. The ridge is hot as hell when the sun is out, no place to hide and no water to cool off in. The trail up the ridge is hard to follow between 3900’ and 6000’, when in doubt stick to the ridge crest. Sunday: I Left Lake of the Woods Camp at 6:00am and climbed straight up a gully to a ridge line at about 7500’. I was thinking that the prominent rocky peak seen from Pistol Pass and the Lake area was Lake Mountain, it isn’t. It is an unnamed peak that is 40’ lower than Lake Mountain (which is to the north and is much easier to climb). This unnamed peak I am going to call Bird Peak (8330’) from here on out. I’m calling it Bird Peak because it kind of looks like a bird beak from one side and from the other side it looks like the mountain is flipping you the bird. Maybe it should be called Homonym Peak. Anyway, Bird Peak is a decent climb. It is a mix of 3rd, 4th and 5th class rock with an airy summit and room for one, maybe two people, to sit directly on the summit. Sitting on the summit of Bird Peak I realized that I was on the wrong summit and needed to climb Lake Mountain like originally planned. Lake Mountain is a basic class 2-3 scramble. Bird Peak is a much nicer peak. I headed down the ridge from Lake Mountain toward the Lake in the basin between Lake Mtn. and Monument Peak. Lots of water and camping spots in the basin. The ridge down from Lake Mountain to the basin is fairly steep with loose rock combined with slick rock sections. Not too fun but doable. From the basin Lake I climbed up toward the start of the East Ridge of Monument Peak. The East Ridge of Monument Peak is a mix of class 3 & 4 steep, loose, down slopping rock. Off the north side of the ridge is a sheer drop for several hundred feet. The first 100’ is the hardest part of the ridge and then it eases up a bit. With the loose, steep rock and the sheer drop, the pucker factor was at the high setting. I made it to the summit of Monument Peak about 3:00pm. Great views in all directions. I headed down the SE Ridge of Monument to return to camp. The SE Ridge is composed of tedious loose talus most of the way. When I reached the 7000’ mark on the SE Ridge I headed down the diagonal gully to the basin below. It’s loose shit rock all the way down to 6600’. From here I climbed back up and over the gully above Lake of the Woods and back to camp at about 9:00pm. A long day with lots of climbing and distance, my feet were done. Monday: I left Lake of the Woods Camp at 7:00am. I went back up and over Pistol Pass, down the ridge trail, through the Creek and back to the car at 3:30pm. Some Tips and Notes: Bring comfortable shoes, this is a long trip. I brought Hokas for the easy trail and creek crossing and mountaineering boots for the cross country and peaks. There is no water at all on the ridge between Eureka Creek and Lake of the Wood Lake. Bring as much water as you can carry from Eureka Creek. The trail up the ridge is hard to follow between 3900’ and 6000’, when in doubt stick to the ridge crest. The trail will fade in and out in that stretch. There are actually two lakes in the Lake of the Woods area, only the bigger lake is on the map. There is a smaller lake about a ¼ mile north of the main lake. There is a lot of water in the basin between Lake Mtn. and Monument Peak. A lake and several streams with good camping options. The East Ridge of Monument Peak requires your full attention. Class 3-4 steep, loose, down slopping rock. The gully to get onto and off of the SE Ridge of Monument Peak is not fun but it is the best option. Bottom is at about 6600’ and top is at 7000’. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Lake of the Woods Camp - 10.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits back to Camp - 15 hours Monday: Camp to Car - 8 hours Elevation Gain for the trip: about 10,000’ Gear used: Whippet & Helmet Eureka Creek Ford at the top of Trail 484 Pistol Pass View - Bird Peak & Lake of the Woods down in the trees Lake of the Woods - Nice Camping. Bird Peak from ridge above Lake of the Woods Lake Mountain from summit of Bird Peak. Monument Peak - SE Ridge & East Ridge and Face Monument Peak - East Ridge Blackcap Mountain in the distance from the East Ridge of Monument Peak. Monument Peak Summit. View from Monument Peak. Looking down SE Ridge of Monument Peak. 6600' Access point of SE Ridge of Monument Peak. It's a lot steeper than it looks. Wear and Tear. One days worth of grippy rock climbing. Gear Notes: Gear used: Whippet, Helmet, Work Gloves. Bring lots of water carrying capacity, you will need it! Approach Notes: Monument Creek Trailhead (Trail 484) Start Location. Climb ridge trail to Pistol Pass.
  11. 2 points
    Trip: North Cascades - Mt. Challenger to Luna peak Trip Date: 07/13/2021 Trip Report: From 7/13 to 7/21 myself (Jeremy) and my climbing partner (Ben) traversed along the base of the Northern Pickets and did a bit of climbing along the way. The story, however, starts a bit further back than that. My first attempted foray into the Pickets to climb Challenger was 20 years ago, and it ended almost as soon as it began. A nagging knee injury irritated by 2 weeks in the Tetons and Wind Rivers flared up as I trudged along the W shore of Ross Lake...The trip ended before we even reached Big Beaver. I never quite got the disappointment out of my head, but living on the other side of the country made planning a successful trip back there a lot harder than I appreciated. One year it was too much snow and we climbed Ruth as a consolation prize...another year we fell short on time, turning around at Perfect Pass to make it out in time for our flight. Last year was a pandemic...I work in a covid ICU, and the idea of one of us contracting the bug and then getting symptoms in the mountains wasn't worth the risk. So here we are, 20 years later, and I was willing to give it one last go. I'm no spring chicken anymore...arthritis is off to a quick start, and I never really developed the discipline to train. I'm not even a weekend warrior, more like an every third weekend warrior, but only if it isn't too hot out, or if there isn't beer to brew or board games to play. In short, I am a softer, weaker, and somewhat more rotund version of my younger self that first had Picket dreams. This trip we gave ourselves 8 nights in case of bad weather and to accommodate my sub par fitness level, plus I wanted to visit Luna Cirque if time allowed. Having come in via Easy Ridge before, I wanted to try a different approach, one without an imperfect impasse, so we took the water taxi to Big Beaver. The water taxi driver asked about our plans and upon hearing them gave us a lengthy, silent, and knowing smile that communicated volumes- it completely psyched me out. Our first day was short, ending at 39 mile camp with smoke haze visible on the peaks above us, though we couldn't smell it. Day 2 dawned with no smoke from the east side fire. We took the trail to Beaver Pass, leaving it about 100 meters past the shelter. The bushwhack over to the narrow rib wasn't bad at all, nor was travel to the first cliff band. After that things got steeper, and the going slower. It didn't help that I had gone a bit light on food and decided to ration the first 3 days...2 granola bars between breakfast and dinner was rough. Upon reaching the top of the second cliff band we filled up on water, knowing we would probably not make it much beyond treeline. We followed beta from the many helpful trip reports on this site to bypass the cliffbands, making camp around 5600' where the meadows begin. Bear scat was noted there, and the mosquitoes had me pull out my head net for the first time. We enjoyed sunset on Luna Peak and turned in for the night. Day 3 again dawned clear with no smoke. While we could see the fire clearly to the east near the pass, the smoke blew north and presumably east for the remainder of the trip. We made good time to the beautiful pools others have mentioned finding and stopped for breakfast. We had a bit of trouble crossing a tree lined cliff descending from north of Eiley lake, but once we found the correct gully we made it up to Eiley lake without too much trouble. Wiley lake followed soon after, and we had a decision to make. We had the most beta on the descent from 7374, so we opted for that instead of trying to wrap around the Wiley glacier. I think I messed something up on this descent, but we did make it down safely, albeit via a more circuitous route. We traversed through a notch and behind a snowpatch (moat) on easy ledges to reach a slope of black talus. This snowpatch lies at the head of a large talus and scree gully others have written about. We didn't see a way to keep traversing skiers right safely, so we descended snow and heather benches to skiers L, wrapping back N briefly up a ridge with goat paths to access easy scree and talus that led to snow in the basin below. This basin lies at the bottom of the large talus and scree gully we crossed when we came through the notch. From there snow patches linked us up to the Challenger glacier, which we took up to Challenger arm and camped. Day 4 we woke to whiteout conditions and gratefully slept in. Around 2 pm things cleared up and we made a push for the summit of Challenger. We had no crevasse difficulties, but shortly before the bergschrund the clouds rolled back in and wiped out visibility again. The bergschrund was still bridged, so we decided to go for it. I placed a few pickets up to the arete and over to the rock tower, especially since I couldn't see the consequences of a fall due to visibility. The rock pitch was attention getting...I used both my knee and belly mantle techniques to less than graceful effect, but made it up nonetheless. Ben belayed me over to the summit and I set a line for him to follow. I couldnt find the register, so we snapped some quick photos and got out of there...wind and cold were both unrelenting. I again set pickets on the steep snow, and we cruised back to camp once past the bergschrund. Day 5 was clearer, though by now I was really starting to slow down. Two days prior to starting this trip I had just finished a 40 mile backpack in the Glacier Peak wilderness, and was starting to feel the cumulative effects. We headed down into Luna cirque. While slow going, we never got cliffed out or had to backtrack. The snow patches were starting to get ugly on the margins, and there was a lot of water running underneath, so we opted for the slower talus and heather slopes below. Long after my knees had hired a lawyer and issued cease and desist orders, we finally reached the flat sand and gravel camp site that splits the large lateral moraine at the base of Luna cirque. This was easily a top 5 campsites of all time spot for me. I stayed up late just to experience as much of it as I could. The ice and rocks hurtling down the 4000 foot amphitheater walls all around us was an unforgettable experience. We saw one set of older boot prints here, but otherwise just goat prints. Day 6- I found myself not liking the look of the descent of the moraine..lots of vertically stacked boulders looming above a steep slope of dirt...so we opted to descend around the outlet of Lousy Lake. There were some tedious patches of alder on the traverse around the arcuate moraine, but I didn't find it to be too bad...Ben may not agree. Most of the alder on the west side of the lake was dead or dying from some sort of tent caterpillar. We forded the outlet stream and made our way up uncomplicated talus slopes to Luna Lake. There we had lunch and a swim before heading up to Luna pass.We found a weakness in the cliffs just to climbers left of a large drainage/gorge angling down the flanks of Luna that required only a 5 foot rock step and no bushwhacking, After that it was slabs, snow, heather, and talus up to the pass. Temps were not high, but the sun was powerful and this climb really zapped me. We made it to the pass well before sunset and had it all to ourselves. We had considered Fury as a stretch goal for the next day, but both of us were pretty spent at this point and decided to give it a miss. Day 7...We climbed up to the false summit of Luna and spent some time enjoying the views. I had no interest in trying to get over to the true summit...I'm not working on my Luna peak merit badge, and I despise the combination of loose rock and exposure, so I contented myself with the false summit. That afternoon we rested and prepared our knees for access creek. At sunset we saw our first person since 39 mile camp. Day 8 we descended steep rock and heather below the pass, mostly avoiding the undermined snow patches. We found a reliable social trail that took us to the correct notch for descent into access basin. This descent was much, much longer than I realized, and my knees were whimpering by the time we made Access creek. There we got good beta on the route out from a pair headed to Fury. We lost the social trail in the woods a few times but even without it this was easy going. The final drop to Big Beaver was punishing but clear most of the way. Flagging marked a safe and shallow ford of Big Beaver next to a logjam. From there it was an easy walk up to the trail and down to Luna camp for our last night. Day 9 Up early to make boat taxi at 1015, retrieved beer from lake, and met our ride back at SR20. I've been eating hourly since then. Final thoughts. In spite of the extra climb over Hannegan pass and the tedious detour below the impasse, I thought Easy ridge was the easier approach as compared to Eiley Wiley. If I had to go again, I would probably go earlier in season and take the Whatcom glacier route to Perfect pass. Bugs were quite bearable, only used bug juice once and headnet twice. If anyone needs details on any of the navigation I can reply below. I will try to post some photos tomorrow if I get a chance Gear Notes: Bug head net, Fritos, bottle of Aleve Approach Notes: Big Beaver to Eiley Wiley Ridge, exit Access Creek.
  12. 2 points
    Climbed this the other day and wanted to quickly pass on the following conditions update: 1 - N Fork river xing was trivial - knee deep. 2 - We melted and consumed the last snow at the 3/4 bivy ledge. No water there now. 3 - A previous report suggested snow access from the summit at a notch to the West. We found this was dry. Bottom line: no snow or water on the route from the glacier until camp 7400 on the S side. Plan appropriately.
  13. 2 points
    Trip: Mt. Hood - Cathedral Ridge - Summer Climb Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: Tim Stabio and I climbed Cathedral Ridge yesterday, July 18, 2021. We left Top Spur TH at 3:45am, and stumbled our way to the summit 5 hours 36 minutes later, where we relaxed alone on the summit in summer sunshine for about half an hour and ate wild boar burritos before descending the ol' south side. We reached my car parked at Timberline 7:34 after leaving, feeling good and unexpectedly wondering what we were going to do with the rest of our day. Overall, the route felt wild and remote, with about 1/2 of the route comprised of moderately OK rock and 1/2 comprised of horrible stuff only faintly resembling rock. If one assumes that everything one touches will move, then the experience will be great. There is also stellar positioning, offering some unique views of some of Mt. Hood's sexiest features. Beta: the route is obvious, and generally follows the path of least resistance. I thought the route photo at https://www.summitpost.org/cathedral-ridge/660166 was good. We didn't encounter any snow/ice to really speak of, which was good because I packed the wrong crampons for my boots (dummy!). Fortunately, we each had two ice tools, so I was able to smear/tool my way down the still-frozen old chute on the descent. We didn't encounter the steep snow slope mentioned in other trip reports on the route, although it'd be easy enough to find one in the upper reaches; instead, we stuck to the ridge proper (rock). The only notable section might have been a pitch-ish of class 4/5 uber-choss that could have been bypassed on climber's left with a snow slope. Lots of downed trees on Timberline Trail, which provided some interesting but not time-consuming navigational experiences in the wee morning light. We wore trail running shoes in, then switched those out for more rigid footwear when we started clawing our way up scree/choss fields. Overall, a worthy and under-appreciated route for those not against a little groveling on choss. Gear Notes: Standard alpine affair. Lighter is righter. Rope would only potentially be of use if there is snow/ice. Approach Notes: Top Spur TH provides the full experience of the ridge, from bottom to top, which was important to me. Better IMO than Timberline, if you can swing a shuttle.
  14. 2 points
    https://www.climbing.com/people/drew-ruana-theres-no-reason-to-climb-if-it-makes-you-sad/?fbclid=IwAR3KHP7tjldwYHWSYAHlslP-KgVtw-xXPm3R4KDyFD4I0Q4hMNHT5u-NHH8
  15. 2 points
    Linking to a TAY thread, but likely of interest to many of you here: https://turns-all-year.com/forum/index/random-tracks/53982-proposed-backcountry-huts-off-mt-baker-highway Generally, I'm in favor of huts. Huts in Canada are incredible and really open up the mountains. I've also used the Wallowa huts and thought it was fun. I don't think they ruin the Wilderness experience for me. Besides, the Cascades at large are vast and offer many other places to get into the wilderness, whereas the 542 corridor is small with the easy-access spots overcrowded. We definitely need to be looking at ways to make more areas accessible to spread people out. I am really excited in particular about Anderson/Watson and Twin Sisters areas. These are hard to get to without a snowmobile, so having huts and shuttle system will be cool. Heliotrope is also hard to get to in Winter without a sled, so I like the idea of having one there, although I mostly go to that area in Fall and Spring. The part about the proposal (as I could see on the video) that seems odd to me is the Artist's Point hut: This area is easy to access and also overcrowded. I don't see why this hut is helpful, since private parties or guided groups can tent camp in the area without too much effort. Also, I am concerned that Twins access will not be improved for public backcountry users under this proposal and could even become worse. See more comments below. I am concerned about the cost of these huts. I would like to be able to use them without paying for a guide. These should be accessible to the public backcountry community at large, not just users who are willing to pay >$100 per day for a guided experience. The snowmobile access is a nice feature for Anderson/Watson, Heliotrope, and N Twin zones for those of us who don't want to own sleds, but I think it should be optional for hut users like it is in the Wallowas. Regarding the N Twin hut: Access to the area is complicated by the fact that a logging company controls who can access the road. This past year Baker Mtn Guides had a special deal with Weyerhauser that allowed them exclusive snowmobile access. I don't mind the guide company offering snowmobile access up this road and running a hut. However, access to this area differs greatly from the other hut zones which are open to everybody. The Twin Sisters range, on the other hand, is only accessible to people who either pay exorbitant fees to the timber company for a key to the gate or users that ignore the rules and pass through that land illegally. Weyerhauser's sale of this land is an opportunity to open a dialog with the new owner and try and open up access to more backcountry users. The Twin Sisters range is an incredible area for skiing right next to Bellingham. If there was a public trailhead in the area, it could take pressure off the main ski areas of the 542 corridor. However, these public access needs may be in conflict with the interests of the guide company that wants to offer an exclusive, untracked experience in the area. I say we should be looking at ways to make a deal with the timber company to open the gate at the MF Nooksack and have designated parking for winter backcountry users who just want to pass through these private lands and access the amazing skiing in the wilderness beyond. The guides can coexist peacefully with public backcountry users.
  16. 1 point
    Trip: Forbidden - Northwest Face Trip Date: 07/18/2021 Trip Report: Last weekend, AC, AN, XT and I had a very humbling and unforgettable experience on the Northwest Face of Forbidden Peak. Some lessons learned -- always factor in ample time for routefinding; emergency bivvies, Nuun tablets and Justin’s nut butter are worth the weight; never take descents for granted; and a good attitude and level head are key in the mountains. Our epic journey began on Friday afternoon. After lunch at Mondo’s, we got a leisurely start from milepost 20 around 1:30pm. It was overcast and foggy when we reached low camp and we hoped for better weather as we swatted marmots away from our campsite and prepped our meals and packs for the next day. We left camp around 5:30am in a heavy fog. As we marched toward Sharkfin Col the fog broke and Johannesburg appeared behind us. By 7:30am we reached the base of Sharkfin Col bypass gully, which we recognized from the obvious snow finger. This we took until it petered out into loose rock that felt pretty miserable to navigate in crampons. (Left: The beginning of the Sharkfin Col bypass gully. Right: After the snow disappears, leaving loose rocks.) We missed the turnoff which would’ve led us to a rap station that supposedly would have brought us to Boston Glacier in one rappel. Instead, around 8:30am we reached the top of the gully at over 7800ft with a long and sketchy rappel path to the bottom. This mishap cost us several hours. Where we’d expected a single rap to take us down to the glacier, we instead required four unsavory rappels over hanging snowfields and loose rock. We found rappel tat in several places from parties that had found themselves in the same situation. Partway through, a falling rock struck AN’s rope leaving it coreshot about 15 feet from one end. We tied it off and used a biner block to rappel off the other rope. The final rappel took us over the lip of an enormous snowfield and a large bergschrund, from where we walked onto Boston Glacier. (Left: Rappelling off the snowfield. Right: A view of the hanging snowfield from below.) We touched down on Boston Glacier around noon. We were already 3 hours behind schedule but figured we could make up some of that time on what looked like a relatively flat glacier crossing. “The hard part is over!” we thought. In any case, now that we had made the sketchy raps over Sharkfin Col we had no real option to turn back. We had been worried that the hot summer had opened up the crevasses but AN navigated us across Boston Glacier skillfully and we reached the North Ridge around 2:30pm. Although prior trip reports had mentioned two possible crossings, the only one we recognized was a corner that others had described as a “dirt pitch” with the consistency of “potato chips.” It required some finagling to get to this pitch as the snow had melted out from the base of the notch leaving a moat. We prepared to arrest as AN carefully navigated around the edge and then lowered herself into the moat and brought the rest of us in. It’s hard to overstate how nasty the climbing is on this “pitch” — gravel and dirt held together by who knows what (gravity?) and unprotectable unless you count the picket in the snow. Other reports suggest that earlier season (or in a cooler summer) you can get directly onto the pitch higher up, but with the snow melt we had to climb up from the base on very loose terrain. AC led up in his aluminum crampons, kicking off loose dirt and gravel, and set up a fixed line for the rest of us. (Left: AC leading up the dirt pitch. Right: The moat from where we started.) The careful climbing took us more time, so it was 4pm by the time we were all on top. Thankfully from here we could walk directly onto Forbidden Glacier and for the first time could see our route. We were hopelessly behind schedule but decided to keep going to see how far we could get before dark. But at least now the hard part was definitely over, right?! (Left: View after crossing the North Ridge. You can see the severely broken up snow near the Northwest Buttress. Right: Crossing Forbidden Glacier with a view of Moraine Lake.) To avoid the many crevasses, we decided to stay high and hug the toe of the Northwest Buttress, which we reached by 5pm. However, once we reached the toe we found no obvious way to gain the rock. A curving snow bridge provided the only visible way to get around to the west side where the route began. AN put in a picket and walked carefully across the bowl. To our right was a wall of seracs, and we could hear ice/snow breaking after a full day in the sun. Once we were all on the other side, AC went up on belay with a picket to see if he could find the start of the climb, but as he continued higher all he found was hard 5th class climbing. (Left: The curving snowbridge to pass under the toe of the buttress. Right: Seracs to the right of the buttress.) We reconvened and decided we needed to reset. Because of crevasses, the only way to backtrack would have required us to loop back around the glacier. To save time and energy, we decided to set up a rappel. We slung a boulder with some cord, backed it up with a small cam, and lowered ourselves back onto the glacier. (Left: Rappelling back down to the glacier to try to gain the route from further right. Right: Heading up the steep snow ramp at sunset.) This time we stayed low and approached from the larger ramp on the far west side of the buttress. It was unexpectedly steep and lined with crevasses you couldn’t see until you were upon them. AN led us carefully over the snow ramp to what we could now see was the base of the climb at around 7600ft. (Left: The rocky ramp that marks the start of the route. Right: Simulclimbing after sundown.) At this point it was 8pm and the sun was dropping behind Eldorado. We snapped some photos of the sunset over Moraine Lake and prepared mentally for an unplanned bivy up on the ridge. We rested, packed our water bottles with snow, and finished gearing up. We started simulclimbing around 9pm in our headlamps and reached a ledge at around 7700ft right before the knife edge pitch. We anchored ourselves in and tried to find a way to Tetris/penguin-huddle our bodies onto the small platform. We had one emergency bivy for the four of us so we each picked our favorite leg and stuck it in for warmth. By now we were low on food and water, but still miraculously high in stoke (we credit the Nuun tablets). (Above: Packed into the bivy ledge watching the sunrise.) At 5am the sun started peeking over the North Ridge and the view was a nice consolation to a long and cold night. We divvied up a chocolate croissant while watching the clouds drift by. Once the sun hit the ledge our limbs began to thaw and we were ready to move. We assured one another, “now the hard part is most definitely over!” and that this would be a quick day. We racked up and AC and XT started up the knife edge around 7am. The knife edge was beautiful, exposed climbing on good rock and with unbeatable views. This side of Forbidden is rarely climbed and the isolation is both serene and intimidating. (Left: Sunrise from the bivy ledge. Right: Morning sun hitting the knife edge.) After the knife edge pitch, we continued up a crack with an old piton. This led to a very tight, featureless and poorly protected chimney. We opted to drop down and left to a decent ledge that led to easier climbing and likely bypassing the crux. From here we continued with a mix of pitched and simulclimbing on blocks, jugs and cracks. (Left: AC leading up the crux pitch. An old piton is stuck in the crack. Right: AC on the final pitches near the summit.) Routefinding became a challenge once the ridge blended into the face, and a “choose your own adventure” approach led us into harder terrain a few times. Towards the top, we stayed too far right and continued up a sketchy lichen-covered face where we should have veered left through a wide blocky corner. AC and XT moved swiftly and reached the summit around 2:30pm, and AN and I around 3:45pm as we had pitched out a couple of the trickier spots. (Above: XT at the summit.) We had a quick celebratory moment on the summit, but once the high was over, the lack of water, food and sleep caught up to us. “But the descent will be quick,” I thought to myself, as AC and AN had both done the West Ridge before. By now I should’ve known better! AC led the way with rappels down the West Ridge, putting in directionals to minimize risk of swings. After four rappels, we simulclimbed down to the “airy step” and then jumped over to the notch. Hardly a straightforward descent. We hiked down Catscratch Gully which was loose and trashy, as expected, to the first rappel station. The sun was nearly gone by the time we began our rappels around 8:30pm. We moved as quickly as we could, but with 7 rappels, 4 people and having to search for the rappel stations in the dark we did not touch back down onto snow until midnight. Exhaustion had fully set in. We had been carefully rationing food and water but by now it was all long gone except for a stale energy bar I couldn’t bring myself to eat because it just made me thirstier. We put our crampons back on and as we plunged down the snowfield, I made the mistake again of thinking to myself, “Thank god!! It’s almost over.” No such thing. Walking down, AC’s aluminum crampon had finally had enough and broke, causing him to fall and sprain his knee. We reached the edge of the snowfield and continued onto slick, wet slab. In the pitch black dark, it was hard to tell what was snow or rock, and we hit several dead ends. At one point we realized we had missed the trail for high camp, but figured we could cut low through the slab and grass and connect to the trail. Nope. Moss turned into high grass and brush and we bushwacked zombie-like across the meadow. However when we finally reached Boston Creek we were too low and could not find a passable route. Someone finally pointed out that it was already 3am and we froze -- we’d been wandering for 3 hours?! Deflated, we sat down in the grass and decided to wait until pre-dawn light could help us regain our bearings. In the distance we could see a couple of lights toward the direction of camp but could not make out a path to get there. I wondered whether someone had called search and rescue early, though we had our doubts since we were not yet overdue. AC suspected that it was just another party getting an alpine start. XT, at the end of her proverbial rope, began to flash her headlamp and shout for help. As soon as she saw them return the signal with their headlamp, she grabbed her pack and took off in their direction. Perplexed, the rest of us stayed put to wait for pre-dawn light. While AC and AN somehow continued conversing in complete sentences, I laid with my head in my arms and wondered dimly whether those porky marmots had trashed our camp while we were gone. At the first hint of light around 4:30am, we pulled ourselves up and were able to see where we could gain the high camp trail. We also noticed that a headlamp was still hovering around the other side of the creek, and it followed us as we hiked back up. Near the high camp trail, we connected with the owner of the headlamp, Ryan, who had been heading out with his partner for a one-day climb of Sahale before he heard XT shouting for help. In an admirable act of kindness, he and his partner had decided to forego their climb and instead wait for us to make sure we were all safe. (Ryan, if you’re out there, thank you!) We chatted a bit, confirmed that XT was safely back at camp, and then headed back ourselves, finally reaching low camp around 6am. Exhausted but relieved, we shared a couple of Mountain Houses, packed up our camp and headed back down around 8:30am, reaching the car at MP 20 around 11am on Monday. (Above: Digging deep for smiles on day 2 of our epic.) This route took us on a literal and figurative journey. We knew the route overall was committing (as once you pass over Sharkfin Col there is no easy way to bail), but underestimated the technical challenges that made each juncture committing also. Much of the terrain was steep, nonobvious, complicated by snowmelt, and backtracking was either dangerous or time-consuming or both. Even without routefinding mishaps I don’t think we could’ve done it in one push from and back to low camp. I am deeply grateful to this team who showed serious grit and heroic cheerfulness in unplanned situations, to good samaritans like Ryan for demonstrating that even among strangers there is a community that looks out for one another, and to this monster of a route for a humbling lesson. For the rest of the summer you’ll find me cragging at Index. Gear Notes: Doubles 0.3-2, lots of slings for simulclimbing. Axe, crampons (aluminum ones broke), emergency bivy! Approach Notes: See above
  17. 1 point
    Trip: Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/02/2021 Trip Report: Ever since hiking over Park Creek Pass and seeing the true glory of the park, I've wanted to return and climb Goode. Albert and I hadn't seen each other since before the pandemic, and were stoked to get out on an adventure. On Monday, things weren't looking good. Seattle recorded its hottest day ever, and the temperature at the bivy was forecast to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit. By Thursday, however, the heat dome had dissipated, and an attempt seemed feasible. Our original 3-day plan was complicated by the washout of the North Fork Bridge. Instead of descending to the Park Creek Trail and returning to the Bridge Creek Trailhead via the PCT on day 3, we'd have to hike to High Bridge, take the bus to Stehekin, and hike back 17 miles via McAlester Pass on day 4. An hour-long line at Marblemount welcomed us on Friday morning, but we were able to get a cross-country permit no problem. The ranger told us that the bridge had just been repaired, so we reverted to our original 3-day plan. We left Bridge Creek at 9:30. We reached the turnoff for the North Fork trail at 1:30, and got a visual of the new bridge from atop the cliff. We optimistically believed that we'd be able to make the bivy by sunset, summit on Saturday, and return via the bridge on Sunday. Fording Grizzly Creek presented the first challenge. The creek crossed the trail at a point where the water seemed quite swift and deep. Luckily, the creek was broken up by islands of trees about a hundred feet downstream, and we were able to pick our way across knee-deep sections. Faffing about always takes longer than it seems. It took more than an hour to cross the creek, dry off, and get going again. We reached the North Fork crossing at 5:30. We were hoping that there might be logs conveniently laid across the creek, but the creek was raging everywhere up and downstream of the crossing. There appeared to be sections where we could definitely make it halfway across, but we were unwilling to traverse rapids of unknown depth beyond that. We debated putting on our harnesses and using rope tension to "rappel" across, as suggested in Blake's guide book, but neither of us had ever tried this technique. We were losing time and were exhausted. Even if we made it across, we and all of our gear would get wet, and we'd still have to climb 2000' to the bivy. We decided to hike another 1.5 miles upstream to the crossing described by Beckey. When we got there at 7:00, we found that the snow bridges had already melted out, and the creek was equally high there. We made the decision to bail. We bivied on an island of rock in the middle of the creek, gorged ourselves on our extra food, and limped back the next day. The next time I attempt Goode, I'll not underestimate the difficulty of the hiking, and will probably take an extra day for both the approach and the descent. Despite not even reaching the base of the climb, it was still an unforgettable experience. Gear Notes: Backpacking gear for 4 days. 60m half/twin rope. 5 cams 0.4"-2", nuts. Approach shoes for scrambling, trail runners for hiking. Approach Notes: Two high, swift water crossings (Grizzly Creek and North Fork). The Bridge Creek bridge has been repaired.
  18. 1 point
    Another @seano-sighting! @therunningdog and I saw him a couple weeks ago on Forbidden. He gets around! And good work on WHC- I bet Silas and @John_Roper are proud that that this route is getting more attention. It's an excellent one!
  19. 1 point
    Nice TR, and great running into you guys! I think I took a photo of that very same giant "tree ear" mushroom on my much less successful Pickets trip:
  20. 1 point
    Sweet! Wild hair is a pretty awesome route, and the NE ridge of the Chopping Block should not be missed either. Looks like a fun trip!
  21. 1 point
    Fabulous! Will be good beta for those who are inspired to follow in your footsteps. It's awesome that so much Cascades climbing 'history' was made within the past 20 years by people we know. Perhaps this is part of what inspires each new generation to get after it and add to the pantheon of new routes.
  22. 1 point
  23. 1 point
    You made even the shwack sound fun, nice work!
  24. 1 point
    Congratulations, that looks like it was fun. As one of the many folks who have only done the classic NE buttress route, I salute the adventurous nature of this outing.
  25. 1 point
    If you're planning to do any climbing in the Washington Pass area, it'd be wise to check up on access. HWY 20 is closed just East of Washington Pass and probably will be until we get some significant precipitation. This likely means September or October before you can get through. Areas that are definitely closed include Cutthroat, Silver Star, Wine Spires, Spontaneity Arete and the Gardeners. Also affected is area North of the Twisp River drainage. Though the Liberty Bell are is technically just outside of the closure, I'm not sure it's a great idea to head there right now with the close proximity to the fire operations and potentially placing additional stress on resources and first responders. Same goes for Goat Wall and crags up Lost River Rd as this area is not technically closed but is subject to a Level 1 evacuation order. This is a map of the current USFS closure area:
  26. 1 point
    Trip: Chimney Rock - East Face (U-Gap) Trip Date: 08/24/2020 Trip Report: Are blue collar classic climbs becoming in vogue this year? I was the 18th person of 2020 to sign the Chimney Rock summit register this past Monday! I was inspired by solo trip reports from Jon Parker and Eric Eames (nwhikers) earlier this summer. I always thought I’d need a partner for Chimney Rock, but I enjoy traveling solo and their reports planted the seed that maybe I could do this one alone. Late Sunday afternoon I left the Pete Lake trailhead with a bit of anxiety about what lay ahead. It took just under 4 hours to get to the bivy boulder at 4800’. I was moving quick and racing daylight so I didn’t have to bushwhack in the dark, but I needn’t have worried, the climbers trail is pretty beaten in and was relatively easy to follow. Monday morning I was moving shortly after first light. I accessed the Chimney Glacier at the flat spot @ 6400’ immediately below the imposing North Peak. An easy traverse of the glacier and then up the U-Gap couloir and gully which was heavily moated and a took a lot of weaving back and forth to get through. At the top of the U-Gap came the section I was most anxious about. Super exposed class 3/4 ledges that look quite improbable from far and from near. The ledges had my complete attention. Early on there are a couple blind corners that seem to lead to nowhere but 1000+ feet of air. Once you commit the traverse is quite easy, but the exposure is quite heady. After the exposed traverse the white rocks and hidden ramps went quickly. The three rock pitches felt easy with rock shoes and the benefit of a self belay taking away the exposure anxiety. Views from the top were sublime. The hike out was long but it felt good to reflect on a climb well executed. Gear Notes: 60m rope, light rack Approach Notes: leave PCT at the second switchback to minimize brush
  27. 1 point
    You had a lot more snow on the descent than we did, so you had much more to contend with after an arduous trip. Congratulations on a successful ascent of a great route! At the bottom of the difficulties, just above Lake Serene, there are tarns with lovely slabs and boulders to play on. In the relief from being down from such a route, my friend Chuck and I did some easy bouldering in July, 2005.
  28. 1 point
    I climbed "Bird" peak from the north side that is facing Lake Mountain. That route is class 3-4 maybe a touch of 5th. There is a keyhole section that I climbed through to get to the upper section. The south side is class 3, 4 and solid 5th rope territory.
  29. 1 point
    I'm in awe and highly entertained. "Pole of remoteness", hah
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    This is so true! The rock varied from place to place. Some spots were compact with little pro (getting on to ridge proper) some were loose (tower 1/2) some were solid but covered in lichen and gritty disintegrating rock (tower3) and some was good and blocky but still questionable in places! Definitely need to have experience with Rock Quality to be a good judge. I think if there was a rating for looseness this would get a L3/4 out of L5
  32. 1 point
    Holy wow! Love how you provide so much beta so others might follow in your footsteps. What's hard for many to appreciate who haven't climbed in the Pickets is that the rock quality is often questionable, at least the parts I've seen. If we found a section of totally solid rock with a nice crack (e.g. E Ridge Inspiration) it was cause for celebration. More often, it's compact, with relatively few opportunities for pro, or shattered and full of questionable holds. How was the rock on this line?
  33. 1 point
    Thanks Otto and Off_White. We climbed a day at Royal Columns, a day at Vantage, a day an Mazama. Royal Columns were really cool, the perfect spot for sub-5.10 crack climbing. We ended up flying to WA with a double rack since the weather forecast for Rainier was dismal and glad we carried the gear. Then two weeks later we got the Rainier forecast we needed and flew back for a successful Kautz trip.
  34. 1 point
    Yes, they should have a report up soon! The only caveat is they did not summit the pole of remoteness but they are the first people to do the whole ridge in one day! Cheers to the conquerors!
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    Thank you Jeff and Priti for all the great pictures and descriptions! And for including my colorful quote. Ward and I had no camera. Looking down the dihedral again is thrilling! Cheers. - Jim Walseth
  38. 1 point
    My first was Sahale, Sister got named after it as well haha.
  39. 1 point
  40. 1 point
    Holy cannoli! This is an epic trip you two! Bravo. Takes creativity and vision to dream this one up. Probably not many people understand exactly how crazy hardcore this is. Next level. Chapeau.
  41. 1 point
    We saw many doe on the way to Holden Lake a couple years ago in late September. There were several other hunters in the area too, with one party at the boat packing out a buck.
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Trip: Clark Mountain (8602') - Boulder Creek Route Trip Date: 06/19/2021 Trip Report: Clark Mountain (8602') Boulder Creek Approach Trip Report – June 19-21, 2021 (Sat-Mon) I climbed Clark Mountain (8602') outside Lake Wenatchee, Boulder Creek Approach. Started the climb from the White River Falls Campground Trailhead. The weather was looking perfect again, time for another east side climb. Texted DanO to see if he wanted to go, he was game. We headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. We planned for 3 days for extra time if needed or wanted. We headed down The White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain and back the same way. White River Trail (1507) was a nice flat walk along the river through old growth forest, some blow downs to clear. Boulder Pass Trail (1562) was also nice with some blow downs and was where the climbing began. There was a ford across Boulder Creek that crosses the trail at 4000’. The ford had three sections of creek to cross. We crossed barefoot in the freezing ass water which actually felt quite nice on the feet after a few hours on the trail. The last section of the ford is the deepest and fastest moving, about mid-thigh deep for about 6 feet. I decided to slip and jam my toe into a rock on the last section just for giggles and shits. DanO didn’t have a problem. We started hitting snow just before the ford around 3900’. By the time we made it to camp at 5000’ at the base of Clark Mountain Trail (1556), the snow was thick. We only found one dry, halfway flat area to camp for Saturday night. Sunday. DanO decided to stay at camp and maybe try for the South East Peak Ridge later. I headed out for Clark at 5:30am. The snow was somewhat soft starting out which was a bit surprising. Once wrapping around the Clark Mountain Trail (1556) the snow firmed up for a while then went soft again above. I headed for the 7200’ level of the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn. At that elevation there is a gully that is the easiest way down to the South side of Clark. Had to drop down about 300’. The gully is the easiest way down but it is not easy. The gully is composed of steep, loose rock and snow and is the hardest part of the climb going this route. I worked my way down by using ledges on the other side of the gully. If I had a rope, I would have rappelled the gully. The snow in the gully and on the South side of Clark was firm due to being in the shade, crampons and an ice axe were nice to have. I made my way across the snow to the Clark summit. The temp changed quite a bit once crossing the ridge. One side was like being microwaved alive and the other side had a nice stiff cold 30-40mph wind to deal with. I was happy that I brought a puffy coat to stay warm. The final summit area was basic 2nd class rock. I was thinking about bagging Luahna Peak next door, but after seeing that it would require several extra hours of side hilling on soft snow, I decided against it. There is water at the bottom of the cross over ridge and water all along the South side of Clark to about 7500’. There are several nice bivy locations on the cross over ridge, just no running water, only snow to melt. I came across a long line of Wolverine tracks that went over the ridge and kept going and going. They are amazing animals. Made it back to camp around 4:30pm. We packed up to move below the creek ford for the 2nd night camp. We found a nice camp ground around 3880’. Boulder Creek had gotten deeper the 2nd time across but the crossing went well. Monday. We left the 2nd camp about 7:30am and were back to the car at 10:30am. A nice stroll back. Overall it was a nice climb. All the snow remaining made the trip interesting. I’ll take the snow over the later season loose rock any day. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring sandals for the Boulder Cr. Ford at 4000’, I didn’t and now I have a toe that looks like a rotting banana. 2. Snow starts at 3900’ 3. The last running water was around 7500’ 4. A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent. 5. There are decent bivy spots on the cross over ridge, bring up water with you or melt snow. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Camp (5000’) 8 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to 2nd Camp 12 hours Monday: 2nd Camp to Car 3 hours Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet On the way to camp at 5000' View from camp at 5000' Up & Over the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn. A nice bivy spot on the cross over ridge around 7000' Looking down from top of 7200' Gully. Looking up from the bottom of the ledges I used to bypass the gully. Looking across the upper ledges used to bypass much of the gully on the way back up and over. Summit Rock. Great views from the top - Luahna Peak, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker & Shuksan. Gear Notes: Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet - A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent. Approach Notes: White River Falls Campground Trailhead, White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain.
  44. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Terror - West Ridge Trip Date: 07/25/2020 Trip Report: Mount Terror 8151’ Trip Report I did a solo 3-day climb of the West Ridge of Mount Terror over the weekend. The weather was perfect all weekend and hot (80’s). Very few people do this climb in a given year. I was the first person on the summit registry this year. This is a climb you earn through suffering but the payoff is worth it. This climb tests your navigation skills, fitness, and your overall mountaineering skills. I was thinking about not bring a rope for the climb since I had heard there is a 4th class route up the steep start of the ridge climb. I was glad that I brought the rope. The supposed 4th class route looked like dog shit in my opinion, and I climb some loose, nasty rock on a regular basis. The low 5th class route up the middle looked pretty good, so I climbed that instead. I would not want to climb down that section, one slip and you are FUBAR. I brought a 30 meter glacier rope for rappelling and it worked perfectly for this trip. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring full gaiters for the extensive bushwhacking required for the approach. I brought half gaiters and wore shorts to start because it was hot and it saved some weight. My legs now look like hamburger. 2. The 30 meter glacier rope worked great for me but a longer rope would give you more options. There are plenty of anchors already established. I brought anchor material but didn’t need it. 3. DO NOT LOSE THE TRAIL. If you lose the trail go back and find it. The terrain in the Pickets does not suffer fools. You can wander for days out there and still not get anywhere. 4. Crossing Terror Creek sucked! The water is high right now and moving fast. The only place I found to cross was about 15 minutes downstream of the trail on the nice side. It was a log that goes about 2/3 of the way across the creek to some rocks that you can jump on to get across. It takes twice as long on the nasty side to get back to the trail that goes straight up the ridge. Falling in the creek at that spot would be bad. 5. Water on the ridge up to camp is non-existent. Get all the water you will need at Terror Creek before you start up the trail going up the ridge. There is no water from 2200’ to 5600’. 6. The trail heading up to the ridge is one of the steepest climber’s trails I have ever climbed up. I tapped out at 5600’ on day 1. 7. There is a sharp turn in the trail at around 3800’ that puts you on the ridge in a nice spot. It is marked well with a dead tree that has a stick across it and flagging tape. 8. There is still a lot of snow above 5600’. I was on snow until the very top of the Terror Col on summit day. The snow in the gully to Terror Col is steep, and when it is soft it is nerve-racking. Travel Time for reference: Day 1 (approach), 9 hours – Day 2 (summit), 11.5 hours – Day 3 (back to car), 6.5 hours. Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons, Helmet, 30 meter Rope & Harness. Rocky tent platform at Terror Creek. If you don't come across this spot, you are off route. Trail start on the other side of the Terror Creek for the death march up the ridge to bliss. Remember this spot, it is very important. Terror Creek crossing location. It is not as nice as it looks. View of the route to Mount Terror gully from the 6400' camp at the Barrier Col Base of Terror gully (full of snow). Yes, it is that steep. Potential 4th Class section up to West Ridge? I call bullshit. Side view of lower part of 5th Class up ridge. Straight on view of wall you will be climbing. It doesn't look quite that steep in person. View looking down the 5th class sections. Heather goat trail that leads to the actual summit block. Airy summit. Summit Registry, Thanks Fay Pullen! Is the effort worth it? The pictures do no justice to the beauty of the area. Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons, Helmet, 30 meter Rope & Harness, Bring Full Gaiters for the bushwhacking. Approach Notes: Terror Creek crossing sucked, See Tip #4. Limited water on approach, See Tip #5
  45. 1 point
    That is super impressive @ryaneames! Both on your and your dad's parts!! Wow.
  46. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Terror - West Ridge Trip Date: 06/20/2021 Trip Report: YouTube video: https://youtu.be/xpHcQ5-uq5g 3 day trip, early season. Crux of the trip were the raging stream crossings. Getting in during the morning was okay. But had to work to find a crossing on the way back with the streams rising. Went aways downstream on the last crossing and hopped a big rock to an island then climbed up to a pair of fallen logs and au chevaled one to get across. We saw more bear crap on the trail this trip than the last 10 years combined. Literally about every couple hundred feet was a pile of bear poo. Heard some crashing through the brush on the way out pretty close to the trailhead. The poo thinned out once we got to Terror Creek but still saw some up on the climbers trail on the ridge. Other than that its tough to follow the climbers trail in without constantly losing it. If you lose it don't venture too far, find it as soon as possible. From Terror creek it was almost 4000ft gain before we saw any running water for as much snow as there is up there. The campsite at the col is under a giant 10ft mound of snow with just the edge visible. We carved out a tent platform in a whiteout just next to the rocks of the ridge. Next morning had great weather and snow all the way from camp to within 10ft of the notch up the gully. Great conditions going up, didn't rope up, no moats forming yet. Then a short steep snow section up to the base of the rock climb. Not sure why there are reports of 2 pitches of low 5th class. We did a 30 meter pitch of low 5th then it was easy scrambling from there. We went to the false summit first (in hindsight should have gone into the right gully below the face further down. This meant a 4th class downclimb a hundred feet or so. There were some rap slings but we just downclimbed. It looked intimidating from further back but once on the left side of the face it was great 3rd class (some have said 4th class) scrambling with solid rock. Steep enough we did 3 rappels back down from existing slings. The rap stations were all looking pretty ratty so we left behind a couple slings to back them up. The step across to the true summit is exposed but easy on solid rock. The summit register is in a crack right at the summit block. If you step up to the summit block, look down and its in a little white PVC tube in a crack. The snow coming down the gully was a couple inches of soft mush over hardpack and we had to facein downclimb about 2/3 of it. Gear Notes: 60m skinny rope, light rack to #1, a few small nuts, ice axe, crampons Approach Notes: Its the Pickets, it sucks. Like the TR before us. If you loose the climbers trail, find it. Crux of the trip were the raging stream crossings.
  47. 1 point
    Kk pics. Skin track on the way up Chair Bryant Slopes Pineapple Basin The notch Zach on the final pitch Chair from the summit More views Scramble to first rap The route Second rap into the gully
  48. 1 point
    Trip: Ruth Gorge - Kuriositeten and Mount Bradley plus others Trip Date: 04/26/2021 Trip Report: I am a little late in posting this because I had a 3 week Denali expedition right after this trip. So I am just now getting back into the swing of regular life and unpacking. Anyway I figured I would post up a trip report from the Ruth Gorge. We flew in on April 26 to the Ruth Glacier just below the East Face of Dickey. Man that is a face to dream about!! We were a team of 4 that functioned as 2 teams of 2. We just changed up partners a few times based on people’s route choice. The Ruth Gorge was Plan B and we didn’t know we were going to the Ruth until about 4 days prior to flying in. So we were pretty ill prepared with route research and overall beta (with the exception of the classic lines). Grosvenor, Johnson, and Wake (left to right), from the flight in. Talkeetna Air Taxi on the Ruth Glacier with Peak 7400 and London Towers in the background. April 27 - Our first full day on the glacier. It was warm and sunny and I teamed up with Robbie to head for Cobra Pillar and just see how the climbing was. We got up to the top of pitch 5 when the sun disappeared behind the mountain and it started to get cold. We were also less than impressed by the first 5 pitches. When the guidebook says “C1+ rotten or 5.11” you should probably just avoid that pitch! I led it and was literally kicking new footholds into the large granite crystals and hoping they wouldn’t crumble under my bodyweight. Needless to say we had no desire to go back with so much other good looking rock. Robbie on the 2nd pitch of Cobra Pillar. Robbie just after the traverse on Cobra Pillar April 28 - We scoped several lines and tried to generally figure out what lines had been done. Thankfully we had used our phone to screen shot several AAJ articles so we were able to figure out some of it. Our efforts were mostly focused on Dickey and Peak 7400 since they were the closest to camp. Scoping a potential ice line. April 29-30 - weather days. Snowed about 18 inches. May 1 - We scoped lines going south on the Ruth Glacier. Looked at stuff on Bradley, Wake, Johnson, and London Towers. We were starting to get a good sense of snow conditions based on aspect and finally figuring out where everything is. We did climb the opening 2 pitches of The Escalator on Mt Johnson. It was really fun alpine ice and it gave us a good excuse to use the ice tools and screws. There were a couple of steeper smears to the left that we hoped to climb but the ice was only about 2-3 inches thick and there wasn’t any rock pro available. Scoping "The Escalator" on Mount Johnson. Climbing up the first couple ice pitches on The Escalator on Mount Johnson. Great alpine ice! May 2 - Based on the conditions we found yesterday we deemed it prudent to give the mountains one more day to shed snow and get some freeze/thaw going so it wouldn’t be a postholing nightmare. We had brought a telescope so we looked very closely at a couple of lines that interested us and talked about what line to do tomorrow. A couple people of our group went over to check out the first couple pitches of “The Wine Bottle” on Mt. Dickey. Man that is an inspiring looking line! We watched them through the telescope. May 3 - I teamed up with Duncan to climb Kuriositeten (AI5, M3+, 800m). It is a “smaller route” that was first put up in 2008 on peak just left of 747 Pass. At 2500ft it isn’t really a small route but when you see how it looks sitting between the giants of Dickey and Bradley it appears small. The route follows a couloir splitting the east face of the peak. It is a lot of snow climbing but also contains some mixed steps and 3 distinct ice steps ranging from 15m to 70m tall. Honestly it reminded me of some of the climbing in Cody, WY, where you follow a twisting canyon/couloir always excited about what might be around the next corner. The crux is the final step. It is about 70m+ and the first half is pretty dead vertical. Thankfully the ice quality was great and we throughly enjoyed the position deap inside the slot. We had very little beta about this route so had only brought 7 screws. We were able to find rock gear for the beginning belay and then I just ran it out as far as I dared between screws. We still had to break it into 2 pitches as I found myself with only 2 anchor screws left after 35m. Duncan took the upper half and soon we found ourselves on the snow slopes above. This is a fantastic route in the Ruth and should see more traffic! One of the reasons we wanted to climb this route was to recon the decent from Bradley. One of the reports we had regarding Bradley, was to descend the “standard west ridge” but that party bailed down a face after not being able to descend the west ridge. Another report talked about descending to the Backside Glacier and walking way back around through 747 pass. Another report talked about descending the Bradley/Wake Col. To complicate matters CalTopo and Gaia both showed some weird topography anomalies on their topo maps. In fact both showed a 800-1000ft cliff coming off the back side of Bradley that looked very complicated to navigate around. The problem was the topo lines didn’t seem to match what we had heard in reports. Needless to say we were very interested in looking at the descent from the top of Kuriositeten. In the end we discovered that both Gaia and CalTopo were very wrong in their topography. In places it was off by 1000ft. What appeared to be a huge cliff was just a small snow slope that was easily walkable. We couldn’t see the whole decent but we felt much better about things after this day. Skiing over to Kuriositeten. It climbs the big gash on the peak in the middle back. Even though the line is 2500ft tall it looks small in comparison to Bradley (left) and Dickey (right). Duncan starting up Kuriositeten. Looking up from the belay at the top of the first ice step. Approaching the 3rd ice step crux. It is the narrow looking ribbon of ice way up in the slot. Duncan climbing up through the crux pitch on Kuriositeten. A fantastic route in the Ruth. From the summit of Kuriositeten looking over towards Mount Bradley. Descending the back side of Kuriositeten in the late evening light. May 4 - Rest day. May 5 and 6 - For the big goal of the trip we picked Mount Bradley. A couple of our party had started up the East Ridge of Bradley the day I had climbed on Cobra Pillar. They found deep unconsolidated snow on all northern aspects. Even though it is called the East Ridge the first 1/3 of the route is mostly on the north side of the ridge. So with no desire to go up that unconsolidated snow we searched for a new route. While looking through all of our screenshots from the AAJ we found John Frieh’s report about a linkup on Mt. Bradley. He and Dylan Johnson had also found bad snow on the start of the regular East Buttress. So with high hopes we set our eyes on their Link of “Season of the Sun" and the “East Buttress”. They rated it M5/6 and the route is 4500 feet tall. It was warm so our plan was to leave camp in the late afternoon and start the route in the evening. We were hoping that by this time the snow might start freezing back up from the day and we could avoid some nasty postholing by climbing through the night. We left camp at 4pm and but 5:15pm we were in crampons working our way up the initial snow slopes. The Season of the Sun route climbs on the right side of the SE face of the mountain and was originally put up by the Giri-Giri Boys. We were a little concerned about the reported M6 offwidth crux but figured we would take it one step at a time. After about 1000 ft of snow with short steps of rock and ice we arrived at the “crux”. We were pleasantly to find it full of ice (AI3). So after a quick romp up great ice and another pitch of low angle rock we arrived at the 2nd couloir. From here route goes up right then back left across snow slopes and around the end of a big buttress. This leads you into the big central gully about mid height on the face. The original Seasons of the Sun route cuts up and back left to stay on the face while we followed Frieh/Johnson’s variation back towards the East Buttress proper. It was somewhere in here that it got dark. Not pitch black but dark enough to warrant a headlamp when technical climbing. Several mixed pitches in the dark brought us to the East Buttress proper. From here another 2 long fun mixed pitches deposited us underneath a huge boulder. By this time it was getting light again and we were out of water. So we spent an hour brewing up and resting. The rest of the east buttress went by in a blur of simul-climbing including one section where I ran out of carabiners and slings and literally clipped the carabiner with all my nuts to a piton just so I could clip the rope in. We topped out on the summit about 10am. The decent was pretty straight forward although with more uphill than we liked. We just followed the main ridge to the west and then cut down and south to follow a different ridge line back towards the Bradley/Wake Col. Unfortunately this led us to wallow up several northern aspects of unconsolidated powder snow. Nothing like trenching in the afternoon sun when you have been up all night! We finally reached the col and took a short break to drink the last of our water and finish up our food. Then it was 2000ft of easy walking down to the last obstacle…the icefall between Wake and Bradley. From the top of the col it appeared to be less broken up on skiers left. But when we arrived skiers left there was only sagging “snow bridges” and open crevasses. We were able to end run everything far left and then rappel over the last bergshrund by leaving a bomber fixed nut in the rock. Finally home free we trudged wearily back towards the base of the route. The snow was like a trap door. Most steps you were fine but every few steps the door would open and suddenly you would be postholing to your thigh. We were excited to be back to our skis were the going suddenly got easy! Rolled back into camp at 7:30pm for a 27.5hr RT time. Starting up Seasons of the Sun. The M6 offwidth crux....we got lucky with fat ice conditions and easy climbing. Typically route conditions...soloing steep snow. About 1/4 of the way up the route now. Nearing the top of the East Buttress proper......during one of the long simul-blocks. The route up Bradley's 4500ft face. This is a linkup of Seasons of the Sun and the East Buttress first done by John Frieh and Dylan Johnson. Descending back down from the Bradley/Wake Col after climbing Mt. Bradley. May 7 - Weather day. Snowed off and on all day. May 8 - Snowed a bit then cleared up in the afternoon but wasn’t enough time for much more than a casual ski. It was warm again. We watched several ice lines we had been looking at fall off the walls. Our camp below the east face of Mount Dickey. Mount Bradley is just to the left of center in behind. May 9 - With the warm weather we opted for rock climbing. But the sun didn’t burn the clouds off until noon so we got a late start. We decided on Goldfinger which is on the Stump. We started climbing and were happy to find good quality rock. The rock quality was WAY better than the first few pitches of Cobra Pillar. Unfortunately due to our late start we lost the sun and our warmth about the top of pitch 6. We contemplated going a few more pitches but opted to just call it since it was unlikely we would top out anyway with such a late start. The climbing was very good though and it would be a classic anywhere in the lower 48. Coming up to the belay at the top of Pitch 2 of Goldfinger. Climbing pitch 6 of Goldfinger. It is fantastic climbing on very good quality rock! May 10 - With bad weather in the forecast for the next several days we opted to fly out. Several of the team members had flights out of Anchorage on the 13th so we didn’t want to be stuck on the glacier and miss flights. TAT here to pick us up. The ever changing clouds giving Mt. Bradley a moody look as we departed. Gear Notes: Alpine rack, heavy on screws for ice routes, heavy on cams for rock routes. Approach Notes: Fly in with Talkeetna Air Taxi, then ski/hike to climbs.
  49. 1 point
    You missed the sit start from the Ruth Glacier.
  50. 1 point
    Thanks @Cliffordsa for the photos and info! Looks like the exit pitch was pretty dry for you as well? There's a random photo on mountain project that shows ice flowing down each side of the chockstone but I never saw it form in my many trips over there this year. @Cptn_Sprayhab I don't see a problem here. @ACosta originally said that the line may have been climbed before and promptly retracted the FA claims when we found out it had been. I find the pervasive "every square foot of Hood has been climbed" belief interesting. No one (so far) has taken issue with our Cathedral Ramp FA claim from a month ago. No one disputed Three Little Monkeys in 2018 or the Pencil in 2017. Other Black Spider routes were put up as recently as 2010 and no one complained about those either. Either all those lines were in fact unclimbed or the true first ascensionists have advanced into a Zen state of truly not caring at all. It's easy to assume some near mythical figure like the aforementioned Steve House would've done everything on Hood, but apparently when asked "what's the best alpine route in Oregon?" he settled on Jeff Park, which probably barely registers as "real climbing" to most of the people in this thread. So it's reasonable to think his Hood resume might not be that extensive. Of course there have been a lot of hard people who have done a lot of hard things on Hood, and some of them have undoubtedly kept quiet about it. It wouldn't surprise me if any number of the routes I mentioned above had been previously climbed. But if people are going to be purposefully secretive or reclusive then they're willingly removing their own voices from the conversation and there's not much the rest of us can do about it. Preserving "ground up adventure climbing" is an interesting topic of discussion but if that's a style of climbing you'd like to pursue shouldn't you just, I don't know, avoid spending time on climbing information websites like this one?
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