Trip: Lake Chelan - Holden to Stehekin
Toast said I should put in a trip report so here it is.
3 friends and I set out Saturday June 30th for 7 days to climb in the Chelan area. Our objectives were Martin, Flora, Devore and Tupshin in that order. Riddle Peak if time permitting.
For gear, Crampons needed only in early morning on Martin and Devore, otherwise leave them in camp. The 60m rope on Tupshin was not all that necessary but was nice to have. A few assorted nuts and cams needed for the climbing. Nothing special.
After our Lady of the Lake II boat ride into Lucerne, we took the Holden Bus up to Tenmile Creek where we were dropped off less than a mile prior to Holden Village. We chose to go in this way to do Martin instead of the normal Holden Lake, West Ridge route because it would put us in a better position to drop down into 4th of July Basin on the Devore Creek side, plus we didn’t want to deal with the touristy trap of Holden Village even though it is an excellent place to hang out. Also, it gave us an unknown route on Martin’s East Face to add mystery to the trip. We had no route descriptions for the east side of Martin.
Tenmile Creek trail, although not on the map was in excellent shape. The trail eventually crosses Tenmile Creek from west to east at around 4600 ft. The ford was a little deep so we continued father up stream and crossed around 4800 ft. It was then just an uphill semi bush whack to the Hilgard Pass trail that took us into Tenmile Basin. Camp sites available just about anywhere in the basin.
With a 5:00am start time, we worked our way up to the upper basin at the foot of Martins East Glacier. Travel was mostly on Snow and the glacier was free and clear. We worked our way to the northwest corner of the glacier and exited onto a snow finger that took us up onto the rock of Martins East Face. If you have ever been on Bonanza, same shit. Loose rock, extreme exposure and no way to protect. We agreed to stay unroped and to each his own. Class 3 climbing all the way to the top. We passed a rappel sling on the way up so we weren’t the first fools to do this route. Topped out around 8:30am to some excellent views of the Cascades. Short and quick, we made it back to camp and moved it to 4th of July Basin (up and over Tenmile Pass) at the head of Devore Creek. Camped at 5400 ft on Devore Creek to set us up for tomorrows Flora climb. Also because we had no way to cross the creek and we felt we would deal with it on Day 4.
Summit of Martin
Out of camp again at 5:00am. Hats off to Klenke’s report of Flora on Summitpost.com. We followed it like clock work and made the west ridge line of Castle Creek Basin. We chose to drop into the basin and loose the 800 ft of elevation instead of attempting the traverse around. We were into the basin on snow in less then 20 minutes and was gaining elevation on the east side in a matter of no time. Topped out on Flora around noon and took a long break on the summit. This by far was going to be the hardest day of the trip but the easiest mountain to summit. Got back to camp around 6:00pm with enough light in the basin to constructed a bridge over Devore Creek. Spent most of the evening hauling downed trees and branches. Had a bridge in place before late supper and finished the day at around 9:00pm.
Bridge still in place by morning.
We moved camp to Bird Creek Basin at 5800ft. This was by far our easiest day even though we had to haul full packs up to the basin. It was an 8:00am start and we were at camp I believe around 2 or 3:00pm. The hike in was uneventful with only a couple of short slide alder bush whacks to cross. Rested the rest of the day.
Out of camp again at 5:00am and headed for Tupshin. Did a switch-a-roo on days between Tupshin and Devore. One of party members stayed at camp on this day. At the 5800ft camp, the slope up to the ridge was of rolling grassing slopes with some forest areas to cross. Gained the ridge at the 6900ft mark and dropped over the other side to get a great look at Tupshin’s East Face. Again, hat’s off to Klenke’s Summitpost.com report. Greatly detailed route description and pictures. After finishing what he calls Pitch Zero, we climbed right up the middle of the East Face staying on the Class 4/5 route. The rock was good with some looseness but not all that bad. Made the summit around 10:30am. More excellent views of the Cascades. Made our raps down to the top of Pitch Zero and scrambled down to the snow. Awesome climb except for the fact that my brand new 60m bicolor 9.6 Bluewater rope sustained a rock fall and was eventually shortened in camp for our trip up Devore the next day.
Bird Creek Basin with Devore
Again, out of camp at 5:00am and followed Klenke’s words of wisdom up Devore. Just like clockwork, we eventually found our way to the unavoidable step. Breezed over that and was on the summit by 8:30am (I think). An original Summit Register for reading enjoyment. Rap’d to skiers left and was back in camp by noon. Gathered our stuff and headed down for the Devore Creek Trail. Klenke said at a good pace we could make Lake Chelan in 2 hours. Well, it came out to about 4 ½. We had the usual brush to contend with but also some blown downs as well. It was nice to be going down instead of coming up. Reached Weaver Point on Lake Chelan around 6:00pm and weathered the cold dunk into the lake and slept on the floating dock that night.
Good picture of White Goat
We had a 10:30am scheduled pick up from the Stehekin Ranch but someone offered us a ride across at 8:00am so we took it. Breakfast and Coffee in Stehekin could not wait. Made contact with Stehekin Ranch to cancel the boat ride and was out on the Lady Express by noon.
Weaver Point in the morning
All in all, we followed our schedule except the fact that we wanted to throw Riddle Peak in with the bunch but it just wasn’t feasible. The weather was great the whole week for climbing. Last day was the hottest.