Trip: Black Peak - South Ridge
Date: 7/5/2007 - 7/6/07
From Rainy Pass we parked at the PCT Picnic Area and took the Lake Ann TR to Heather Pass. The mosquitoes begin biting here and did not let up the entire way to the peak. Snow starts at Heather Pass and from there all the way to the base of Black Peak. Heather Pass trail is in great condition with only one blow-down to navigate.
From there we side-hilled on sometimes steep snow to Lewis Lake. We took the wrong way and went to the right around the lake. To save yourself time and go left around Lewis Lake, keeping a distance away from the lake on the snow. At the head of the lake cross the inlet on a snow bridge and head up the moraine staying at tree line. Up and over the next knoll brings you to Wing Lake.
We used the snow to camp on (so it was flat) near solid ground and filtered water from the lake. We got on the snow at 6am and made good time up to the ridge. We used crampons but you could just as easily wait one more hour while the snow softened in the morning sun and kicked steps. We climbed up the south ridge on very, very lose rock (everything moves). If you stay on the crest of the ridge the boot path is much better.
Cairns are very scarce so plan some extra time for route finding. We found some snow patches but for the most part it was bare rock. We continued to the summit pyramid and stopped just short of the traverse.