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JDT last won the day on September 1 2020

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About JDT

  • Birthday 10/10/1982

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  1. Sounds like an adventure! BTW, we got on the buttress from the east, and it was no problem:
  2. Trip: Mt. Fury - North Buttress Date: 6/23/2017 Trip Report: Summary: We climbed North Buttress Fury over a three day weekend (July 23-25), approaching up Access Creek on day 1, climbing the buttress on day 2, and descending on day 3. Definitely one of the best routes I've climbed in the cascades. Pictures and Details: We were happy to be at the Ross Lake dock for a 8 AM ferry ride to the Big Beaver trailhead. I would have liked to leave earlier, but 8 AM is the earliest they will do. Call ahead for a reservation, and be prepared for the high cost: $65 per boat ride, $130 there and back. The ferry ride only took about 10 minutes. We arranged a pick up time on Sunday for 6 PM, which is the latest they would do. After hiking up the Big Beaver trail for 10 miles, we arrive at our turn off for Access Creek. We dropped our trail runners here, put on our boots, and headed towards the river ford. After searching around for a bit through the devils club, we found a feasible ford (located here: 48.844834, -121.217546), which involved thigh deep water. Elsewhere and we would have been swimming because the river was quite high. The bushwhack up Access Creek was fairly pleasant. Certainly one of the easiest bushwhacks I've done, and there is even a faint trail most of the way if you can stay on it. Perhaps in later season, when the new growth comes in, it becomes harder. Free of the bushes in upper Access Creek, just about to head up steep snow slopes. Traversing over to Luna col. Setting up camp at Luna col. It was a long and tiring day. We started with the ferry at 8 AM and got to camp at 9:30 PM. We slept in and only got up at 6 AM to start our climb. The North Buttress looms. From Luna col we descended down to Luna and Lousy Lakes. We had heard about people getting cliffed-out above Luna Lake. To avoid this, we traversed aggressively skiers left from the col, keeping just below large rock buttresses. We got down to Luna Lake this way with no problems. We then traversed beneath the northern aspect of Mt. Fury, making our way quickly beneath several bands of hanging ice cliffs and rock-fall zones. It would probably have been a better idea to get up earlier and avoid the objective hazard. We heard rock and ice fall all day. The access couloir for the North Buttress. 50+ deg snow in places. We accessed the buttress via a couloir on its eastern flank (as described in Beckey), which avoids rock and icefall danger associated with the access on the western flank. This couloir was continuous for us, but will probably involve several rock transitions as it melts out later in the season. There was a lot of snow on the route this early in the season, which made for tricky route finding at times. But there was usually a way to avoid it. The climbing difficulty was 5.8 in two places, not the 5.6 advertised. Otherwise, mostly 4th to low-5th class. We climbed in boots, but the rock was very textured, so it would have been more fun and faster to bring rock shoes. The exposure on this route was great the whole way. The final snow arete on Fury, puts the one on J-berg to shame. The arete was quite steep in places (near the start, and at the top), up to 50+ deg. Snow was fairly soft, but it made for good steps. The start of the arete was a disturbingly narrow fin of snow, with incredible exposure to both sides. After that the arete was nice and fat. The final bit of steepness before the arete was over. And there she is in all her glory. A few more rock scrambles brought us to the top. Contemplating the Southern Pickets at the summit. After that, it was a lot of steep snow traversing and up-down travel back to the tents, which we made at 10 PM. A long day. The next day we slept in again, and only got moving at 9 AM. The descent down Access Creek was hot and buggy, but went without major trouble. At the trail, we realized that we had 3 hours to hike 10 miles to the ferry, so we hoofed it. A sting in the tail, but we made the ferry, and at least a beer came with it. Gear Notes: Single twin rope. Small rack of 5 cams and a few nuts. Boots (rock shoes would have been nice). One ice axe, maybe bring two later in the season. Approach Notes: Access Creek.
  3. Trip: Sir Donald - NW Ridge Date: 8/18/2015 Trip Report: Summary: I climbed Sir Donald via the NW ridge with my wife, Lisa, and two Canadian climbers we teamed up with, Meghan and Sheena. This was a really fun climb with continuous exposure and spectacular views. It's easily soloed going up, but the exposure might get to you on the way down. I would describe the route as rock ad nauseam. A word of warning, due to grizzly bear activity in the area, you need to climb this mountain as a party of 4! This came as a major surprise to us when we registered for the climb. Details: Lisa and I were on a bit of a road trip, so we took two days to meander over to Sir Donald, arriving on Monday afternoon August 17th. On the way we passed through Chelan, which looked like armageddon with the heavy smoke in the air. The Wolverine Fire was easily seen from the highway and resembled a nuclear mushroom cloud. After getting to Roger's Pass, we went over to the visitor center to declare our intent to climb Mr. Donald, but much to our surprise, they said we needed 4 people to climb. Huh? We'd never heard of such a regulation in all of our climbing, and had not seen this advertised anywhere. Summitpost makes no mention of the 4 person requirement. In retrospect, the requirement is written in fine print, embedded deeply among other fine print, on the descent beta pamphlet for Sir Donald that Parks Canada puts out (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/glacier/activ/activ4.aspx). Apparently grizzly bears have been molesting two person parties in the vicinity of Sir Donald, so Parks Canada wants us to gang up on the bears. Feeling a bit bitter about Canada in general, we scrounged around for other climbers in the same fix to see if we could team up. Just when we were about to give up and head off on an alternative trip, two Canadian climbers, Meghan and Sheena, rolled into the visitor center and got 'grizzly beared'. We decided to join forces, and we really enjoyed climbing with these two. What luck! Stoked, we quickly prepped for the hike up that evening, but then dithered around for an hour or two while Parks Canada sorted out the permits and camping fees. Our fellow Canadians pointed out that this sort of thing is common with Parks Canada; however, to be fair, the park officials were all very polite and helped us connect with the other party. Finally on the trail, we hoofed it up ~3500' to the lower bivy site, just below the Uto-Sir Donald col, reaching camp at dusk. The bears did not attack us, but we kept close together lest they target any stragglers. Even in this dry summer, we found a good source of water, a decent sized tarn, at the bivy spots. We decided on a 430 AM wake up time and got going at sunrise. From the bivy sites, you go up a loose talus and scree slope and traverse over to the Uto-Sir Donald col from climbers right. Take time to find the trail up the scree, it'll make life easier. At the col we were a bit intimated by the ridge, but like most things climbing, it looked a lot less fearsome up close. We decided to solo the ridge until we no longer felt comfortable. For the next hour+ we scrambled up 4th and 5th class terrain with continuous exposure. Super fun and solid rock climbing! The ridge crest generally has the most solid rock, but easier climbing (3rd or 4th) can usually be found climbers left of the ridge when the ridge gets steeper. After ~2000' of upward progress, we came to a steep step and we decided it was time to rope up for simul climbing. This turned out to be about as fast as soloing, and we quickly made up the remaining ~700' of elevation to the spectacular summit. Just clip the many anchors as you go along, I only placed one cam. On the summit, we took a moment to marvel at the unknown-to-us glaciated peaks stretching to the north and south of us. The descent off Mr. Donald ended up taking a lot more time than the ascent. We started things off by going down the SW face bypass; loose scree on rock steps hanging over a sobering drop-off. Pretty easy though. After intersecting the ridge, we downclimbed for a bit, but everyone was feeling a bit tired and the exposure looking down made for slow downclimbing. So, we started a series of endless rappels. 3 raps down the ridge, followed by ~100' of downclimbing. 2 more raps down the ridge, then 5 off of the ridge down a rock face, then more downclimbing, then 2 more raps to gain the lower scree slope. All in all, the descent took about 7 hours. Look at the Parks Canada pamphlet for beta! Pictures: We got a good view of the NW ridge of Sir Donald from the highway, looks steep! Sir Donald is the right most peak and the route goes up the left hand ridge. Beware the bears! Glad to have a 4 person party now. Mr. Donald is looking moody. The route goes up the left hand ridge from the col. The views from the lower bivy sites were OK. All is right with the world, a room with a view. Starting up the ridge. Stoked on climbing the ridge. The views from the summit didn't suck. Reading the summit register. Starting the loose bypass descent. Some exposure on the bypass. Only two more rappels to go! The second to last rappel Descending down a sea of rock. Finally done with the rappels and on the talus slopes. Later, Mr. Donald. Gear Notes: Minimal rack Single 60 m rope Good hiking sneakers for the descent Puffy coat would have been nice Approach Notes: Must be approached and deproached as a party of 4. You must also camp together as a party of 4; however, you can climb as separate teams. I kinda like how Mr. Donald is bringing people together...sort of.
  4. I thought of that approach, but because we were already at Lake Chelan, it made more sense to forge ahead with the Lucerne-Holden plan. People in Holden seemed to think that major construction would be done by next year too. Val, don't you have more TRs to be putting up?
  5. Do you have pictures of the impasse scramble? We took one look at it and thought it looked heinous, but maybe that was because of the foggy conditions we were in.
  6. Trip: Bonanza - Mary Green Glacier Date: 7/3/2015 Trip Report: Summary: Dylan and I climbed the Mary Green Glacier route on Bonanza over a three day weekend (July 3-5) by way of Lucerne-Holden. The route is in; the final rock scramble is easily accessed from the upper glacier. Crevasses are easy to navigate. The real crux of the trip was just getting to Holden in the first place! Details: Our adventure started off with a 430 AM departure from Seattle so that we would make it to Fields Point in time for the ferry. After a long drive (4 hours) we arrived at Fields Point, but we found out that the bus to Holden only runs Sat-Sun on account of the mine remediation project going on there. Also, the road to Holden is closed to hikers and so are many of the trails near Holden. Guess we should have done more research! After scratching our heads for a bit, we decided to just go anyway and see if we could beg a ride up on one of the supply busses that goes to Holden. Crossing our fingers, we paid out the dough for the ferry and enjoyed the several-hour-long ride up Lake Chelan. And boy was this trip to be expensive! - $60 ea for the ferry tickets - $10 ea for the bus to Holden - $14 for parking ...or maybe we are just cheap. At the Port of Lucerne we saw a supply bus and tried to beg our way to a ride, but to no avail. The lady mentioned something about "liability reasons" (huh?), claiming that she knew it really sucked, but we could not hitch a ride. I bet she had no idea just how much it would suck. After scratching our heads for a bit (and heaping curses on the people of Holden), we found a cunning path along abandoned trails and via bushwhacking that would get us to Holden without entering into the verboten area, just 12 miles to go! So, we bushwhacked 5 miles up the severely overgrown Railroad Creek trail, then 5 or so miles of easier wooded trail, then bushwhacked to the valley bottom, waded across the waist-deep river, then through heinous alder to another trail on the other side, and finally to Holden. Yeah, it sucked. And it was hot. By the time we got to Holden, it was getting dark, so we set up camp at the forest service campground just outside of town. The next morning we hiked 5 miles up trail to Holden Lake, then a few more miles along worse trail to Holden Pass. From Holden Pass, we traversed rocky ledges with numerous waterfalls until we could move up to the base of the glacier. Nothing above class 3. I'd recommend staying as far right as possible on the waterfall ledges because ice blocks threaten the ledges on the left. We saw ice falls come down the ledges several times during the day. Once on the glacier, we stayed far right until just below the final summit pyramid, which avoids the crevassed central portion of the glacier. At the plateau below the pyramid, we traversed climbers left to access the glacial ramp leading to the rock portion of Bonanza. The glacial ramp is in great shape and it is easy to step onto the rock. The final rock section is about 500' (or more) of 3rd/4th class scrambling. I found that you could always find a 3rd class option by looking to the right or left of the central gully. I also thought that the rock was pretty good by North Cascades standards. A final exciting traverse on a ridge crest brings you to the spectacular summit. What a view! After soaking in the views, we descended all the way back down to Holden, reaching camp at dusk. The next day, we got up leisurely and ambled into town around 10 AM. Much to our delight, we caught a bus going down to Lucerne. We then upgraded our tickets to get on the Lady Express so that we could get home a reasonable time. Pictures: Fording the river on our hike to Holden Holden Lake and Bonanza Waterfall ledges Heading up to Holden Pass The grassy ledges that we traversed A crevassed glacier Heading up to the summit pyramid The condition of the glacial ramp El summito Headed down
  7. Trip: Challenger - Easy Ridge-Perfect Pass Date: 6/10/2015 Trip Report: Summary: Mark (mneagle) and I successfully climbed Challenger over three days (June 10-13), persevering through bad weather, navigation issues, and low food supplies. Challenger delivered the goods, a classic North Cascades challenge! For those wanting to go up this year, the Imperfect Impasse was perfectly impassable this year due to low snow conditions. Fortunately, it is possible to descend only ~500' on open talus and then cross the Impasse, rather than bushwhacking the full 1000' to the true base of the Impasse. Also, the bergshrund below the summit of Challenger is easily crossed now. Details: I've climbed with Mark a few times over the years after we met on CC.com in 2008 and did a whirlwind trip in Yosemite. Our trips are usually filled with plenty of suffering, and lots of climbing. Mark lives in Colorado but was having a sleepless week attending a sleep conference in Seattle (he's a doctor). To climb Challenger, we chose the Hannegan Pass-Easy Ridge-Perfect Pass route, the shortest option possible that fit our three-day timeframe. On Wednesday we drove up to the Hannegan pass trailhead to bite off some of next days' mileage. Mark didn't have much time at the conference to get food together, so we stopped by REI in Bellingham. In total, I think he got 3 freeze dried meals, maybe 8 packets of gu, and a smattering of bars. "Mark...are you sure that's enough food?" "Sure, it'll be fine." Doctors, not sure how they do it! After getting to the trailhead at around 8 or so, we hiked 4 miles and bivied at Hannegan Pass. The next morning, we reluctantly descended all of our precious elevation, 5 miles down, down, down the Chilliwack River to the start of the climbers trail up to Easy Ridge. Wait, where was that climbers trail again? Somehow we missed the obvious trail heading off the main trail to the right. After unsuccessfully searching around for the trail a bit, we decided to just bite the bullet and bushwhack straight up Easy Ridge, which sounded like a good idea at the time. We forded the Chilliwack River and plunged into the forest. For 2000' we found the best that the Cascades has to offer: steep slippery duff, forested cliffs, bushes, trees, bushes, and more trees and bushes. Thoroughly scrapped and beaten, we emerged onto the meadowy bliss of Easy Ridge several hours later. Easy Ridge was, well, mostly easy. We hiked along open heather slopes up and down various knolls, amid small pools reflecting the spectacular mountains around us. There was only one steepish bit of snow leading up to the summit of Easy Peak that we put crampons on for. Near the end of Easy Ridge, we started descending towards our next obstacle, the Imperfect Impasse. We decided to camp in an open basin before the impasse rather than solve this problem with heavy packs on. The next morning (Friday) dawned with us in a cloud. "I think it's a marine layer, it should just burn off." So we geared up traversed over heathered benches to the dreaded Imperfect Impasse. With high hopes of easy passage, we neared the Impasse, only to find a heinous looking slit in the mist, with 50' dead vertical walls leading to snow at the bottom. Must be the low snow year! In all the pictures I've seen, the snow allows passage to the 3rd class scrambling on the other side. With heavy hearts, we turned and faced the dreaded 1000' elevation drop proscribed to circumvent the Perfect Impasse. After about 500' of descending, we spied an easy way across the Impasse, saving us the remaining 500' of bushwhacking. Here's the beta: go down open talus along the Impasse to near the start of trees/bushes, scramble easily down a nose of rock to the bottom of the Impasse, and then scrabble 50' up a steep gully of compacted dirt. Once on top of the dirt gully, we headed up steep terrain (some 3rd and 4th class scrambling here) until attaining easy talus leading to Perfect Pass. At this point it started snowing on us (some 'marine layer'), so we hunkered down for an hour or two until the weather started to improve. At Perfect Pass, we roped up and headed on a high traverse across the Challenger Glacier, and were soon graced with partly sunny skies, giving us our first good views of the day. Thinking we had Challenger in the bag, we headed up several hundred feet of 55 degree hard snow to a rock summit...from which we saw the real summit a quarter mile away. Doh! No matter, we sped over and were at the base of the final summit rock step in 30 minutes. Mark made quick work of the 5.7 step, using only the three solid-looking fixed pitons for protection, and there we were, on the spectacularly airy summit! Hard won! After that, it only remained for us to reverse everything we had already done. Down from Challenger, down to the base of the Imperfect Impasse, back up to camp, up and down and up and down Easy Ridge, down to the Chilliwack River, up to Hannegan Pass, and then down to the car. Pictures: Camping at Hannegan Pass Bushwhacking up to Easy Ridge Pools along Easy Ridge Climbing up to Easy Peak The Pickets! Looking towards Challenger from camp Camp The Imperfect Impasse Headed across the Challenger Glacier Climbing up to what turned out to be a false summit The final summit block Rapping down Easy views on Easy Ridge Looking back at Challenger Easy on the eyes
  8. Trip: Redoubt and Spickard - Date: 5/23/2015 Trip Report: Summary: Dylan and I had high ambitions for the Chilliwack slam over memorial day weekend (May 23-26), with planned climbed of Redoubt, Spickard, Mox, Custer, and Rahm. But we were ultimately foiled by rain and poor snow conditions. Still, good times were had. Details: We drove up to Depot Creek Rd on Friday to an apocalyptic scene of dark clouds threatening rain. The week prior we watched the forecast steadily deteriorate to 50% chance of rain/thunderstorms, every day of the trip. Still, not having any better ideas, we committed to what would probably be several days in pouring rain. For driving and approach directions, use Steph Abegg's website: http://www.stephabegg.com/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/chilliwackslam. Nice to have, but almost feels like cheating. On Saturday we slogged up to Depot Creek Falls under grey skies and dripping folliage, but things began clearing up and the sun came out to reveal Redoubt in all its glory. Sun, what's that doing here? With renewed hope we charged up to basecamp near 7000' below Redoubt, and climbed up the south face route. The route was filled with snow and ice, making for some thoughtful climbing. Apparently, we were the first ones up this year. Sunday we headed over to Mox, again under surprisingly sunny skies. Wow, was the weather forecast wrong or what? Once on Mox, we found a disconcerting amount of snow of route, and even worse, the snow was a bottomless slush that was impossible to climb up. With the prospect of lots of unstable slush on steep ledges, we decided to turn around before attaining the Ridge of Gendarmes. Next time Mox, next time. By the time we made it back to camp, that clouds started moving in, and we moved camp down to Lake Ouzel in a whiteout. Prime camping spots can be found near Lake Ouzel on sandbars near the lake! Monday dawned with the promised rain, and we kept to the tent while it sprinkled until noon. When the rain looked to be gone, we headed up to Spickard by the NE face. Snow conditions were terrible, an interminable slog up gloppy snow. Rather than directly climb up the final steep snow slope (glop over slabs) we headed to a small col and made some enjoyable 4th class moved over to the true summit. At the summit, the weather came again and it started snowing. We intended to then descend the easy south face, but somehow managed to go down the W face instead due to low visibility in the clouds. Quite steep and direct, but it goes, I guess. Tuesday was a long hike out in the rain! Wetness. That about sums it up. Pictures: The wetness begins, Depot Creek Falls What's the sun doing here? The summit of Redoubt Sketchy snow on Mox A last view of the route on Mox, like a vision of Mallory on Everest. Next time Foxy Moxy. Endless glop on Spickard. So good. Fun 4th class scrambling near the top of Spickard.
  9. Trip: Vesper Peak - Ragged Edge Date: 9/20/2014 Trip Report: This last Saturday, Lisa, Dylan, and I climbed Vesper Peak via "The Ragged Edge", a new route put up on the North Face about a year ago (Ragged Edge). We thought the route was an excellent addition to the area and is a much better option than the standard north face route. Great exposure! All pitches were well protected with a combination of natural pro, bolts, and some shinny new pitons. There is still some loose rock about, particularly on the last three pitches, but we cleaned up what we saw. The start of pitch 4 has a few huge detached blocks that I avoided pulling on, but they seemed pretty solid. Fortunately, the route trends to the right overall, so rockfall induced by parties higher up generally does not fall down the route. With a few more years, this route should clean up nicely. Surprisingly, there were two other parties ahead of us on the climb, so either we were unlucky or this route has already been getting a lot of traffic. It's been a long summer, time to nap Starting up the superb flake on pitch 1 On the 1st pitch, we missed the bolted 5.7 slab section. Because the parties ahead of us were kinda slow, we rapped down to a ledge and did it right. This was some of the most fun and solid climbing on the route, glad we did it! Rapping down to do the slab... Climbering. Top of pitch 5 The top-out involves a bit of heather Gear Notes: 60 m rope We brought the recommended rack, but didn't really use all of it.
  10. You're right, it was the Quien Sabe that we went up, not that Sahale. Changed accordingly. As for the NE ledges descent, I'd done the ledges two times previously. The first time, we only made 4 raps (yeah, we lost count...dumb). What followed was a gut wrenching traverse on steep, loose, 5th class rock. Good times. The second time I figured everything would be OK if I just made the right number of raps (five); however, we still ended up in sketchy terrain and my wife was less than happy. I think we screwed up by going too low at first, but my memory is hazy. Regarding this last time, it's hard to describe exactly what we did because all the ledges kinda look the same. First, on the 5th rap, we went to the very ends of the rope (we had a 60 m). From there, traverse over and slightly down to a small rib (skiers right), beyond which are a series of small, dirty ledges. The rib had a established rap station on it (not sure what it was for) and we traversed about 10' below this rap station. Note: after the raps, it looks tempting to go straight down about 50' to a large rock ledge, but from my second experience, the climbing gets harder if you go too low at the start. I think the key is getting the start right. From the first rib, just use your nose and follow the ledge systems around ribs. In general, we traversed either straight over, or trended downwards. Very rarely did we go upwards. I was repeatedly sucked into upward trending ledges that looked nice, but the climbing would usually get harder, so I backtracked. Things became more obvious and easier the further we traversed, so a lot of careful route finding at first was worth it. Having finally done this descent right, I prefer it to the W ridge descent, which is long and tedious.
  11. Trip: Torment-Forbidden-Sharkfin-Boston-Sahale Traverse - Date: 9/12/2014 Trip Report: Summary: Brenden and I climbed the Torment to Forbidden Traverse (TFT), adding on Sharkfin, Boston, and Sahale over a three day weekend. It was a great tour of an incredible area: very doable and highly recommended! Snow conditions are icy this late in the season, and moats/bergshrunds created time consuming obstacles. On the TFT, we bypassed the snow traverse (hard snow/ice now) and climbed on the ridge crest. This yielded some of the best and most exposed climbing on the whole traverse. Really, why traverse the snow when the goods are on the crest? And yes, Boston is "a low grade pile of ore". Details: Day 1: On Friday, Brenden and I left at the ripe hour of 500 AM from Seattle so that we could arrive at the Marblemount ranger station just as they opened, hoping to beat possible crowds aiming for permits to Boston Basin and Sahale. After waiting through the usual line and chit-chat (I'm thinking there should be a "frequent flier" lane to speed things up), we got our permits and arrived at the trailhead at 830 AM. After hiking up to the Boston Basin campsites, we traversed over to Torment Basin and up the Taboo Glacier. Our chosen route up Torment was the South Ridge. Alternatively, you can climb the SE face, which is described as 4th class in Beckey, but moat issues caused by glacial recession can make this quite tricky and dangerous. Regardless, we saw a set of tracks headed towards the SE face. I'd like to know how that went... Two long simul pitches on the western side of the ridge brought us to a high notch in the south ridge, where we dropped down about 50' (can rap) and traversed along a broad, grassy ledge on the SE face of Torment. Here, we dropped our packs and tagged Torment. Summit number one! Heading up to the Taboo Glacier Starting on the south ridge One down, four to go Summit views didn't suck We then descended and headed along the wide ledge to the TFT proper. Things start off with a spectacular overhanging rappel onto the north side of the ridge. When I had climbed the TFT previously, this section of the traverse had been easy, we just rappelled onto the snow and traversed over. This time, we encountered gapping moats and a large bergschrund. In all, the late season glacier conditions probably took us an extra hour to navigate. Overhanging rappel off the north side of the ridge Moat shenanigans After getting off the snow, we started simulclimbing on rock and were soon at the start of the snow traverse section. We decided to bypass the snow by staying on the ridge crest, on account of the hard snow conditions. At the start of the snow traverse, go up the ridge crest about 50' to a rappel station on the right side of the ridge. Rap down about 50' into a loose gully, and climb up into a notch. Here, we went up superb rock on the left side of the crest, and continued up and over a knife edged ridge. The exposure here was surreal and the rock was great. In all, I think the bypass route is a much better option than the snow traverse. At this point, it was getting late. We quickly simulclimbed until we found a good bivy site. The snow traverse section. Looks like a big avy happened at some point. Heading up great rock on the bypass Some exposure on the bypass Day 2: Next morning, we ambled along the now easy, but always scenic, ridge crest, dropping down to the north side occasionally for easier climbing. Upon reaching the west ridge, we blasted up in two simul pitches to the summit. Climbing on the solid WR rock is such a pleasure after the relative looseness of the traverse! After enjoying the summit for a bit (by the way, the summit register container was missing its cap, so it's exposed to the elements and showed signs of being chewed on by hungry snaffles), we went down the NE ledges. On previous trips, I've always found the NE ledges to be unpleasant. This time, I was determined to find the best way, and guess what, if you really focus on finding the easiest way, the NE ledges is actually a pretty sweet descent. Why, good morning Mr. J-berg The nights are getting cold now, the mornings too Easy street on the ridge "That" Forbidden summit photo Never gets old, does it? A snaffle ate my name off, but nice to see our entry from last year We then descended down to the Boston campsites and contemplated how nice it would be to just camp and stare at J-berg. I always feel that way in Boston Basin. But, no rest for the weary! Up we went to Sharkfin. I've had a macabre fascination with the Sharkfin approach gully, having heard about the Mountaineers accident in 2005. Yes, the approach gully is loose, but no more than anything else is in the Cascades. We climbed up the SE ridge of Sharkfin, staying right on the crest. What a purely enjoyable climb! At the summit, we noticed the sun doing its setting thing again, so we quickly descended to the Quien Sabe Glacier and hoofed it up to the Boston-Sahale col. There we found spectacular bivy sites for the night. Fast forward to Sharkfin...and done. Looking forward to Boston and Sahale tomorrow. Day 3: Why climb Boston? Because it's there, and it's big, but certainly not for the aesthetic qualities of the rock. We awoke early and headed over, with some fear and trembling, to tackle the pile of heinousness known as Boston. We followed beta from Summitpost, which was excellent. In all, everything was quite easy, but the exposure, combined with the looseness of the rock, makes for an unnerving climb. On top of Boston, we found the best summit register: the original book placed by the Mazamas. We sat down to read through it in its entirety, which didn't take very long. Wanting to be done with Boston, we made three raps down the south ridge, making sure to back up our rappels. Each of the three anchors was surprisingly bombproof, though loose rock was everywhere. After Boston, we made the short walk to the summit of Sahale, soaked in the views for one last time, and headed down the paradise that is the Sahale Arm. We reached the car at 300 PM and were home in time for dinner. Great trip! From whence we came Stoked on the bivy site Climbing Boston choss Sketchy 4th class moves high up An engaging read A piece of history Time to make like a rock and get off Boston Sahale makes for all five, time to go home! Happy hiking on the arm Oh, and the best part is the recovery breakfast
  12. Trip: Buck Mountain - North Ridge Date: 8/23/2014 Trip Report: Summary: We climbed Buck Mt. via the North Ridge in 20 hours on Saturday and had a great time. What an epic line! I haven't posted here before, but the beta is always helpful and it's nice to contribute some additional beta on this obscure route. Details: We were planning on climbing Bear Mt. North Buttress this last weekend, but a last minute look at the weather models on Friday showed rain coming in on Sunday. Not wanting to do a heinous bushwhack on Saturday, only to get rained out the next day, we spread our maps out on the floor and tried to come up with a one-day idea that would be at least as epic as Bear. Buck Mt. North Ridge was mentioned, a "classic" that was rediscovered in 2009 by a party who thought they were grabbing the first ascent (2009 report). Unfortunately, they found a record of a previous first ascent in 1976 in the summit register. The reason for the confusion was that Beckey had mistakenly labeled the 1976 climb as the "North Face", when apparently it was the "North Ridge" that had been climbed. The 2009 party had words like "quite solid", "fun", "spectacular finish", and "worthwhile route", which was tempered by "the Gully of Doom" and "earned pro". Anyway, it was big, it was a sweet line, and it was short approach. We drove up to the trailhead Friday night, finally arriving at the parking lot at 1 AM in the morning. After two hours of sleep we woke up at 330 AM, and were off to the races at 415 AM. After hiking on great trail for 5 or 6 miles, we turned off the trail and began bushwhacking through blueberry bushes and pine trees. This lasted for about a mile before we transitioned to alder-whacking instead. Normally, alder-whacking sucks, but we encountered glorious "old-growth" alder that allowed easy passage. After breaking out of the alder, we moved up a steep gully, followed by more bushwhacking, to access the glaciated hanging valley below the North Face of Buck. Heading up to the hanging valley. The North Ridge awaits. The North Ridge of Buck was accessed by the 2009 party via the "Gully of Doom". Thinking it didn't look so bad, we started up a steep apron of compacted rubble and entered a narrow slot canyon. So far so good. Moving up the slot, things began to get kinda steep and we decided to break out the rock shoes and rope. I led one 200' pitch up the ever steepening slot to the top of the ridge, balancing delicately to avoid hitting my partner with loose blocks. Near the top, the rock became totally rotten, steep, and untrustworthy. I managed to get in two OK pieces before committing to the final heinousness, and fortunately nothing came off to tag my partner far below. Glad to be done with that! It turns out that this gully can be avoided, and I definitely recommend avoiding it (more on this below). Approaching the "Gully of Doom". Above the gully, we scrambled up easy heather and talus slopes. In the interest of time, we bypassed several rock towers on the ridge proper on our right. Down low on the ridge, the rock was superb. Absolutely solid granite. We were stoked! After bypassing a bunch of this goodness, we decided to hop on it. Starting around 1130 AM, we led up a long 200+' pitch on fun, solid low-5th rock to the ridge crest, belaying at a prominent notch. Fun 5.7 moves up and left out of the notch, followed by another 200', brought us to the base of a steep, prominent black tower on the ridge. Here, the rock deteriorated to black schist and became steadily worse, right to the very rotten top of the mountain. Beautiful granitic towers on the lower ridge. Totally solid, golden granite. Stoked on the ridge, just before roping up. Did I mention the rock was awesome? Leading up out of the notch. We climbed the black tower in 3 200' pitches, generally staying to the left of the crest. The second pitch was the most memorable. Steep 5.8 climbing with incredible exposure below, made all the more exciting by the rock quality and the lack of pro. With such steep climbing, it was impossible to fully test holds before putting all your weight on them. Each move was quite committing. The final tower pitch. At the top of the black tower, we simuled on rubble for a while. Sometimes, we were faced with vertical rubble, which made for delicate climbing. At a steep step, we belayed and I lead up a short 50' 5.7 section that was actually solid and fun, and then moved up on rubble covered ledges to the base of the final summit pitch. We then made for the summit in a vertical 200' pitch. This pitch started out nice, with some good jam cracks in the back of a dihedral, but quickly deteriorated into loose plates and blocks embedded in dirt. Ah dirt, that special spice. Fortunately, it was easy to avoid pulling on this mess by stemming up the dihedral. We topped out at 600 PM. The summit register showed no other North Ridge entries, so I guess that makes us the 3rd ascent? Simul climbing after the black tower. To descend, we went down the SE ridge. We made it down maybe 2000' on talus and heather before it got dark. Seemingly endless bushwhacking in the dark ensued. We slowly made our way down, self belaying by grabbing trees and bushes, constantly slipping on the steep duff and dirt. I think we both regretted bringing running shoes at this point. Eventually, we began to hear the sound of the river. It taunted us seemingly forever, slowly getting louder and louder. Just when we were about to attain the river, things got ridiculously steep and brushy. Then, we just plunged on across the knee-deep river, to tired to care if we got wet (actually, it felt great). Our torment then continued with an even steeper climb on loose duff and dirt up the opposite bank until we finally attained the trail at 1130 PM. And that was it, a short 1 mile walk brought us to the car, and dinner, and sleep. A moment of reflection before heading down. Neat dike. More photos here Movie showing how steep the ridge was Gear Notes: Ice axe and crampons did come in handy on the way down. Possibly, you could get away with not bringing them. 60 m rope. Full rack with doubles up to red BD. Could have brought less given that not much pro could be placed. Approach Notes: You can avoid the Gully of Doom! Without that bit of nastiness, I would even recommend this route. Sure, it wasn't the most solid thing I've ever climbed, but what a line. It's like the north face of J-berg, once you see it, it just begs to be climbed. To avoid the gully, simply approach up the SE ridge of Buck Mt. to King Lake (see the description in Beckey, apparently it can be done with minimal brush), then traverse over to the North ridge by going over a notch. King Lake with an obvious notch for accessing the north ridge of Buck Mt. Maps showing our ascent and descent (red) and what we think is a much better approach (yellow).
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