Trip: Warrior Peak - Other..
Trip: Warrior Peak - other..
Stymied Attempt at Warrior
Despite a (preventably) stymied attempt to summit Warrior, our group of 4 managed to have a pretty fun 4th of July weekend in the Buckhorn Wilderness/Olympic Natl Park area. We initially blamed our route finding mishaps on a general lack of beta, but after more closely reading olyclimber's TR from June (HEAD LEFT AFTER THE WATERFALL!), we totally coulda had it..!
We took advantage of the 3 day weekend and spent two nights camped at Marmot Pass. Day 1, we left the Upper Quilcene TH around 4pm, and arrived at Marmot Pass to set up camp around 7pm. (Glad we'd planned to camp at Marmot--Mystery camp was PACKED for the holiday weekend despite rain in the forecast).
Day 2 (Warrior Summit attempt):
Walked down to Mystery Camp to fill up on water (about a 30-40 min RT). Great spot at the top of the creek to fill our gravity filter.
Left our camp at Marmot at 10am (a bit of a late start--would start at least an hour earlier next time). Arrived at Boulder Camp at 10:45--not many people camped there (by the time we arrived). Would consider sleeping there to avoid the uphill back to Marmot on the return, but views aren't as nice.
Continued along the trail until we reached what we thought was our creek (aka Not Creek - 1.6 Miles from Boulder Camp):
Not Creek (note the triangular boulder before reaching Not Creek)
Spoiler: We later learned the Waterfall/Creek another .2-ish miles down the trail is THE CREEK.
The Creek (aka waterfall) - head left after you cross this. (Note: there won't be an area remotely resembling a trail, and you'll think "this can't be right" -- it's right).
If you continue another .4 miles after The Creek (waterfall), you'll find the boulder field referenced in the Summit Post trail description.
Boulder field after The Creek (Waterfall). You can head up from here to avoid some bushwhacking (note this approach adds some distance, but if you hate bushwhacking as much as I do, may be worth it).
That concludes the helpful portion of this TR. Posting the rest of our adventure from Not Creek for your reading pleasure.
We headed up Not Creek around noon, after hemming and hawing about whether it was the right way. There was some minor bushwhacking required, and we moseyed along Not Creek before hitting a small snow field. We took the boulder field climbers right of the snow field thinking we would likely punch through the snow (we ended up walking on this snow field on the way down with no post-holing issues).
After passing the snowfield, we headed up ~700 ft vert of steep, loose scree (Type 3 fun) until we hit the bottom of the cliff band on the NW side of the NW peak of Warrior.
Scree Field from Not Creek (not the real route!)
From here, we realized our misstep (we were expecting to see the cirque by now). One person in our party scoped out a steep scree traverse that (we learned later) connected to the Cirque. I scoped out what looked like a Class 4+ scramble up our side of the NW peak. I scrambled a few hundred feet up, and from what I could see, it looked like it may have connected... The holds were good, and the scramble was fun, but quite exposed. The rest of the party didn't feel comfortable with the exposure, so we scrapped that option.
Scramble up the NW peak from Not Creek (not the real route!)
From there, 2 folks in our party decided to take the steep scree traverse to find the Cirque (which they did). I headed down the route we came (scree skiing) because I was curious to continue past the waterfall to see if we could find the boulder field mentioned in the Summit Post route description. (We did, as you may have noted in the helpful portion of my TR).
Here are some pretty pictures from the day.
View from our scramble above Not Creek.
View of Constance Pass from the trail.
The 2 in my party who reached the cirque noted that there was still a bit of snow coverage. They reached the snowy patch late in the day--crampons likely not needed, but ice axe might be nice to have.
Head left after the waterfall. That's all I got..