Trip: Abiel Peak - North Face Gully Trip Date: 03/10/2019 Trip Report:
I haven't seen any recent TRs, so posting...
Hiro and I picked Abiel Peak to be our next ice climbing destination. Since there are multiple routes we decided to come and see which one to climb [checkout the old TR and AlpineDave blog for options].
It turned out to be North Face Gully. Here is an overview of the climb:
Most of the route is hidden from the approach. Here you can see only the beginning of it at the bottom center:
Soft snow accumulated at the bottom. We spent plenty of time taking turns and cleaning it up:
There was decent ice under snow:
Most of the first pitch was a solid ice.
The second pitch was mostly snow. We did simul climbing. Looking down while at the 2nd pitch:
But simul climbing came to the end very soon, because the third pitch unexpectedly popped around a corner:
It is not vertical, but steeper that it looks like on the photo . Ice wasn't making it easier: at some places it was thin, at others - crumbly snow-ice mix. How does the saying go: placements are getting closer as pucker factor goes up?
Nevertheless we made it up and after that it was only about 30m of snow to a ridge. The ridge met us with sun, warmth and view to Rainier. When walking towards the summit there was a short section of snow covered boulders with lurking cavities in between them.
For a descent we went West staying on a ridge as it kinda circles clockwise. It was just walking. We came back to a car by a sunset. After eleven hours we returned to a car with Granite Mountain saluting us in sunset colors.
7 ice screws, 2 pickets (used one), 0.4, 0.5 & 1 cams (used all), small nuts (used few). Approach Notes:
Solid footpath until Lake Annette. Crossed the lake.