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Kuato last won the day on May 17

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About Kuato

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  • Birthday 12/03/1975


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    Conspiracy Theorist
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    Bellingham, WA
  1. Great trip report! Congratulations on the Bulger 100. Excellent information for that area. I've been thinking of a trip out to those peaks but the time requirement and distance always has me picking something else.
  2. Fantastic Trip Report! It's amazing what the human spirit can endure. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche. I've been thinking about climbing this peak for years. I've heard that there is a 4th Class route up this but it is probably a trap.
  3. Trip: Kyes Peak (7227') & Monte Cristo Peak (7136') - South Ridge & Northwest Face Trip Date: 07/10/2021 Trip Report: I climbed Kyes Peak - South Ridge (7227') & Monte Cristo Peak - Northwest Face (7136') over the weekend. I started the climb from the Blanca Lake Trailhead Approach (Trail 1052) outside Skykomish, WA. The weather was looking perfect again and I had some more free time, so time for the mountains. I planned for a basic 2 day climb but it turned into a 3 day epic instead. Saturday: I drove to the Blanca Lake Trailhead and was starting the trip at 11:00am. I headed up the well traveled trail to Virgin Lake (4540’). I headed to the northeast side of the lake and looked for the climbers trail going north up the ridge toward Kyes Peak. I didn’t find a defined trail but I found something close and started up the ridge. The trail up the ridge comes and goes the whole way up. Sometimes the trail is beautiful and other times it disappears into oblivion. When the trail disappeared it was usually because it took a sharp turn straight up toward the crest of the ridge. The trail is vertical in several spots where you need to use tree branches to make it up. There are several sections of bushwacking in the middle of the trail & also a fair amount of loose rock. Once I dropped down below the west side of point 5845’, I was looking for a good route across the cliffy ridge to the open slopes above Columbia Glacier. I read a report that said you should go back up to the ridge once around point 5845’. I did not do that. I instead saw a nice looking traverse around the toe of the cliffy ridge. The traverse start elevation was about 5300’ and dropped down to about 5200’ while crossing. I hugged close to the toe of the cliffy ridge and found good game/climbers paths throughout the cross over. Some bushwacking through trees and brush on the way over but not bad. The traverse spit me out right in front of a stream and into much better terrain. I climbed up to about 5500’ and found a nice bluff to setup camp, right between two streams and flat. Called it a day at 6:00pm. Sunday: I left the bluff camp at 7:00am and climbed straight up toward the Roundabout Point gap. Took me an hour to get to the gap and then another hour to reach the summit of Kyes Peak. The climbing was relaxing and straight forward. The ridge to Kyes Peak looks pretty steep and exposed from a distance but once on the summit ridge it is basic Class 2-3. A great start to the day and I was making good time. I was thinking that I had plenty of time to hit Monte Cristo Peak next and get back to camp and then head out. Ignorance is bliss. From what I had read, Monte Cristo Peak has several class 3-4 routes up the mountain so I was just going to pick one and make it happen. I traversed below Roundabout Point and decided I wanted to do the Southwest Ridge route to Monte Cristo. I needed to make it down to the Columbia Glacier where I would head straight over to the ridge. Sounds easy. I spent the next 3 hours trying to find a route down to the Columbia Glacier finding nothing but cliffs and deep gullies that both required rapelling to make the glacier below. My only problem being that I did not bring a rope, thinking both peaks were going to be basic class 3-4. I needed to find a section I could down climb without too much risk. Finally at the end of the 3 hours I found the only rock ledge system that would get me to Monte Cristo Peak without a rope. I had to go high up to the base of the cliffs above, and traverse around at about 6650’. The ledge system led to the snow basin between Monte Cristo and the NW ridge of Kyes. I crossed the snow basin to the SE Ridge of Monte Cristo. The SE Ridge of Monte Cristo is supposed to be class 3-4 with a section of 5th. The route looked more like class 3 straight into vertical class 5 for several pitches. I decided to circle around the east side of Monte Cristo to see if there was another section that fit the Class 3-4 description. I made it to the North Col between Monte Cristo and Cadet Peak and still everything looked too vertical. I circle around to the NW Face of Monte Cristo and finally found a section that looked like Class 3-4 down low. I decided to climb this route thinking this must be another one of the Class 3-4 routes up. Wrong! The Class 3-4 turned into 5th Class about 50 feet up the route. I came across 3 different sling/piton setups for placing protection or rappelling along the route. Evidently I was right in the middle of the mid 5th Class route going to the summit, possibly climbing up the rappel route. All of the rock I was encountering was loose, downsloping, steep and nasty. Full suck mode was engaged. The rock quality was so poor that there was no way I wanted to attempt to down climb any of the route. My best option was to keep climbing to the summit and find an easy route down. Finding good holds going up was difficult at best. The rock on the entire side of the mountain was garbage. I would try going left or right to find better rock, but it did not matter, it all sucked. After a few more hours and several years off my life, I finally made the summit at 7:00pm. I found the summit registry in a PVC pipe. The registry was completely water logged and dissolving into pieces. Only the main portion of the summit log remains intact. The PVC pipe summit registries that I have been coming across do not keep out water and seems to absorb water into the pipe. Waterproof paper is a must for the summit registries. Now it was time to find the easy route down off of Monte Cristo. Yeah right! Monte Cristo Peak is basically a giant gravel pit with downsloping loose rock everywhere. The easiest route that I could find was going down the South Face. This was slow and tedious, like walking on marbles spread out all over a hardwood floor sloping off to a cliff. Did I mention that the rock on Monte Cristo Peak sucks? I finally made it down to the snow just as the sun was going down. Thank you Jesus! Out come the lights and I travel back to camp over much easier terrain arriving at 12:30am. I under estimated Monte Cristo Peak and paid a hefty toll. The best lessons are learned the hard way, that way you remember them forever. Monday: I left the bluff camp at 9:30am. I reversed my route all the way back to the car arriving at 4:30pm. I decided to make a stop at Blanca Lake to relax on the way back. Looking up the lake to the Columbia Glacier, there is a giant horseshoe of cliffs surrounding the glacier. The only easy way to the glacier is walking up the side of the lake to the base of the glacier. One thing I wished I knew before starting the climbs. Some Tips and Notes: 1. I’ve climbed a lot of peaks and I can say without a doubt that Monte Cristo Peak has some of the worst rock quality of any peak in the North Cascades. 2. If climbing Monte Cristo Peak, bring a rope for rappelling. Down climbing on the loose garbage rock is about as fun as slamming your hand in a car door. 3. The lower traverse from 5300’ to 5200’ across the toe of the cliffy ridge before the nice slope under Kyes Peak worked well both ways. 4. If you are not bringing a rope, the only route I could find to get to Monte Cristo’s SE Ridge from Kyes Peak is a ledge system at 6650’, on the NW side of the NW Ridge of Kyes Peak. 5. The ridge between Virgin Lake & the Camp below Kyes Peak is dry. Be sure to carry enough water. 6. There are several good camp options on the way up to Kyes Peak, look for the bluffs. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to bluff Camp – 7 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits, back to Camp - 17 hours Monday: Bluff camp to Car - 7 hours Gear used: Whippet, Crampons, Helmet - Could have used an ice axe & a rope Virgin Lake still mostly snow covered. Ridge Trail down low. Ridge Trail up higher. Looking straight across cliffy ridge traverse from 5300' View up toward Roundabout Gap and cross over bluff from camp. Summit ridge of Kyes Peak. On the way to Monte Cristo. Part of 3 hour tour getting to Monte Cristo. Cross over bluff, excellent camp spot. Looking back at the 6650' rock shelf to the SE Ridge of Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo South Face & SE Ridge. On Northwest Face route of Monte Cristo. Relaxing at Blanca Lake. Gear Notes: Gear used: Whippet, Crampons, Helmet - Could have used an ice axe & a rope Approach Notes: Blanca Lake Trailhead (Trail 1052) - Climbed ridge north of Virgin Lake to camp.
  4. I climbed "Bird" peak from the north side that is facing Lake Mountain. That route is class 3-4 maybe a touch of 5th. There is a keyhole section that I climbed through to get to the upper section. The south side is class 3, 4 and solid 5th rope territory.
  5. Trip: Monument Peak (8592'), Lake Mountain (8371'), Bird Peak (8330') - East Ridge Up, SE Ridge Down Trip Date: 07/03/2021 Trip Report: I climbed three peaks over the holiday weekend. Monument Peak (8592'), Lake Mountain (8371'), Bird Peak (8330') outside Mazama, Pistol Pass Approach. Started the climb from the Monument Creek Trailhead (Trail 484). The weather was looking perfect again and a holiday weekend, time for another east side climb. Headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. Saturday: I planned for 3 days as the trip is long with lots of climbing. I headed up Monument Creek Trail to the Eureka Creek ford to the Pistol Pass Trail and up the ridge. There used to be a bridge across Eureka Creek years ago but it came down and has not been replaced. There is a nice bridge base and a solid rock platform on the other side of the creek that is begging for a new bridge. Sure would do wonders for connecting the trails in the area for a nice big loop around the mountains of the area. The ford across Eureka Creek is not too bad, knee to mid-thigh deep depending on the crossing location. I found it easiest to cross a little way down the trail toward a rocky river bank. The Pistol Pass ridge trail is bone dry the whole way up. There is no water from Eureka Creek to Lake of the Woods Lake. I filled up with 3 liters of water at the creek and still had to travel about 2.5 hours without water before I got to Lake of the Woods to set up camp. The ridge is hot as hell when the sun is out, no place to hide and no water to cool off in. The trail up the ridge is hard to follow between 3900’ and 6000’, when in doubt stick to the ridge crest. Sunday: I Left Lake of the Woods Camp at 6:00am and climbed straight up a gully to a ridge line at about 7500’. I was thinking that the prominent rocky peak seen from Pistol Pass and the Lake area was Lake Mountain, it isn’t. It is an unnamed peak that is 40’ lower than Lake Mountain (which is to the north and is much easier to climb). This unnamed peak I am going to call Bird Peak (8330’) from here on out. I’m calling it Bird Peak because it kind of looks like a bird beak from one side and from the other side it looks like the mountain is flipping you the bird. Maybe it should be called Homonym Peak. Anyway, Bird Peak is a decent climb. It is a mix of 3rd, 4th and 5th class rock with an airy summit and room for one, maybe two people, to sit directly on the summit. Sitting on the summit of Bird Peak I realized that I was on the wrong summit and needed to climb Lake Mountain like originally planned. Lake Mountain is a basic class 2-3 scramble. Bird Peak is a much nicer peak. I headed down the ridge from Lake Mountain toward the Lake in the basin between Lake Mtn. and Monument Peak. Lots of water and camping spots in the basin. The ridge down from Lake Mountain to the basin is fairly steep with loose rock combined with slick rock sections. Not too fun but doable. From the basin Lake I climbed up toward the start of the East Ridge of Monument Peak. The East Ridge of Monument Peak is a mix of class 3 & 4 steep, loose, down slopping rock. Off the north side of the ridge is a sheer drop for several hundred feet. The first 100’ is the hardest part of the ridge and then it eases up a bit. With the loose, steep rock and the sheer drop, the pucker factor was at the high setting. I made it to the summit of Monument Peak about 3:00pm. Great views in all directions. I headed down the SE Ridge of Monument to return to camp. The SE Ridge is composed of tedious loose talus most of the way. When I reached the 7000’ mark on the SE Ridge I headed down the diagonal gully to the basin below. It’s loose shit rock all the way down to 6600’. From here I climbed back up and over the gully above Lake of the Woods and back to camp at about 9:00pm. A long day with lots of climbing and distance, my feet were done. Monday: I left Lake of the Woods Camp at 7:00am. I went back up and over Pistol Pass, down the ridge trail, through the Creek and back to the car at 3:30pm. Some Tips and Notes: Bring comfortable shoes, this is a long trip. I brought Hokas for the easy trail and creek crossing and mountaineering boots for the cross country and peaks. There is no water at all on the ridge between Eureka Creek and Lake of the Wood Lake. Bring as much water as you can carry from Eureka Creek. The trail up the ridge is hard to follow between 3900’ and 6000’, when in doubt stick to the ridge crest. The trail will fade in and out in that stretch. There are actually two lakes in the Lake of the Woods area, only the bigger lake is on the map. There is a smaller lake about a ¼ mile north of the main lake. There is a lot of water in the basin between Lake Mtn. and Monument Peak. A lake and several streams with good camping options. The East Ridge of Monument Peak requires your full attention. Class 3-4 steep, loose, down slopping rock. The gully to get onto and off of the SE Ridge of Monument Peak is not fun but it is the best option. Bottom is at about 6600’ and top is at 7000’. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Lake of the Woods Camp - 10.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits back to Camp - 15 hours Monday: Camp to Car - 8 hours Elevation Gain for the trip: about 10,000’ Gear used: Whippet & Helmet Eureka Creek Ford at the top of Trail 484 Pistol Pass View - Bird Peak & Lake of the Woods down in the trees Lake of the Woods - Nice Camping. Bird Peak from ridge above Lake of the Woods Lake Mountain from summit of Bird Peak. Monument Peak - SE Ridge & East Ridge and Face Monument Peak - East Ridge Blackcap Mountain in the distance from the East Ridge of Monument Peak. Monument Peak Summit. View from Monument Peak. Looking down SE Ridge of Monument Peak. 6600' Access point of SE Ridge of Monument Peak. It's a lot steeper than it looks. Wear and Tear. One days worth of grippy rock climbing. Gear Notes: Gear used: Whippet, Helmet, Work Gloves. Bring lots of water carrying capacity, you will need it! Approach Notes: Monument Creek Trailhead (Trail 484) Start Location. Climb ridge trail to Pistol Pass.
  6. There should be a law that all summit registers must be made from waterproof paper. I love to open summit registers that look like used toilet paper inside with a dried up ink pen for writing. I guess they can't use brass weatherproof Mountaineers cases for all the summits, they'd go broke. One of the nicest registers I have even seen is on the top of Boston Peak, you would never guess the age of the register inside.
  7. Trip: Clark Mountain (8602') - Boulder Creek Route Trip Date: 06/19/2021 Trip Report: Clark Mountain (8602') Boulder Creek Approach Trip Report – June 19-21, 2021 (Sat-Mon) I climbed Clark Mountain (8602') outside Lake Wenatchee, Boulder Creek Approach. Started the climb from the White River Falls Campground Trailhead. The weather was looking perfect again, time for another east side climb. Texted DanO to see if he wanted to go, he was game. We headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. We planned for 3 days for extra time if needed or wanted. We headed down The White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain and back the same way. White River Trail (1507) was a nice flat walk along the river through old growth forest, some blow downs to clear. Boulder Pass Trail (1562) was also nice with some blow downs and was where the climbing began. There was a ford across Boulder Creek that crosses the trail at 4000’. The ford had three sections of creek to cross. We crossed barefoot in the freezing ass water which actually felt quite nice on the feet after a few hours on the trail. The last section of the ford is the deepest and fastest moving, about mid-thigh deep for about 6 feet. I decided to slip and jam my toe into a rock on the last section just for giggles and shits. DanO didn’t have a problem. We started hitting snow just before the ford around 3900’. By the time we made it to camp at 5000’ at the base of Clark Mountain Trail (1556), the snow was thick. We only found one dry, halfway flat area to camp for Saturday night. Sunday. DanO decided to stay at camp and maybe try for the South East Peak Ridge later. I headed out for Clark at 5:30am. The snow was somewhat soft starting out which was a bit surprising. Once wrapping around the Clark Mountain Trail (1556) the snow firmed up for a while then went soft again above. I headed for the 7200’ level of the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn. At that elevation there is a gully that is the easiest way down to the South side of Clark. Had to drop down about 300’. The gully is the easiest way down but it is not easy. The gully is composed of steep, loose rock and snow and is the hardest part of the climb going this route. I worked my way down by using ledges on the other side of the gully. If I had a rope, I would have rappelled the gully. The snow in the gully and on the South side of Clark was firm due to being in the shade, crampons and an ice axe were nice to have. I made my way across the snow to the Clark summit. The temp changed quite a bit once crossing the ridge. One side was like being microwaved alive and the other side had a nice stiff cold 30-40mph wind to deal with. I was happy that I brought a puffy coat to stay warm. The final summit area was basic 2nd class rock. I was thinking about bagging Luahna Peak next door, but after seeing that it would require several extra hours of side hilling on soft snow, I decided against it. There is water at the bottom of the cross over ridge and water all along the South side of Clark to about 7500’. There are several nice bivy locations on the cross over ridge, just no running water, only snow to melt. I came across a long line of Wolverine tracks that went over the ridge and kept going and going. They are amazing animals. Made it back to camp around 4:30pm. We packed up to move below the creek ford for the 2nd night camp. We found a nice camp ground around 3880’. Boulder Creek had gotten deeper the 2nd time across but the crossing went well. Monday. We left the 2nd camp about 7:30am and were back to the car at 10:30am. A nice stroll back. Overall it was a nice climb. All the snow remaining made the trip interesting. I’ll take the snow over the later season loose rock any day. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring sandals for the Boulder Cr. Ford at 4000’, I didn’t and now I have a toe that looks like a rotting banana. 2. Snow starts at 3900’ 3. The last running water was around 7500’ 4. A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent. 5. There are decent bivy spots on the cross over ridge, bring up water with you or melt snow. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Camp (5000’) 8 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to 2nd Camp 12 hours Monday: 2nd Camp to Car 3 hours Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet On the way to camp at 5000' View from camp at 5000' Up & Over the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn. A nice bivy spot on the cross over ridge around 7000' Looking down from top of 7200' Gully. Looking up from the bottom of the ledges I used to bypass the gully. Looking across the upper ledges used to bypass much of the gully on the way back up and over. Summit Rock. Great views from the top - Luahna Peak, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker & Shuksan. Gear Notes: Gear used: Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet - A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent. Approach Notes: White River Falls Campground Trailhead, White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain.
  8. Trip: North Gardener & Gardener Mountain - Wolf Creek Trail Approach Trip Date: 05/29/2021 Trip Report: Climbed North Gardener (8956') & Gardener (8898') Mountains outside Winthrop, Wolf Creek Approach. The weather was looking perfect on a long holiday weekend, time for another east side climb. Texted DanO to see if he wanted to go, he was game. We headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. We planned for 3 days for extra time if needed or wanted. Wolf Creek trail to Gardener Meadows was nice, some blow downs to clear. A few snow patches on the trail, the meadow up to about 7000’ is snow free. We decided to camp above the meadows about 500’ vertical. We had the hillside to ourselves, the meadow had many groups camping. We arrived early but not early enough to bag the summits and get back before dark, so we got plenty of sleep to prepare for Sunday. Sunday. DanO decided to stay at camp and maybe try for Gardener later. I headed out for Gardener at 5 am. The snow was very firm and somewhat icy in the early am. I decided not to bring crampons and was regretting that decision for about an hour. I slowly made progress up to the rock above the snow. Probably not the standard route but it got me off the icy snow. The rock was a mix of 2nd and 3rd class with lots of loose rock. Made it to the summit of Gardener before 8 am. There was a peak right next to Gardener that looked to be the same height or possibly higher, so I climbed that too just to be safe. Turns out the other more interesting looking peak was 40’ lower than Gardener, with 3rd class loose rock. Next I headed for the ridge between Gardner and North Gardener. I stayed high on the ridge and was met with loose Class 3 with some decent ledges to get around the vertical rock sections. Took some navigation to find the ledges but they are there. The connecting ridge was the most technically difficult part of the climb. I summited North Gardener around noon. Beautiful views and perfect weather. Made it back to camp around 2pm. We packed up and headed down the trail a ways to camp to make Monday's trip shorter. Monday was uneventful, 4 hours out to the car. Snow started at around 7000’. Last water was around snow level. The ridges and peaks are mostly snow free depending on your route. The bowl coming back down from North Gardener was 75% snow. The snow was perfect for plunge stepping on the way back. Lots of wildlife around the area. We saw two bears, a dozen or so deer and a porcupine over the trip. Overall this is a very nice early season climb with great views. The snow made the climb much more interesting than anticipated. Be ready for many other climbers on route, it is a very popular area. Some Tips and Notes: 1. This is a popular area so plan accordingly. 2. Snow starts at 7000’ 3. The last running water was around 7000’ 4. The ridges and the summits are mostly snow free 5. Crampons, Ice Axe and Helmet would be a good idea to bring along Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Car to Camp (6240’) 7.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits to 2nd Camp 12 hours Monday: 2nd Camp to Car 4 hours Abernathy Peak on the way to camp. Gardener Mountain Summit. Mystery summit off the side of Gardener. 40' lower than Gardener but much more fun to climb. North Gardener from Gardener. Connecting ridge rock. Extra spicy section along the ridge traverse. Views where better than a poke in the eye with a stick. Snow bowl coming down from North Gardener on the way back to camp. DanO trying out his new porcupine mating call, the porcupine was unimpressed. Gear Notes: Gear used: Whippet & Trekking Pole. Didn’t bring crampons or a helmet but would have used both if available. Approach Notes: Wolf Creek Trail Approach. About 10-11 miles to Gardener Meadows.
  9. [TR] Mount Baker - Park Glacier 05/30/2021

    Nice work. That crevasse crossing definitely had some pucker factor.
  10. Did you guys make it past the big ass gate on FS Rd. 38 that has the warning about being video monitored? There is some BS notation about a wildlife closure 12-1 thru 6-15 on some maps. Climbing in whiteouts is fun, it's like entering a parallel universe where you get to wander around inside the mind of Joe Biden when he's trying to read a teleprompter.
  11. Trip: Robinson Mountain (8726') - Northeast Ridge Trip Date: 05/22/2021 Trip Report: I climbed Robinson Mountain (8726’) outside Mazama, Northeast Ridge Route. I started the climb from the Robinson Creek Trailhead, a little over 9 miles down Lost River Rd. from Mazama. I decided to head East over Hwy 20 to see how much snow is in the Eastern Cascades. There is a lot less snow on the east side, but still a decent amount depending on the peak. Robinson Mountain has melted out faster than the surrounding peaks by quite a bit. The weather was perfect. Clear skies and warm. I was prepared for a long day on the mountain so I started up the trail around 5:30am to leave plenty of time before dark. You will cross two bridges on the main trail heading up. About 40 feet after the 2nd bridge (that crosses Beauty Creek) look for the climber’s trial on the right side of the trail heading uphill (about an hour up the trail depending on your speed). The climber’s trail heading up towards Robinson Mountain is fantastic. It is one of the nicest climber’s trails I have ever climbed up. I’ve been on trails that are on maps that are not as nice as this climber’s trail. Snow started at around 4600’, patchy at first, then pretty solid until you turn to go up the grassy slope (5200’). The grassy slope is snow free up until about 6000’. 6000’ to the top of the ridge is all snow. The last running water I came across was a small waterfall right below the lake. The lake (6750’) is still snow covered with a couple spots of water opening up. Water up before going up to the ridge or be prepared to melt snow. From the lake I went up the snow covered slope to the left (south) to gain the ridge. I followed that ridge to the main Northeast ridge that leads to the summit. Most of the ridge is snow free. The climbing is mostly class 2 with a short section of class 3 here and there. The section going up the false summit is the most difficult being exposed 3rd class for about 50 feet. Coming back from the summit I decided to go straight down the snow bowl toward the lake. The snow had been in direct sun for hours so it was perfect for plunge stepping. Overall this is a very nice early season climb. The snow melts off the peak early and the views are awesome. 6100’ of climbing gives you a good workout to boot. Some Tips and Notes: 1. This is a long day trip. Took me 11.5 hours total time. Average fit climber pace. 2. The last running water is right below the lake. 3. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along, as the snow gets somewhat steep in sections. 4. Snow starts at 4600’ 5. The ridge to the summit is mostly snow free. Travel Time for reference: Car to Summit 6.5 hours – Summit to car 4.5 hours Bridge over Beauty Creek. Start of the climber's trail after Beauty Creek Bridge. Look for the broken off tree stump. Climber's trail. Nice enough to be on a trail map. Lake and snow bowl leading to the ridge. Heading up to the ridge on the left (south) side of the lake. Looking down to the lake while heading up to the ridge. Looking up the Northeast ridge to the summit. Looking down the Northeast ridge from the summit. The views from the summit are fantastic! You can see almost all of the major peaks in the Cascades. Gear Notes: Whippet, Ice Axe & Helmet. Brought crampons but didn’t need them. Approach Notes: Robinson Creek Trailhead start location. Head up the climber's trail about 40' past the Beauty Creek bridge.
  12. I added an extra expanded picture looking west which includes Primus & Tricouni peaks. Pretty much all the peaks have a lot of snow still.
  13. Trip: Ruby Mountain (7408') - Northwest Ridge Trip Date: 05/15/2021 Trip Report: I climbed Ruby Mountain (7408’), Northwest Ridge Route. This is usually referred to as the winter or snow route, although there is snow on all routes right now. I’ve been thinking about climbing this mountain for a while but always thought it would be too short or too easy. It is not short and it is physically demanding. Prepare for a long day and lots of climbing in a short distance. This mountain has some of the best views in the North Cascades. Weather was perfect, probably about 75 degrees. Snow started at 3800’. Water was scarce after hitting the snow but small amounts can be found coming off the melting snow. Brought crampons but didn’t need them. Snow was soft nearing the summit slope. I brought a trekking pole and a Whippet. I broke the bottom off the trekking pole on the way down. An ice axe would have been useful. I spent an hour off track on the downhill. Somehow I went down an attached ridge that overlooked the Diablo Lake lookout. I had to cross steep side hill snow to get back on route, which sucked. Some Tips and Notes: 1. This is a long day trip. Took me 12 hours. I’m not a cyborg or super slow, somewhere in the middle. 2. Follow the faint climbers trail going up through the steep rock sections. 3. There are several flat areas heading up the ridge that would work well for camping. 4. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along, as the snow gets pretty steep in sections. 5. Snow starts at 3800’ and water supply is very limited after. 6. The summit ridge is class 2 with a few sections of class 3 on fairly loose rock. Travel Time for reference: Car to Summit 8 hours – Summit to car 4.5 hours Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves. View on the way up. Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump & Snowfield Peak in the back. View heading up to the top of the Northwest Ridge. Summit Ridge & Summit. View looking down the Northwest Ridge. View looking North from the summit. Great mountain for scouting future climbs with mountain views 360 degrees. Expanded View looking west on the way down. Left to Right - Primus Peak, Tricouni Peak, Snowfield Peak, Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump. Gear Notes: Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along. Approach Notes: I parked in a turnout on the north side off of Hwy 20. The turnout is 2.8 miles past the Colony Creek Campground heading east and .4 miles from the John Pierce waterfall bridge heading west. The route starts across the highway at 1900’ on the left side of a boulder field. A faint climbers trail is present that leads around the numerous steep rock sections. It would be a good idea to keep a GPS track going up to retrace the route on the way down. I didn’t and it added to the adventure.
  14. Trip: Mount Ann (5840') - East Ridge Trip Date: 01/23/2021 Trip Report: A buddy and I climbed Mount Ann this weekend. Snowshoe trip in perfect winter weather. We started from the Mount Baker Ski area. We headed up and over Austin Pass heading towards Lake Ann. We climbed up the north basin between Han Peak and Mount Ann, to the east ridge, to the summit. Temperature was fairly cold, water bladder hose kept freezing along the way. Snow conditions were pretty good, varying between a frozen crust to 6" deep powdery snow on a crust. The snow on the steeper sections was a bit slippery, the top 4" or so wanted to slide on the crust beneath. Surprisingly there was running water available along the route. Great trip and workout for a day climb. Awesome views. Trip distance was around 12 miles round trip. Travel Time: Car to Summit: 5 hours Summit back to Car: 4 hours We started at 8:30am and finished at 6:15pm in the dark. We brought lights but didn't need them, the moon supplied enough light to see. Gear Notes: Snowshoes, Trekking Poles, Whippet. The Whippet worked great on the steeper sections. Approach Notes: Mount Baker Ski Area to Austin Pass to North Basin to East Ridge.
  15. [TR] WELKER! - Whacky Wallow 01/18/2021

    Great pictures. Looks like a nice winter climb. Where is Welker? Who hauled up the documentary film crew in their backpack?