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[TR] Four Days in Boston Basin 8/1/2017


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Trip: Four Days in Boston Basin


Date: 8/1/2017


Trip Report:

Anchorage is having a normal summer (rainy cloudy crappy) so we bought tickets to Seattle. Flew out Thursday afternoon, were at the Marblemount Ranger Station at 10pm where we scored the #2 ticket (thanks to CC.com for the numbers tip!) and then crashed for a few hours of sleep. Back to the ranger station in the AM where we scored a permit for 4 nights at Boston Basin. Then up to Boston Basin where it was sunny and hot and the horseflies were hungry for human flesh.


A nice night of sleep and then the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak. There was only one other party on it that morning and they were well ahead of us so we had the route to ourselves for both the up and the down. The next day we climbed Sahale Peak and on our last day we tried Torment but we turned around right before the summit ridge because we were tired and didn't want to risk a bivy which would have meant we'd miss our flight.


Nothing to say about these routes that hasn't already been said a million times so I'll just share some select photos. If you're interested in seeing all my photos I've uploaded them to my site .


This was a great trip and I've fallen in love with the North Cascades. Scheming on ways to get down there every time it starts raining.


Route notes:

- if the rangers say the west couloir is out, listen to them.

- you can get off forbidden with 1 rope if you keep going down the gully instead of jumping across to the far (climbers right) gully partially down the 3rd rap. Note that the last rap station is pretty much in the middle of the gully and you're really exposed to rockfall if anyone is above you.

- the anchor on the top of Sahale is gone. We downclimbed but people descending the other side used my anchor to rap down to the anchors on the E side.

- you can get off the S ridge of Torment with one rope as long as you do the traversing raps and hunt around for the intermediate anchors.

- the marmots are vicious.

- the NPS has approved the latest version of the Ursack . Depending on what ranger you get they will argue with you about using it - but it's been approved.



* * *




The camp views were pretty awesome.



The rangers told us the couloir was out but I didn't believe them. There was a nice moat 1/3 of the way up which required some wet crampon rock moves and a creative picket aid move. Next time I'll listen the rangers.



Top of the couloir. The weather here rocks!



I took about a zillion photos on this route.



These guys were on the summit after climbing the E Ridge and shouted "Take a photo". I did and I'm posting it here in case anyone knows them.



My wife at the notch. There was much less cursing that I imagined there would be.



LOST Sapphire on the west ridge. Reward! There was lots of cursing and weeping and wailing when my wife showed me her wedding ring. It was me doing the cursing and weeping.



Damn :pagetop:



Party of 5 coming down the gullies well after dark. The next morning I told them I took some photos of their epic and they shouted "IT WASN'T AN EPIC!!"



Sahale Peak - super fun mellow climb.



This is why you shouldn't start glacier climbs at 2pm.



19 people on Sahale.... and why you shouldn't start glacier climbs at 6am.



Double exposure showing how much this route traverses.



My wife doing the traversing downclimb / rap off Torment.




Goodbye sunny granite. We'll be back!


Edited by wfinley
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It normally rains here too, all summer. You just got really lucky ;).


Glad you had a good time on a couple of our local classics! Let me know when you are planning another trip and I can point you towards a couple areas without the bloodthirsty marmots. :pagetop:


And thanks for the heads up on the Ursak, news to me!

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I had to chuckle about your ring issue. Many years ago I dragged my first wife on a 2 week climbing adventure on our honeymoon and clearly remember the many issues of climbing with them: scratches, constant clinking on holds, eternal fear of finger locks and other jams, dealing with swelling/shrinking of fingers, etc. I decided then and there to ditch rings when climbing. I stand by that decision and it has stood the test of time through 4 marriages. I have finally decided to ditch the ring at ALL OTHER TIMES as well. :kisss: :grin::wave:

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Thanks for the trip report and photos. We chatted a few minutes on your first day up there. We were the party of 3 coming down from the Torment-Forbidden traverse (talked about getting spanked on Mt. Hunter). Glad you two had a good trip. We also saw that party coming down Torment late at night. Certainly looked epic.

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Glad you had a good trip to the NCNP and the weather cooperated. I spend half my year in AK, and the less desirable other 6 months in WA and playing in the North Cascades, weather permitting. I feel your pain with the anti-summer in the Anchorage area. It has been really cool, wet and grey in this part of Alaska as well.

You will have to come back! (Bummer about the ring).

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Great trip! I did almost this same exact one about 10 years ago. First taste of alpine rock. Spooked the shit out of me, but I persevered and now laugh at the memory of almost freaking out on my partner upon reaching the ridge crest of forbidden.

Who climbs with rings on their fingers!!!??? 😂

Seriously though, not a great idea for many reasons. I wear mine on a piece of skinny cord around my neck for climbing and it works great. Sorry about the sapphire.


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