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[TR] Northern Pickets - East Fury and Luna in a weekend 06/16/2018


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Trip: Northern Pickets - East Fury and Luna in a weekend

Trip Date: 06/16/2018

Trip Report:

Intro pic from the top of Luna:


I did a solo trip up Mt Challenger a few weeks ago and enjoyed myself so much I decided I needed another dose!

I've become a huge fan of weekend sufferfests. Doing stuff in a day is cool and fun, but you don't get as much of an alpine experience. I like making oatmeal at 4am in a rock bivy, waking up before sunrise at high camp, etc. etc. My pack weight for these trips is probably only 30 lbs or so anyway.

I wanted to get to Luna on this trip, and figured East Fury would be a good stretch goal. I'm too cheap to pay for the water taxi, so I schlepped it 13 miles around Ross Lake and up to 10 mile shelter after work on Friday (I couldn't actually find 10 mile shelter, does it exist?).

Saturday morning I started the much-not-looking-forward-to slog up Access Creek. I used the log crossing at 48.8395, -121.2090, although I could not find any kind of trail from Big Beaver trail to the river crossing. From the log jam, I headed up and right toward Access Creek (I found the higher I went the less bushy it was), and crossed Access Creek at 3k ft (thanks to the people who did Luna in a day last summer for this beta). 

Took about 3 hours from turning off Big Beaver trail to the headwater of Access Creek (was way faster on the way down once I improved my route-finding). The chutes up to the 6,100 ft notch were firm snow which was awesome. 


^ Looking down at Access Creek

The traverse to Luna Col was quick and painless with all the snow. Arrived at Luna Col at 1pm, decided to be ambitious, drop my bivy gear and try to bag East Fury. DSC04345-1.thumb.jpg.79fc70a5cc6ed3fdca75038868d4a78e.jpg

^ East Fury from the 6100 ft notch below Luna Col. I took the right-leaning snow-ramp to the left of the major rock formations. Not sure what the standard route is. 

It took 3.5 hours from Luna Col to top of East Fury, and some micro-storms starting rolling through as I approached the summit. Raised my heartbeat a bit, but made for some good pictures.


^Southern pickets from Fury

Back to Luna Col by 6pm and pretty exhausted, but the sky started clearing so just before sunset I couldn't resist scrambling up Luna.


^Looking north from Luna at sunset. 

The final ridge scramble was spicy! No snow whatsoever, but thought-provoking nonetheless. The last summit log entry was from late last summer.


^Southern Pickets and Fury from Luna

Probably should have brought a headlamp up Luna. 

Best weekend trip to date!

Gear Notes:
Hiking poles and crampons

Approach Notes:
Ross Lake Dam - Access Creek - Luna Col
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Nice TR. Thanks for posting.

It's smart to go up there when snow is still covering a lot of features, like that gully in your photo. When those melt out they'll be unpleasant at best, dangerous in many cases, and downright impassable at worst. 

Challenger solo in a weekend? That's a lot of ground to cover and a big glacier as well.

Be safe, have fun, post more TRs!



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1 hour ago, Rad said:

Challenger solo in a weekend? That's a lot of ground to cover and a big glacier as well.

I think Challenger is quite reasonable in a weekend from Hannegan trailhead (much more so than this trip), the glacier was very filled in as well (end of May). 

Solo glacier travel is definitely a statistics game. I feel like early season on relatively benign glaciers like Challenger or Fury are no more dangerous than highway driving. But maybe that's not the case. 

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