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[TR] Mount Prophet - "Jacob's Ladder" (AKA full SW rib...FA?) 06/24/2018


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Trip: Mount Prophet - "Jacob's Ladder" (AKA full SW rib...FA?)

Trip Date: 06/24/2018

Trip Report:


"And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."  - Genesis 28:10-12 KJV



Grunting our way up the prominent rib on the SW side of Mount Prophet (above, in photo taken from Luna Peak by Martin Shetter), nobody would have mistaken Kit Moffitt and I for angels.  Although the summit of Prophet this past Sunday was certainly much closer to heaven than the bug infested forests back at Luna Camp,  our home for two nights as we investigated the directissima up the SW rib.  Our aim was to explore above 5450' on the feature, where everyone seems to traverse off the rib into a typically crappy talus basin (via 4th class down climb).  Given the ominous warning on SummitPost, Kit and I went in with a rope, rack, and even a pair of rock shoes:

"The rib has cliffs on either side and no one has yet explored the possibility of climbing it directly to the summit. That could prove to be a bad idea."- SP

We were a little disappointed that the gear stayed in the pack the entire time, however (long way to carry it!), but pleasantly surprised to find fairly clean and exposed class 3 climbing for ~1500 vertical feet to the summit.  There really is no reason to leave the SW rib for future parties, until it is time to descend.  We did go down the "SW rib" route (south of actual SW rib, described well on SP and found it to be your typical mix of scree, talus,and pain).  We also found a way back on to the rib at about 5600' that only involved a bit of exposed class 3 (seems easier than how the lower access is described on SP?).  Given the obvious difference in quality between the two scramble routes,  I suspect that future parties will follow the loop that Kit and I did this past Sunday.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has ascended the full SW rib before we did this past weekend.  Does anyone have info of previous parties, before Kit and I go claiming this massive, 3rd class, FA?? It is quite prominent as you descend out Access (Axes? Pickaxes?) Creek, and I noticed it back in 2007 on the exit from my first Pickets trip.  It was fun to come back and explore something that has not been documented before- our very own backyard adventure!  Just goes to show that there are still plenty of blanks on the (climbing) map, even for the blue collar set....


Calling the resort for the boat pickup, saving 12 miles RT:




Luna Peak:


Mac Spires, Inspiration, The Pyramid, Degenhardt:


Blue collar!





Nearing the summit as the rib fades:





"Jacob's Ladder" from the summit



Old habits die hard.  Hanging out with the ghosts at Good Food, post trip:




Gear Notes:
Helmet, axe, crampons (early season). We brought gear in case it was technical, but found nothing over exposed class 3.

Approach Notes:
Big Beaver trail to just before Luna camp, then head uphill a steep vertical mile to the summit. It goes from hiking to scrambling at about 5800' The slope turns into the SW rib which is followed religiously to the summit. Descend on the south side of the rib until you can regain it about 5600'

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Looks like a fun romp.  Good training to haul a rack and rope and the odor from old rock shoes keeps the bugs at bay.  Or maybe attracts them.  

We drove by Good Food on Fathers day and laughed about our last trip there where my wedding ring fell off into one of the "bathroom" sinks and because there was no stopper, went right down the drain.  I retrieved a pair of channel locks from the truck and proceeded to remove the P-trap to find my ring. While reinstalling the P-Trap, I was surprised by someone opening the door and I blurted out "this one is closed for repairs!" as they scurried out.  I washed up (and checked for leaks), put the channel locks away and went in to find our table. We laughed when someone at the table next to us was overheard complaining about the crabby a**hole plumber in the bathroom.

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24 minutes ago, Bronco said:

complaining about the crabby a**hole plumber in the bathroom.

:lmao: oh man......that's classic! 

Funny you should mention people barging into that bathroom when it was "locked".  We talked of this in detail.  That latch just about got everyone, myself included, over the years.  My favorite was a little old lady who just about had a heart attack when the door opened to reveal me on the toilet.  Good times at Good Food. 

Now, if only I had had the guts to go to Blackie's  when it was open in the 90's.... Dallas and Scott have regaled me with tales from that fine establishment.

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I met a fan dancer down in southside Birmingham
She was running from a fat man selling salvation in his hand
She said he's tryin' to save me
But I'm doin' alright, the best that I can
Just a pair of fallen angels tryin' to get through the night

Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, one by one, climbing Jacob's ladder

Comin' over the airwaves the man says I'm overdue
Sing a song, send money, join the chosen few
But mister I'm not in a hurry, and I don't want to be like you
All I want from tomorrow is to get it better than today

Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, one by one, climbing Jacob's ladder

All I want from tomorrow is to get it better than today
Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, one by one, climbing Jacob's ladder

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Thanks everyone! 

@sepultura, I do now that you mention it!  Legendary.  It was never a dull moment around that place.  I also remember Wade would never eat there, being that he was a Skagit Co. health dept. inspector and knew their record of food safety violations.....:lmao:

And @cfire is right, total FarSide each and every time. 

@Phil K, I think you'd really enjoy Jacob's Ladder!

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  • 1 year later...

Was up there last weekend and the Ladder's future is considerably brighter than poor old Good Food. Very direct (though steep) approach under timber, then that long, scenic rib make for a great outing. Way more sensible and aesthetic than coming up from 39 Mile Camp, as the red Fred suggests.

If you want to avoid schwacking entirely, head off the trail just past the major bouldery creek crossing well before Luna camp - the drainage to the right of the route.  Follow the timber north of the creek for about 500' past some monster firs and angle left toward the highest ground, avoiding several mossy slabs. If you manage to get confused on this one, you should probably stick to top-roping at the Exits.  

Cool route, guys!

Edited by curtveld
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Thanks @curtveld, glad you enjoyed it!  And yes, you nailed the approach beta from the trail- I could have been more specific about where to turn off.  Post up a TR of your own if you have the time!

I should add that in my correspondence with the Skagit Oracle (John Roper) he was of the opinion that nobody had climbed the rib before last summer.  Not that our ascent was a huge deal, just passing it along that I did check with him.  Fred, of course, is silent on the matter- both in word and print.

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  • 4 years later...

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