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[TR] Rogers Pass Ridge Running - Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, Sir Donald, Asulkan Ridge, Tupper 07/25/2018


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Trip: Rogers Pass Ridge Running - Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, Sir Donald, Asulkan Ridge, Tupper

Trip Date: 07/25/2018

Trip Report:


It's no secret that Rogers Pass has some of the best moderate alpine rock routes anywhere.  Still, I was surprised by just how great the climbing is up there.  I had been to the pass in 1999 on an attempt of Sir Donald (verglas turned us around low on the NW ridge) and driven though it many times on my way further east, but I had never spent much time there until a few weeks ago.  Wow.

And so few people!  When we ran into a local midway through the week and asked him about this, he shrugged his shoulders, grinned, and said "this is as busy as it gets."  I think we ran into two parties on 11 peaks over the course of the week and nobody actually on a route we were climbing.  Even on the uber "popular" Sir Donald, we were the only party on the NW ridge.  Of course, thunderstorms were building and we did have to run away from 3/4s of the way up it!  Oh well, a good reason to go back. 

But the trip has hardly a failure, overall.  Using the newish Jones book as our guide we managed three trips totaling five days: 2 days on Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald (strenuous, camped at Uto-Sir Donald col); The Asulkan Ridge Traverse (Abbott, Afton, Rampart, Dome, Jupiter with camp at Sapphire col); and a day trip up the west ridge of Tupper - All five star outings (there are many other excellent traverses and routes detailed in the guide).  If you haven't been up there, put it on your list!


Speedy at the Top Sekrit HELLACAMP!


A different sort of alpine hazard:



Looking up at the impressive Illecillewaet Glacier:



Steve starting up Avalanche, en route to Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald:2018untitled45012.thumb.JPG.89be254fc14f033b95558105a1f1fa56.JPG


The incomparable view from Eagle of Uto and Sir Donald:2018untitled45045.thumb.JPG.53a4e872633387362e14e64cb4a0619d.JPG


Looking back at Avalanche.  Swiss Peaks in the background, right:2018untitled45088.thumb.JPG.081fae49318d97fbf70289929c09740e.JPG2018untitled45093.thumb.JPG.bcae2ea9ed27fe2e6bae8c81249ad444.JPG


Ummmmmmmm.....That's quite a North Face Sir Donald has:



Steve, putting our names in the Uto register:2018untitled45105.thumb.JPG.949d0108ca481d68e96f364ef57aa55d.JPG


Descending Uto:2018untitled45112.thumb.JPG.89b150c2c32cd1d29b9083abb2095607.JPG2018untitled45121.thumb.JPG.d87dfbd6afb0e627314aaf6b00d43e31.JPG2018untitled45132.thumb.JPG.a37fb0938178d8591e81d54711c74825.JPG


We scored the best site at the Uto-Sir Donald col:2018untitled45146.thumb.JPG.c6ebd6d7db631036c1f4bf93bbb9b3fc.JPG


Steve leading the charge up the NW ridge of Sir Donald:





Watching as the summit slowly disappears into the approaching thunderstorm.  We bailed about here and traversed around to the South ridge to descend:2018untitled45174.thumb.JPG.ddb320498f16d5ec88131f0d66b63d27.JPG


Steve on the descent of the south ridge of Sir Donald:2018untitled45186.thumb.JPG.63d52449451b2d5739cfdb90792e15a3.JPG2018untitled45193.thumb.JPG.acbb6d1bf27a7dcd00f76fa8f724359f.JPG


Looking back at the summit of Sir Donald, between cells:



We descended the South Ridge and walked off the Terminal side of the mountain.  Here Steve is on his way to Pearly Rock:2018untitled45218.thumb.JPG.f91096aaad48d5a2d641bb3c2c005711.JPG2018untitled45230.thumb.JPG.b165d407490addbe4e4f8d45dbe3c2cb.JPG2018untitled45231.thumb.JPG.d1991390c81ffbafa105378acc349019.JPG2018untitled45242.thumb.JPG.162790b37e367f78d26fd3f0749d8f84.JPG2018untitled45264.thumb.JPG.68b98a911517754f765e9b686befc274.JPG

Trip #2.  The Asulkan Ridge Traverse.  The Illecillewaet Neve from the Abbott ridge trail:



Abbott, Afton, and Bonney:2018untitled45392.thumb.JPG.067bd91d0f20a40feaabebfcc19dd064.JPG


Summit of Abbott I think.   You can see the Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald ridgeline we traversed above Steve:2018untitled45424.thumb.JPG.7f949471e151618b83992f4a01321416.JPG


The North ridge of Swanzy is supposed to be uber classic.  In the foreground is part of the Asulkan ridge traverse:



Near the summit of the Rampart.  Jupiter above Steve.  Dawson Range in the distance:2018untitled45477.thumb.JPG.dbb2aa421658b8db26883cd4d949facf.JPG


Trying to find a way off the Dome:


Sapphire Col hut!2018untitled45561.thumb.JPG.91e9b9ad8c46f58edc750af85c2de82e.JPG


Moonrise over the Dawson Range:2018untitled45578.thumb.JPG.775616a74f2e9add7fb0063ede4fae0d.JPG2018untitled45580.thumb.JPG.f5510ba55c0a873b0f2e62455eddf8aa.JPG2018untitled45584.thumb.JPG.6bb694a6d8d84d6a6b6cfd24506a3e8f.JPG2018untitled45592.thumb.JPG.61d832b494e87af8de56cf5c65168b46.JPG

Classic scrambling up Castor (summit of Jupiter):


Summit of Leda (another Jupiter peak):


Mount Fox with the Dawson Range behind:


Approaching the Asulkan Hut:2018untitled45680.thumb.JPG.61231be27c0e13be2e8d981f9aadd30d.JPG2018untitled45689.thumb.JPG.308e720239a1728e78bfa31abe43eb1b.JPG

The Johannesburg of the Selkirks, Mount Macdonald:


Hermit meadows, looking back at the Asulkan Ridge:


The summit block of Tupper!2018untitled45749.thumb.JPG.7a832e04f4826d8b1649c8dc6dbdc3ef.JPG


At the summit of Tupper, looking at the Swiss peaks:2018untitled45772.thumb.JPG.603f2ba6783039c628e0703696953895.JPG2018untitled45791.thumb.JPG.1aabf0f8b9250783d41268a2bea9e0c8.JPG

The incredible SW face of Tupper:


The Hermit Gendarme on Tupper:


Looking across the highway from the summit of Tupper at the huge north face of Macdonald and Sir Donald in the distance:2018untitled45843.thumb.JPG.99a92993ed607928ee354ffbda453f44.JPG

North Face of Tupper:


The bugs were as impressive as the views from Hermit meadows:2018untitled45860.thumb.JPG.bcc3c252a1f7e00dc72be7c480813cd7.JPG

North Face of Macdonald:2018untitled45873.thumb.JPG.238dc3f27828f29904c81a27b51cfe05.JPG

South face of Tupper!


Gear Notes:
half rope, medium rack to 2", approach shoes (which I didn't have), ice axe, Al crampons, helmet

Approach Notes:
Trans Can and walk

  • Rawk on! 2
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Awesome pics, we were on the Asulkan traverse the week after, and didn't see a single soul until we hit the Abbott Hut. Rogers Pass is definitely a well kept secret that everyone knows about but overlooks! I guess when you're that close to the Rockies or the Bugs, you can't be bothered to stop?

How were conditions on the Sir Donald traverse? We took a look over and it seemed like the snow patch was entirely melted out - did you use crampons for that one? Any snow left on Tupper?

Edited by Daphne H
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Another awesome trip (with the possible exception of Speedy (the VW van) getting pissed at the long border wait and threatening to break down)! Give my thanks to all the folks at JGAPLLC! And I need a copy of the soon to be published photo book!

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Thanks everyone!  I added some captions.....

On 8/12/2018 at 10:18 PM, rat said:

a little 'freesole' will set those boots up for another season.

I'll look into that @rat, thanks!

On 8/13/2018 at 8:42 AM, Phil K said:

How were the snaffles? :pagetop:

Oh, they were ubiquitous.  It seems that if you put everything in a large plastic bag it will deter them?  At least that seemed to work for us.  I watched one crawl all over the bag (had my food!) and then give up and wander away to terrorize something else.  Steve did lose a leash to his ice axe and I had a pole and hat chewed.  Next time, it all goes in the bag!

On 8/13/2018 at 8:52 PM, nonbasketless said:

Since when?

When the site upgraded!  So I guess not always.....


On 8/13/2018 at 11:48 AM, Daphne H said:

How were conditions on the Sir Donald traverse? We took a look over and it seemed like the snow patch was entirely melted out - did you use crampons for that one? Any snow left on Tupper?

Fantastic.  Just enough snow at the upper bivy for water, but nothing on route to slow you down.  We did use crampons on the South Ridge descent and to get around the summit when we were caught in a thunderstorm.  Tupper had no snow on the west ridge.


On 8/13/2018 at 8:03 PM, curtveld said:

Finally coming to terms with the fact that you've literally done everything worth doing in the Cascades?

Never!  So many more trips left in the Cascades!


13 hours ago, Trent said:

soon to be published photo book!

If by "soon" you mean eventually, then maybe......:lmao:The folks at JGAP LLLC return the love @Trent!  Thanks for another solid outing.

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34 minutes ago, Phil K said:

It looks like you've got your links out of order

Thanks.  I didn't mean to have links, the site turns the text into links when you start typing between photos. I deleted the links, but the captions refer to the photo below.....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice!  That brings back some fond memories from one of my favorite places.  I still need to get back to Fox and the Glacier Circle one of these summers...

Just FYI, I found MacDonald's 5.4 Central Rib chossy and sketchy, though I could easily have been off-route, since the north face is a big, wander-y place.  Harder and less fun than the NE rib of J-berg.

Edited by seano-
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