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specialforest

[TR] Abiel Peak - North Face Gully 03/10/2019

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Abiel Peak - North Face Gully

Trip Date: 03/10/2019

Trip Report:

 

I haven't seen any recent TRs, so posting...

 

Hiro and I picked Abiel Peak to be our next ice climbing destination. Since there are multiple routes we decided to come and see which one to climb [checkout the old TR and AlpineDave blog for options].

It turned out to be North Face Gully. Here is an overview of the climb:

IMG_3148.thumb.JPG.d082c82b53e340ae148a5ad0d3abadf4.JPG

Most of the route is hidden from the approach. Here you can see only the beginning of it at the bottom center:

IMG_20190310_104940.thumb.jpg.ab0a5a60bc87cac5a8585cbf2f671fe9.jpg

Closer:

IMG_20190310_112530.thumb.jpg.83ec64b2c068bcbe417927c8087f9b1a.jpg

Soft snow accumulated at the bottom. We spent plenty of time taking turns and cleaning it up:

IMG_20190310_114920.thumb.jpg.6fada89a299614e02a724994d06b1f4c.jpg

There was decent ice under snow:

IMG_20190310_121654.thumb.jpg.d9e59134e241920bfa41988c3cb92946.jpg

Most of the first pitch was a solid ice.

The second pitch was mostly snow. We did simul climbing. Looking down while at the 2nd pitch:

IMG_20190310_134448.thumb.jpg.0fb0e5569cc38d309b00eb70d9ed4335.jpg

But simul climbing came to the end very soon, because the third pitch unexpectedly popped around a corner:

IMG_20190310_141903.thumb.jpg.209495d565b71992ad27556c9ff2dd6e.jpg

It is not vertical, but steeper that it looks like on the photo :o. Ice wasn't making it easier: at some places it was thin, at others - crumbly snow-ice mix. How does the saying go: placements are getting closer as pucker factor goes up? :)

Nevertheless we made it up and after that it was only about 30m of snow to a ridge. The ridge met us with sun, warmth and view to Rainier. When walking towards the summit there was a short section of snow covered boulders with lurking cavities in between them.

For a descent we went West staying on a ridge as it kinda circles clockwise. It was just walking. We came back to a car by a sunset. After eleven hours we returned to a car with Granite Mountain saluting us in sunset colors.

Gear Notes:
7 ice screws, 2 pickets (used one), 0.4, 0.5 & 1 cams (used all), small nuts (used few).

Approach Notes:
Solid footpath until Lake Annette. Crossed the lake.

Edited by specialforest
typos

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