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Ian Lauder

[TR] Mount Cruiser - Southwest Corner 05/26/2019

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Mount Cruiser - Southwest Corner

Trip Date: 05/26/2019

Trip Report:

 

Note that the road was opened by the park service only for Memorial Day weekend and has otherwise been closed for construction.  Check ahead of time with NPS about the road access to the trailhead.

 

Also, some beta such as on Summit Post says NWFS pass is needed.  If you park at the trailhead you need an Olympic Park pass (can pay cash or credit card in the envelopes) if the booth is closed. Could also park on the road outside the park booth and walk in.  NFWS pass may be needed at that point?

Weather was wonky everywhere this weekend. Olympics had a potential window for Sun/Mon so we changed our plans 4 times before deciding on a 2-day Cruiser trip.

Plan was to hike in Sun and camp at Gladys Divide (note a camping permit is needed for either Flapjack Lake or Gladys Divide, they are in the same zone).  So we got  permit by phone from the Hoodsport WIC on Friday.

IMG_7196.jpg.940cdab3fae04918740a466e2577092b.jpg

(view from camp up the approach to Beta and the Needle)

5hrs from trailhead to Gladys Divide and pitched camp around 1pm.  A couple guys came down from Beta right about then said the weather in all directions looked great.  Originally there were slight chances of thunder starting around then.  So since weather was shifting and Monday was looking potentially worse we geared up last minute and decided to make a run for the climb right then at 2pm figuring we would be coming back to camp around dark.

2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_10.jpg.72d33f38b2577d008cd963c305abd95d.jpg

(3rd class scramble up Beta from the Needle)

Only took us 1:45 from camp to the base of the 4th class scramble up Cruiser.   

2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_13.jpg.2ebd0e637197d0fd40a29763e479c760.jpg

(2nd rap anchor, there's a tree anchor as well a bit further left, a 60m rap will get you to the snow from the tree, we didn't use this one).

The 2 gullys were a mix of snow, rock and moats but were navigable.

2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_15.jpg.2bc5360bd3d400bd2a389a9ef3bcca7c.jpg

(the "4th class move", just a step down)

There were a pair of minimalist climbers ahead of us. Picking out their footprints in the snow in a few places sped up our routefinding of the gullys. So, whoever you two were Thank You.  First one with the "4th class move" was easy, finding the 2nd gully would take a bit of poking around if you didn't know where to look, we stayed high on the ridge where the snow topped out, then dropped down the ridge.  From there it was a mix of rock scrambling, crossing the snow, and navigating moats to the base of the climb.

2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_16b.jpg.3313b9a5042c7e5143090af7ee92fff3.jpg2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_23.jpg.22fb14ddad538332ecf3146d5d717594.jpg

(navigate down the 1st gully, skirted the moats and then find the next long gully, which was a mix of snow, rock and moat navigation)

From there another 2 hours for the first of us to climb the 4th class pitch, up the 3rd class through the cannon hole and then climb the standard route to the summit.  That put us there around 6pm.  Probably around 8:00 to 8:30 before we had all 4 people back down at the base of the climb and ready to head back.

2019_5_26_Cruiser_1_18b.jpg.0f7d2223f04413b962f99033a90841c9.jpg
(first view of Cuiser from the top of Beta before dropping down the 1st gully)

Another 3 hours to get back to the camp at 11:30pm.  With the sun going down we were going back up the 2nd gully  in the dark then taking it much slower down the 3rd class scramble of Beta.  

Did a double rope rap from the tree anchor on Beta which got us a bit down the snow slope.   Snow conditions were easy enough to run down the entire slope to camp.

Around 19 hours actual moving time car-to-car for the climb with 4 people (with overnight packs).

IMG_7191.jpg.849acd230e88bb1c96cfb2c496bebe72.jpg

There is a mouse or snaffulhound at Gladys Divide sporting a new neon green nest. Woke up to a shredded rope the next morning.

One of the minimalist climbers we met also had a chunk taken out of his climbing glove from a snaffulhound that bit his hand at the top of the 4th class gully scramble rap station.  I saw a couple of them running around the climbing route.

Gear Notes:
ice axe, 60m rope, crampons (not really needed), light rack (.5, a couple microcams, #2 cam, a few slings, cordellete for belay anchor) - brought more pro but didn't use it.

Approach Notes:
5hrs trailhead to Gladys Divide, bit of snow starting below the divide, snow covered approach to base of Beta, Beta is snow free, mixed snow/rocks/moats in the gullys but navigable. 4th class scramble and route are snow free. 1:45min from Gladys Divide to base of 4th class pitch.

Edited by Ian Lauder
added pics
  • Snaffled 1
  • Rawk on! 1

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1 hour ago, Ian Lauder said:

One of the minimalist climbers we met also had a chunk taken out of his climbing glove from a snaffulhound that bit his hand at the top of the 4th class gully scramble rap station.

:pagetop:!!!!!

I've had pretty good luck putting all stuff not in a tent in my pack liner (garbage bag) at night.  The whole snaffle running around and biting hands during the day though.... Yowza.

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15 minutes ago, JasonG said:

:pagetop:!!!!!

I've had pretty good luck putting all stuff not in a tent in my pack liner (garbage bag) at night.  The whole snaffle running around and biting hands during the day though.... Yowza.

Yea, from now on will do that. First time in 10 years had a rope chewed up. Were more concerned about salty stuff and goats.  Didn't see any goats though.

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Awesome TR! Really dig the video component, too - nice work. Looks like you all had a great outing!

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A couple months later.  Don't forget to always check that webbing all the way around.  Just saw a report that someone almost rapped off one of those anchors on Cruiser before someone else checked it and both "new looking" pieces of webbing were almost chewed all the way through on the back side.

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