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[TR] Mt Index - Hourglass Gully 06/05/2020

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Trip: Mt Index - Hourglass Gully

Trip Date: 06/05/2020

Trip Report:

"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate.  The struggle of man against the mountains is different.  Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he.  When he does that, he finds serenity and humility, and dignity too."

-  Northwest local & former Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas 

 

Seeking some serenity in these nationally troubled times, last Friday I headed up Mt Index via the aptly named Lake Serene.  Spent the night in my truck at the trailhead and headed out under headlamp at ~2AM.  Reached the lake in a couple hours, then another hour around the west side of the lake as dawn broke.  From the snowy saddle above the lake at ~3050’, it’s a choose your own adventure up the brushy east ridge with two distinct class 4 slabby steps the way I went.  After the ridge leveled out, I traversed to the left for a bit, turned the buttress at 4200’, and then had continuous well consolidated snow all the way up the hourglass gully to the ridgetop below the summit.  From there an easy walk to the summit going somewhat clockwise to avoid cliffs and cornices.  Some moats are developing at the hourglass constriction, and in the center/left couloir immediately above.  They were well bridged, but could get difficult getting in/out/over when they melt out.

Looking down at Lake Serene from near the 3050' saddle:

IMG_6379.thumb.JPG.861200e1e57889324dab366ceeef44e5.JPG

Looking up the first slabby 4th class step on the East Ridge:IMG_6383.thumb.JPG.a1e0b5341b29a8c02e4c957986b3881a.JPG

Upper East Ridge, hourglass gully on the left, mostly out of sight :

IMG_6387.thumb.JPG.47a986e6d5eb761986683ca3bec0a0f1.JPG

Good snow conditions inside the gully:

IMG_6389.thumb.JPG.309240aed821012d4d9025cb0facce1f.JPG

Looking down from partway up the gully:

IMG_6394.thumb.JPG.44179175c27427856028c15e895e3e28.JPG

Summit views!

IMG_6399.thumb.JPG.1beafaea1eff09c5cf5aa4920b33f436.JPGIMG_6400.thumb.JPG.51e6817b0f5948a654cf11d7d04977c9.JPGIMG_6430.thumb.JPG.8df7ebb0bdd6d0ae7002ab19a6480215.JPG

 

The descent took almost as much time as the ascent, mostly due to copious breaks enjoying the scenery, but also some downclimbing in the couloir and the hourglass constriction, and two rappels on the east ridge.

IMG_6458.thumb.JPG.778c716b0ed02435c9f7274fa75b5d42.JPGIMG_6464.thumb.JPG.7bd83ba6817dea84647d37114607b5f0.JPG

IMG_6467.thumb.JPG.74a9e518e0a45fe5f4415994c69be5a6.JPG

 

After not seeing a soul all day, I ran into TONS of hikers on the trail to Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene.  Lots of younger and diverse folks enjoying nature.  I think that’s a good thing, and look forward to this new generation getting bored with the trail hikes and venturing further and higher into the mountains to find some serenity and humility, and dignity too.


Back to the truck early afternoon feeling very mentally refreshed.  

Gear Notes:
Crampons, axe, 60m rope for 2 raps on the east ridge

Approach Notes:
Lake Serene
  • Like 4
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What a lovely report and historical quote.

Thanks so much for posting!

Cheers,

Rad

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Cool, This route was my 1st winter route done during the arctic blast of 1989. after walking across the frozen lake we did a couple rope lengths of WI2-3 to the climbers left of the big waterfalls and gained east ridge at dark, next day was bluebird and a cold summit. great memories

s_18agecflme0100_LI.jpg

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Kuckuzka1 said:

Cool, This route was my 1st winter route done during the arctic blast of 1989. after walking across the frozen lake we did a couple rope lengths of WI2-3 to the climbers left of the big waterfalls and gained east ridge at dark, next day was bluebird and a cold summit. great memories

 

Ya Mike, I was remembering the same trip!

Across the valley we saw the frozen Waterway route fall down as I recall.

Edited by Marko

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Thanks for the TR bellow; brilliant idea

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1 hour ago, Marko said:

Ya Mike, I was remembering the same trip!

Across the valley we saw the frozen Waterway route fall down as I recall.

Yep, I believe Don and you wanted to do the N.face but what were the odds back then a couple other climbers were just beginning it! Good times friend!!

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Nice TR Dana.  I never get tired of photos of the Norwegian Buttresses.  Terrifying and intriguing to think about the routes up there.

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On 6/17/2020 at 9:15 AM, Bronco said:

Nice TR Dana.  I never get tired of photos of the Norwegian Buttresses.  Terrifying and intriguing to think about the routes up there.

Yes me too but Its amazing to me at least, that nobody climbs or tries to climb the NNB. Maybe they're just not on CC.com? 

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I think there was a party on it a couple of weeks ago, saw something on a FB group called "climb index".   

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