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KaskadskyjKozak

[TR] Monte Cristo - Standard 06/22/2020

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Monte Cristo - Standard

Trip Date: 06/22/2020

Trip Report:

 

After another disappointing weekend weather forecast my son and I opted for a one day trip up Monte Cristo on Monday.  We had previously been in the area last September on a one day trip up Columbia Peak.  From the latter summit we had discussed a return visit for either Monte Cristo or Cadet, and it's the right time of year now for either.

We drove up to Barlow Pass Sunday night, arriving at dusk and setting our alarms for 4 am.   We had our bikes with us to speed up our approach.

We biked into town at dawn, locked our bikes at the rack and headed up the trail to Glacier Basin.  The trail was in mostly good shape and snow free until you approach the basin above 4000'.   We took a quick rest break just beyond and above Ray's Knoll, opting to put on crampons then.   We ascended continuous snow from there to the v notch.  The snow conditions were great - not icy but not too soft either.

View up Monte Cristo in the morning:

5ef51f6cc13da_Morningview.jpg.ebede7dea372c20a5ab00ca16206c3d9.jpg

Ascending good snow

5ef51f66c4669_ascendingsnow.thumb.jpg.a296d51ef80ca9e40323ebcd7e96e3ad.jpg

From the col we roped up knowing there could be moat issues and that we needed to do one technical pitch anyways.   As I approached the snow to rock transition, I could see it was already non-trivial.   I downclimbed about 4 feet onto a snowy block and then tried to work my feet up to a higher snow block, but slid down and crushed the snow below me.  I then tried to get into the moat higher up the slope, but it was worse there.  I returned to my original spot and made several attempts to climb up 8 feet or so before finally succeeding, then made a low 5th move past a piton onto a belay ledge and brought up my son.

We then got out the rock pro and I took a try at the short technical pitch.  There was snow melting from above right into the crack I wanted to use.  The pre-placed sling above was soaking wet and when I grabbed it water ran down my arm.  Footing was not good with boots in the wet crack.  I backed down and put on rock shoes so I could try to stay on dry holds on the right side of the crack, got up a few feet, then grabbed the wet sling to pull the lip.  from there one more 5th class move got me to the rappel anchor.

From this spot, we could see the source of the running water - a large snow patch right on top of the slabs.  Fortunately the left side was dry and we were able to scramble past the snow on dry rock.  Above that we also avoided snow by staying on blocky 3rd class terrain on ribs and eventually got to the finale- breccia rock on the summit block.  Factoring in the moat shenanigans and wet crack for the rock pitch, we were satisified with our 8.5 hour time from cars to summit.

Blocky class 3 scrambling below the summit:

scrambling.jpg.504c3f5c67a3578543fc95472a2d47d0.jpg

5ef51f7078613_Summitblock.jpg.49cf2571ded302be77e58aa8deb5adb3.jpg

Kyes Peak from the summit:

kyes.jpg.9b2483f018dc0f2f877e406c8c73b2c1.jpg

We downclimbed to the rappel anchor, rapped first to the belay ledge to retrieve gear, then into the moat.  From there we roped up again (just to protect the moat exit) and returned to the v notch.  From here we unroped and downclimbed the steep snow slopes face-in, using an ice axe and picket each for more security.  The snow conditions were still good with not much more softening up since we had climbed.

5ef51f6b18613_moatshenanigans.thumb.jpg.ba9c042660170d6734a7067e30569b86.jpg

Once slopes moderated the hike out was cruiser.

 

Gear Notes:
Ice axe, crampons, small rack.

Approach Notes:
Snow in glacier basin up to base of route.

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
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Classic west side Cascade Alpine! My climbing "career" started doing that stuff with my dad when I was in my early teens, including many ascents in the Monte Cristo area. I loved it then and still do. It's good to see a father getting after it with his son. My boys never really took to it, although my younger will humor me from time to time with an easy scramble.  Getting me started in the climbing game was one of my father's greatest gifts to me. Thanks for sharing the experience.

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Super cool! I have two preschool kids, trip reports like this inspire me for the future. Thanks for sharing, nice pics.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, bigeo said:

Classic west side Cascade Alpine! My climbing "career" started doing that stuff with my dad when I was in my early teens, including many ascents in the Monte Cristo area. I loved it then and still do. It's good to see a father getting after it with his son. My boys never really took to it, although my younger will humor me from time to time with an easy scramble.  Getting me started in the climbing game was one of my father's greatest gifts to me. Thanks for sharing the experience.

I hear you on "boys never really took to it".  I have three boys and only my youngest (he's 18) loves this shit.   So far we are 2 for 3 this summer, with a turnaround 10' from the top of Whitehorse and a successful summit of the Tooth.  Glad you enjoyed the TR!  :)

 

 

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak

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On 6/26/2020 at 9:42 AM, KaskadskyjKozak said:

There was snow melting from above right into the crack I wanted to use.  The pre-placed sling above was soaking wet and when I grabbed it water ran down my arm. 

 

 

Ha!  Quintessential Cascades.  Very good to see you getting out with the kid.  My daughter hung with me for a while but reverted to, sigh, just snowboarding.

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All you dads (and moms) who think that their kids "may not be into it" could be very wrong.  Kids have a natural tendency to resist whatever parents want.  My parent used to drag my sorry ass up hikes in the banff area.  But once I was in my 20's and having a hard time, the beauty of the mountains pulled me back and been climbing since.  (still think Banff is the center of the universe)   Think of this mountain time as seeds that will eventually germinate into something special, maybe not world class alpinists (we don't really want that amount of parental stress anyways) but def better people.

 

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