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KaskadskyjKozak

[TR] Anderson - Eel Glacier 05/30/2021

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Anderson - Eel Glacier

Trip Date: 05/30/2021

Trip Report:

 

I've been wanting to climb Anderson for years, and finally had a chance this Memorial Day weekend.   My son and I drove up separately from my friend Noel on Friday night, arriving after 10:30.  There was already a number of cars parked at the end of the Dosewallips road and we parked my rig in the first dirtbag pullout (with a firepit) a few hundred feet away from the end of the road.

 

We got up at 5 am, sorted gear, and headed up the old forest road on bikes all the way to the old ranger station.  This was rather pleasant in the cool morning and we made fairly quick work of it (under two hours).   We did a quick gear swap (padded shorts, gloves off) and stashed our bikes then headed up trail.  The trail to Honeymoon meadows was in great shape and mostly dry until the last 1/4 mile or so.  As the trail followed close to the river near Honeymoon meadows some lingering snow made for interesting going (don't fall!) but it was nothing difficult.  We got an ice axe out for one short step.  These patches were, however, enough to turn around a couple of parties of backpackers, who we presumed had permits for the Honeymoon Meadows area. 

The Honeymoon meadows camp is still under snow with just a few campsites discernible.  We opted to continue on as our permits were for higher up.  A fast party of two caught up to us here as we tried to find a stream crossing.  We recognized one person from this party and exchanged some small talk. No logs spanning the stream suited us so we took off our boots and waded across, then continued on snow up to Siberia, then on to Anderson Pass.  We made camp just above the pass.

Views late in our approach:

IMG_7935.jpg.b2a546aa9c689d4faca83448b7134143.jpg

Views near camp:

IMG_7936.jpg.d8a82ecc1eb8eff3c0fbc1ef433d5d15.jpg

We got an early start and headed up to the knoll and the Anderson "glacier" beyond.  The same fast party of two passed us here (they had camped at Siberia) and a party of 4 caught up as well.   We were not too disappointed as they all proceeded to kick a glorious boot path up to Flypaper Pass, taking a directissimo route up (I believe the usual way is a snow finger on climber's left that is the only way up).  The slope was sustained 40 degrees with a few 45 degree sections.

My son on the knoll above the Anderson Glacier:

IMG_7937.jpg.f28899998b16639a3e46f96ecbaf7617.jpg

Anderson looking real purty:

IMG_7966.jpg.ad8e82de184925b80854e05276c6358e.jpg

Conga line below Flypaper Pass:

IMG_7941.jpg.cc445e079a559657fcbe9d1c0e7f3d2f.jpg

From Flypaper Pass we traversed under cliff bands on the right, avoiding as much loss of elevation as possible (and still following the boot path set by others).  We attained the ridge which was still snow covered and followed snow to the summit.  Only a few summit rocks were melted out and the final 30 feet or so was a bit exposed with bad runout, so we took our time and care. 

My son on the summit:

IMG_7946.jpg.3acb5a7ffdcf403b4b3ee6dcac54ff39.jpg

KK just below the summit with glorious spring views!

IMG_7976.jpg.bf3f78926686177a3b3fcac01aa77383.jpg

From the time we got to the ridge to the summit weather started coming in - with misty drizzling, so we did not linger on the summit long.  We retraced our steps to Flypaper Pass.  Then weather started improving.  A fourth party arrived at Flypaper Pass as we prepared to descend.  That made 4 parties and 13 people total on a remote Olympic mountain early season.  Is there anywhere you can go these days for solitude?  :)  Noel faced out and plunge-stepped most of the steep snow down.  My son and I faced in and downclimbed which was slow and strenuous.   But the footing was super solid.  As the slopes moderated there was some sloppy postholing.  The even flatter slopes were easy going.

Views S from Flypaper Pass.  That big, dirty slide was about all the recent slide activity we saw.  The snow is nicely consolidated.

IMG_7959.jpg.15abeec4e0f51e2888c92dac8fe54703.jpg

After descending face-in:

IMG_7956.jpg.49385150b40259ae8fff3814ec44eb46.jpg

We then continued back to camp.  It was early enough to get part-way out, so we broke camp, dropped to Honeymoon Meadows and dug a platform on snow to camp.  A couple other parties were there but the camp was nowhere near full.  We took a log crossing near camp to cross the stream (we had passed it on the approach two days earlier).

On Sunday morning we slept in a bit and hiked back the 9 miles or so to our bikes, then had a glorious coasting down the 6 miles or so to the cars, where an ice cold Icicle Hazy IPA awaited me.

 

Gear Notes:
Ice axe, crampons, helmet

Approach Notes:
Snow starting just before honeymoon meadows.

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
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3 hours ago, KaskadskyjKozak said:

Is there anywhere you can go these days for solitude?

Jack.  :wink:

Well done, and with your son, no less!  That is still on my list for later this summer, but we'll see.

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4 hours ago, JasonG said:

Jack.  :wink:

Ha!  I climbed the standard on Jack in early September a few years ago and there was another party up there.   The Nohokomeen though, yeah, I can see that is less likely to have company on a given day.

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11 minutes ago, Stefan said:

good times with the son!

For a second I thought he had created a cc.com account (he is Stefan too) :)

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Oh, that looks like a nice trip.   Yea, surprised at the number of folks considering the effort required for entry, but it was a holiday weekend.  You gotta retire for more flexibility!  ;)

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21 minutes ago, Jim said:

Oh, that looks like a nice trip.   Yea, surprised at the number of folks considering the effort required for entry, but it was a holiday weekend.  You gotta retire for more flexibility!  ;)

it's all part of a bigger plan - baby steps on steeper snow and more gentle, forgiving glaciers before we (dad and son) ramp up.   I think we've mastered strenuous approaches (we actually tried getting into the Chillwacks last September via Silver Creek, and have done 40+ mile trips into the Pasayten)

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As Gene says, enjoy these times together. So precious.

Thanks for posting

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On 6/8/2021 at 1:29 PM, KaskadskyjKozak said:

Is there anywhere you can go these days for solitude?

Static Point

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Looks like an awesome trip! There was still a lot of snow eh. More than when I was in there significantly earlier season a few years back for skiing.
Really suprising that 3 groups were up there together.

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On 6/11/2021 at 2:41 PM, Kameron said:

Looks like an awesome trip! There was still a lot of snow eh. More than when I was in there significantly earlier season a few years back for skiing.
Really suprising that 3 groups were up there together.

Four groups: parties of 2, 3, 4, and 4 (we were the 3)

 

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