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KaskadskyjKozak

[TR] Whitehorse - Lone Tree Pass 05/22/2021

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Whitehorse - Lone Tree Pass

Trip Date: 05/22/2021

Trip Report:

 

I first climbed Whitehorse early on as I began climbing.   I thought it would be a great way to introduce my son to steeper terrain with the short ramp on the top, and it's always a good conditioner as a day trip.  Last year we attempted the route in early May, and ended up having the mountain to ourselves midweek.  The downside is we broke trail the entire day, and I turned us around 10 feet from the summit, unable to pull the lip safely with my light 10-pt crampons and ice axe.  The summit block was snow covered (a combination of graupel and sugar snow over some ice).  That was disheartening and discouraging to say the least.  When we got to the car I said "I'm not going back there".   But time heals all wounds, and we made a return trip - a very different return trip.

 

Firstly, the crowds.  Holy fuck.  We arrived to car camp the night before to a full parking area at 10:30 Friday night.   Fortunately we found a spot in a wide spot in the road just outside the "lot".  Then we were awoken at 2:30 am by people getting up and cars pulling in, including one young woman that hit a parked car across from us (great way to start a trip :P).  Our alarms were set for 5 am, so once the crowds finished setting out by 3:30 or 4, we got a few more zzzs.  We headed up at 5:40 am.

Not much to say about the approach and climb.  Snow was melting near the usual spot you turn off to ascend snow - I'd say 250' from the bottom to avoid the brush poking out (3250' elevation).  From there it was continuous to the summit block.   We took 6:50 from cars to High Pass, which I consider descent for my old, broken body.   And I didn't feel bad, either.  But... we were following a pounded-in boot path from that 2:30 am crowd which made for easy going.  By the time we got to High Pass the crowds were all descending or off the summit block, except for one team of three who had started at 4am that we caught up to.   So, we ended up just waiting a bit behind them.

Everyone was soloing the snow ramp, and so did we.  It's steepest was 55-60 degrees or so - steeper than I remember.  I had brought 12 point grivels this time AND a 2nd tool.  I wasn't about to turn around at the summit this time, but neither were necessary.  We rappelled from the exposed anchor on the top.  The hike out was pleasant, and we were alone the whole way down.  Pics follow.

First view of the objective on the approach.  Note the wide boot path:

IMG_7885.jpg.7aa5d18e784cdc59a27fcfed02476614.jpg

Summit ramp.  These pics never do make anything look steep - camera angle and all:

IMG_7888.jpg.1c7c9ea47219407a463ab40a5dc29428.jpg

Father and son on the summit, separately:

IMG_7915.jpg.eb991423c0abe0157f559f1ff7a38a4e.jpg

IMG_7896.jpg.866930c3a4769812b2393a1693c9e8ed.jpg

I have summitted Whitehorse three times now.  This is the first time I got summit views South!

IMG_7903.jpg.959c8dcf9e2ffb457bfe4195c8877278.jpg

Stefan on rappel:

IMG_7906.jpg.7d08b753f7fcf3429d0b1012e6b1d2f7.jpg

Hiking out below Lone Tree Pass:

IMG_7911.jpg.1f51b27642ec4413785b62dbe233216d.jpg

 

Gear Notes:
Ice axe, crampons, helmet.

Approach Notes:
Snow starting around 3250'

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
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1 hour ago, Stefan said:

I hope the young man is carrying the rope!

we share carrying group gear, but I definitely "round up" for his share :)

 

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Wow, I didn't realize that Whitehorse had become crowded-good to know!

I have a couple vivid memories of that final slope below the summit.  Back in the 90's I decided that it was a good idea to leap off the summit into a sitting glissade down it.  By the time I realized that this was a very bad idea, I was going so fast that stopping was not an option!  Thankfully, I skipped my way to the flats in control, without impaling myself.  Then, some years later, I snowboarded it in too firm conditions.  Same story- by the time I realized I made a mistake, there was no stopping.  Again, thankfully, I managed to stay upright and in control for some sketchy turns down to the flats. It takes me awhile to learn from my mistakes. :lmao:

 

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13 hours ago, JasonG said:

Wow, I didn't realize that Whitehorse had become crowded-good to know!

I have a couple vivid memories of that final slope below the summit.  Back in the 90's I decided that it was a good idea to leap off the summit into a sitting glissade down it.  By the time I realized that this was a very bad idea, I was going so fast that stopping was not an option!  Thankfully, I skipped my way to the flats in control, without impaling myself.  Then, some years later, I snowboarded it in too firm conditions.  Same story- by the time I realized I made a mistake, there was no stopping.  Again, thankfully, I managed to stay upright and in control for some sketchy turns down to the flats. It takes me awhile to learn from my mistakes. :lmao:

 

On my second ascent of Whitehorse, I took the glacier route.  We solo'd the ramp up and down.  One of my partners, downclimbed part way, then decided to glissade.  His slide immediately turned into a human starfish/pinwheel.  I thought for sure we would be calling a helicopter.  Somehow he stopped, got up, grinned, said he was ok, and continued down on foot.  :)

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