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[TR] West Peak (7365') of the Anderson Massif - East Ridge 08/14/2021

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Trip: West Peak (7365') of the Anderson Massif - East Ridge

Trip Date: 08/14/2021

Trip Report:

West Peak (7365')– Dosewallips River Trail Approach  – Aug 14-16, 2021 (Sat, Sun, Mon).

I climbed West Peak (7365') of the Anderson Massif over the weekend.  I started the climb from the Dosewallips River Trailhead outside Brinnon, WA.    

I planned for 3 days with a possible bonus summit of Mount Anderson if time and conditions permitted.  I wanted to get the hell out of the smoke and breath some fresh air, mission accomplished.

Saturday:  I caught the 7:10am ferry at Edmonds over to Kingston.  I started out from the trailhead at 9:30am.  I brought a mountain bike for the first 6.5 miles to the ranger station and for the return trip.  I made it to the ranger station at 10:45am.  Anderson Pass was reached at 5:15pm.  I headed up the Anderson Glacier Trail to camp at a small lake at the top of the trail arriving at 5:45pm.  The trail along the way was beautiful with great camping options every hour or so.  Mileage was 6.5 miles by bike , 11.5 miles to camp hiking. 

Sunday:  I left camp at 6:15am heading for Flypaper Pass.  I crossed over Flypaper Pass (6500’) at 8.50am.  Flypaper Pass is almost entirely snow free right now.  The route up to the pass is steep, loose rock the entire way.  Crossing this pass with snow covering the steep loose rock would be the way to go, earlier in the season.  If I wasn’t planning to climb Mount Anderson also, I would have climbed over to the basin below West Peak instead, much better looking terrain.  Once at Flypaper Pass I decided to climb West Peak first.  I headed down the Eel Glacier to the base of the SE Ridge of West Peak.  I reached the North Notch at 11:15am (7000’).  I headed up the East Ridge to the Summit arriving at 12:05pm.  The route is Class 3 & 4 rock with some decent exposure.  Loose rock sections throughout the ridge.  I climbed Mount Constance a couple weeks ago, going the standard route, and this route up West Peak is more technically demanding.  I was eyeballing the Mount Anderson route the whole way up and it was not looking good.  The steep snow that leads to the summit ridge of Anderson is now melted out to the blue glacier ice almost the whole way up.  I had aluminum crampons and a standard ice axe so I decided against an Anderson summit attempt with the current conditions.  If I was to do Mount Anderson now, I would bring sharp steel crampons and two ice tools for that slope, possibly some protection against a slip; Maybe try a different route up all together, avoiding the glacier ice.   I headed back to Flypaper pass from West Peak summit arriving at 2:45pm.  Going down Flypaper Pass sucked way worse than going up.  Very loose and steep the whole way down.  5:00pm I arrived back at the small lake camp, packed up and headed down for a lower camp.  7:15pm I arrived at Diamond Meadow camp for the evening. 

Monday:  I left camp at 6:30am.  I reached the ranger station at 9:15am.  I headed down on the mountain bike reaching the Trailhead at 10:30am. 

This was a great trip in a beautiful area with lots of excellent camping options.

 

Some Tips and Notes:

1.       The trail to Anderson Pass is in excellent condition, easy travel & beautiful.  The trail to Anderson Glacier is also nice but less traveled.

2.       Water access for the whole trip was great with water as high up as 6700’ on summit day.   

3.       If planning to climb Mount Anderson via the standard route, be prepared for glacier ice climbing. 

4.       Flypaper Pass is snow free, steep, loose rock currently.  I would recommend an alternate route.

5.       The East Ridge of West Peak is exposed class 3-4 with sections of loose rock.

6.       Bring a mountain or cyclocross bike for the first and last 6.5 miles, it will save you a lot of time.      

 

Travel Time for reference:

Saturday: Car to Camp – 8.25 hours.

Sunday:  Camp to Summit to Camp#2 – 13 hours. 

Monday:  Camp to Car – 4 hours

Total Mileage:  about 42 miles

Total Elevation Gain: about 7100’

 

Gear used:   Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons.

 

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The trail in is really nice.

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Small lake camp at the top of the Anderson Glacier Trail.

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On the way to Flypaper Pass.  Easy going until you reach the base of the pass.

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Rock at the base of Flypaper Pass, it is steeper than it looks.  Loose class 3.

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Looking down the route traveled from Flypaper Pass.

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Looking across Eel Glacier from Flypaper Pass to the SE Ridge & East Ridge of West Peak.  I went straight across to the snow finger at the base.

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Looking back across the Eel Glacier to Flypaper Pass from the SE Ridge of West Peak.

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Rock along the East Ridge of West Peak.

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Summit of West Peak from the false summit.  Kind of spicy with a naughty runout.

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Summit view looking back at Anderson.

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Anderson route with lots of steep glacial ice.  I'll stick with the expose rock ridge climb thanks.

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Looking back at the terrain traveled.  I saw nobody summit day, I had the whole mountain to myself.  Hard to believe with the amount of people at the trailhead.  There are great camping spots all along the area surrounding the big lake.

 

I haven't spent much time in the Olympics until this year,  mostly because of all the red tape that is the usual for this area.  With all the park service hiding from the Boogeyman Virus, you can experience the mountains the way they were meant to be, pure & free from bullshit.    

 

Gear Notes:
Gear used:   Trekking Poles, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons. If Climbing Anderson via the Eel Glacier Route bring sharp steel crampons and ice tools, you will be dealing with rock hard, steep glacial ice

Approach Notes:
Dosewallips River Trail Approach & Up the Anderson Glacier Trail.
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Nice work!  Back in May we actually intended to do both Anderson and W Anderson and even brought a small rack all the way in there for W Anderson (due to TRs we read, some of it is exposed and worth pitching out).  But Anderson early season gave us enough excitement and took long enough so we settled for the single summit.  W Anderson definitely is the trickier of the two- impressed you did all that with almost no snow and solo to boot!

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I was checking out your trip report for Anderson earlier in the year, it looked like a nice trip.  I was hoping that Flypaper Pass would still have some snow left to climb up and down, no such luck, it was pretty dicey.  The West Peak is definitely worth the trip back into the area if so inclined.  The next basin over that is below West Peak is pretty nice looking and it would get you around Flypaper Pass.  

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