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geosean

[TR] Mount Sefrit - NW Route - Wall Street Couloir 01/22/2022

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Trip: Mount Sefrit - NW Route - Wall Street Couloir

Trip Date: 01/22/2022

Trip Report:

 

I've been eyeing Sefrit for years, really looking to ski the NW route and the "Wall Street" couloir. I did the peak on my first try from the NE and the Bloody Head Couloir (colorful names on this peak), but I've failed more times than I care to remember due to various snow condition excuses. 

 

This time we had an outrageous skunking the weekend before which effectively served as a scouting trip. 

Me, @MGraw, and @thedylan skied in on the super frozen crusty road bed knowing the ski conditions would suck but that the cramponing in the couloir would be all the better for it (this was the plan). We eventually found the log after some awful wallowing in the barely covered brush and began cramponing up the avalanche debris on the couloir fan. I have tried most different types of conditions on this route and this is the only way I can see to make it work safely except for the very rare low snow dump with great stability. One is very vulnerable in the couloir with tons of hanging slabs over your head and 1000' couloir to feed into you. 

We made quick work to 5000' and last year's high point at the bottom of the upper basin. From here we skinned on crust with occasional thin powder patches all the way to the summit ridge at ~7000'. We took a look into the upper couloir on the NW flank of the summit pyramid, but we had set our hopes on fast and light, so didn't bring climbing gear. It looked too sketchy to try with no rope and only one axe apiece. Sadly this means we have to come back. 

We ditched the skis at 7000' on the ridge in the amazing warm sun after climbing in the shade all day. At this point it was already pretty late and we were worried (not Dylan). Then we hit a dead end on a tower on the summit ridge and had to backtrack. We climbed on the south side below the crest on mostly steep snow with a couple of rocky moves thrown in. I was worried we would run out of time with so minimal daylight. We persevered however and with Dylan leading some just barely solo-able moves on snowy rock and lots of step kicking we made the summit. I spent all of 30 seconds enjoying the efforts and accumulated knowledge of like 8 failed trips, then turned tail and headed down. The views are great, but the best was toward Shuksan's north side which we had been seeing all the way up from the ridge. 

Getting down to the skis was surprisingly easier than the way up. The snow was already re-freezing by about 3pm. We skied down, enjoying some of it anyway, booted the couloir, cramponed across the frosty log over Ruth Creek, then back to the skis for a super fast icy ski and skate down the road. 

19 miles, about 5800' in 12.5 hours. 

I think this is the best way to get the route since it is super hard to find powder in a couloir at 3000' and stable conditions. 

 

Typical fun getting through the woods, sorry Mike:

20220122_090132.jpg.2483563db6b9171d98a8f05e1603e989.jpg

 

Ruth Creek:

PXL_20220122_172242519.jpg.78407a0c36484d614c14cb1e9dae2c4a.jpg

 

Fun conditions in the lower couloir, easy cramponing though:

20220122_103402.jpg.e0d6794cdbb390b552b2188ec0a010bf.jpg

 

Upper basin skinning:

PXL_20220122_200327994.jpg.4aa2501d37d06483e402e948fadf92db.jpg

 

Loving the alpine:

PXL_20220122_211043493.jpg.76d5516223e7c1f07b5a54b042ff791c.jpg

 

Probably time to ditch the skis. Mike skied off this for his first turns of the year; nice work:

20220122_134907.jpg.02ecc3313a56a203673970ff0b2822fd.jpg

 

Working up the ridge:

20220122_141636.jpg.b791f2c2d8517cf69f3b7d9e835cfa8a.jpg

 

Shuksan:

20220122_142823.jpg.1b0b86d1ed7b660377a1354f8bb90407.jpg

 

Let's get out before dark. 10' off the summit:

PXL_20220122_231551128.jpg.8a60c6472dfd1b050d9f213855faf4a5.jpg

 

So worth it for the turns... I wanted to die. It never felt so good to take skis off and walk:

PXL_20220123_001410290.jpg.4f154bee01547ce546e1a0a070cee96f.jpg

Gear Notes:
skis, helmet, axe, crampons, Bison Grass Vodka for the skate out.

Approach Notes:
ski from the highway

Edited by geosean
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Nice work!  I've always wondered about that one.....sounds like it is tough to nail in fun ski conditions.  You would know how best to hit it, so this is good advice!

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Nice persistence/perseverance on that rowdy-looking line!  

Fun to see your report, solves the mystery of whose footprints were coming from the east and north--a friend and I climbed and skied Sefrit from the south side a couple days after your trip. (TR here: https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/mount-sefrit-s-sw-face )  Agree re: the spectacular vantage that peak offers.  

Based on my limited info., appears there's a lowland/creek crossing/valley travel price to pay no matter how you approach that peak--but certainly worth the effort.

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That's sweet! We were talking about that while we're up there but I didn't think the coverage was good enough to ski.

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8 failed trips sums up the Sefrit experience pretty good.  I still haven’t stood on top.  Did your trip many years ago and must have got stymied by the tower.  Skiing was horrible.   Someday someone has to go climb that buttress.  The rock looks surprisingly ok.

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Some mountains call you back, failure after failure. Scouting trips for some mountains seem mandatory and part of the process. The real goal is positive progress.

thanks for sharing the obsession. 
 

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