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niroyb

[TR] North Cascades - Sloan Peak - Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000') 04/17/2022

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Posted (edited)

Trip: North Cascades - Sloan Peak - Superalpine (WI3-4, 1000') 04/17/2022

Trip Date: 04/17/2022

Trip Report:

 

Fabien and I climbed Superalpine this past Sunday and topped out on Sloan peak.

 

6260f6bf525ea_sloanairannotaded.jpg.a5c263ec24e145bd6ee9ddd0b66c1417.jpg

History:
This route was attempted on 02/28/2020 by Kyle and Porter and on 03/15/2020 by Porter and Tavish

We left Saturday afternoon, got the car to about 2000ft on FS 4096 just before the snow became continuous. We skinned in with overnight gear and setup camp near a small accessible stream feeding Bedal Creek at 3600ft.

Sunday we woke up at 4:00 a.m. and we're breaking trail soon after.  We found an easy crossing across the creek at 3950ft and stayed climber's right of the moraine to avoid being in an avy path until we were forced back in the forest. We started seeing the route peeking through the trees and reached the large snow field below the West face of Sloan peak. We approached up to the base of a left leading couloir and stashed the skis there (A).
PXL_20220417_135904338.jpg.ca248108da266ea9e1eb868e42b995b4.jpg

Route:
We booted up the couloir, encountered a small step (B) and roped up at (C).
(C-D) Short WI4 followed by easier climbing. Careful with rope drag on the rock if the belayer is in the sheltered area before the ice.
(D-E) Short ice steps separated by snow. Setup an anchor on the right side at (E)
IMG_1628.jpeg.cea27104331314fd4463f54140a4157a.jpeg


(E-F) Left leaning ice staircase in what looks like a dihedral.
IMG_1633.jpeg.4690b3d3433d4e1dd9bf400807799a70.jpeg


(F-G) Snow up to a belay stance in a 5ft step.
(G-H) Small ice step then snow up to belay in thin ice.
IMG_1638.jpeg.4839021261188463b16d14696eeec9b8.jpeg

(H-I) Mostly snow with some good ice screw placements. Belayed off a snow anchor.

(I-J) 30ft of Easy mixed climbing. Placed cams 0.5 to 1 and made a snow anchor on a wind hardened snow fin:
IMG_1641.jpeg.71620b83287317d8d75860b251a81375.jpeg


(J-K) Snow bowl. This can have a lot of sluffing and is dangerous if the snow is unstable. We were able to follow a path up that had already sluffed away. It was mostly the top 2in of snow that had fallen the previous night.
PXL_20220417_224210570.jpg.fdd10c683e094ab874d93fe5e306ab2f.jpg

 


(K-L) Snow bowl up to a notch on the ridge slightly climbers right
(L-M) About 200ft of ridge traverse to the summit.
PXL_20220417_230703623.jpg.da8be8cb1dea5a9722f401ce2a87df95.jpg

Descent:
(J-N) We decided to go down the snow ramp on the other side of the mountain that the corksrew follows for a bit. We aimed for a gendarme (Below the N). From there we did one 30M rappel off and traversed under the gendarme to the corkscrew route (O).
PXL_20220418_003052315.jpg.6abd7cf4198c2461d6e300043ecec23a.jpg

By then the East side of Sloan Peak was in the shade and we found good snow to front-point sideways and down a ramp for almost 1000ft. (650ft elevation loss)
PXL_20220418_015112059.jpg.9c20ea9d96e0551db73a37659595db03.jpg

There was a moat at the bottom which we negotiated skier's right.
PXL_20220418_021322282.jpg.c0d6cd2ee55d9ac1be23ca49535381a2.jpg
We had brought two poles up for the next section that involved wallowing across the bottom of the SE face to reach the South ridge of Sloan at 6750ft. (P)
From there, we headed back to the W ridge near where the route starts (Q). It doesn't look like it can be traversed easily a first but there's a passage around 6100ft. At this point, we could see our skis and felt like it was in the bag.
The chute skied amazingly well but once we reached the snow field, the snow had started to crust making it quite hard to turn.
We arrived back at camp at dark pretty tired. Since we both had engagements on Monday, we slept until 4:00 a.m then skied most of the way back and made it home by 11:00 a.m.

Overall, this is a fun route when the conditions are there. The snow bowl at the top is probably the most dangerous part of the route when the snow is unstable. It may be possible to bypass by staying on the ridge (Probably from J).

Strava GPX

Enjoy!

Gear Notes:
Gear: 11 ice screws (Used all) 8 draws 2 pre-rigged quads 0.3 - 2" cams 1 picket (2 would be better) Small Nuts (Unused)

Approach Notes:
Drive from Darrington while Bedal pass is closed. High clearance vehicle recommended for FS 4096

Edited by niroyb
date duplicated in title
  • Like 6
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Cumbre!!!  Well done!!!  That sounds like quite the effort. 

Thanks for the detailed beta and beautiful images....so great!!!

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Posted (edited)

Congrats on the first summit via the route, and thanks for the wonderful photos and info!

Michael T and I went up with intentions of the line not too long after Kyle and Porter's adventure. We camped in a grove of trees below the base and were treated to the echos of slides from the upper snowfields through the afternoon into evening, thus we retreated the next morning after a few laps skiing some minor gullies near the base. Maybe we should've camped out of earshot of the face :)

Edited by sfuji

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WOW, amazing. There is zero chance of me doing this route but I still really enjoyed reading the beta. Nice TR!

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Excellent! 

Awesome terrain.

Thanks for posting. 

Could you tell how good the rock was on the W Face? 

 

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Congrats on the first ascent to the summit and second ascent on the route!! Someone needed to take it to the top, good work guys! 

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