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Kuato

[TR] KATSUK PEAK (8425') - South Ridge Route 07/23/2022

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Trip: KATSUK PEAK (8425') - South Ridge Route

Trip Date: 07/23/2022

Trip Report:

KATSUK PEAK (8425') – South Ridge Route - Easy Pass Trail Approach – - JULY 23-24, 2022 (Sat, Sun)

I didn’t have a lot of time this weekend so I needed a day and a half climb.  Katsuk Peak sounded perfect.

Saturday: I made it to the trailhead around 3pm and was starting up the trail to Easy Pass at 4pm.  There were some rain clouds threatening so I was hoping to stay ahead.  I made it to Easy Pass at 6:15pm.  I was in this area for Graybeard Peak last month and the snow conditions have changed a lot since then.  The trail is mostly clear with a few patches of snow here and there.   I made my way down past Fisher Camp to my turn up the slope toward Katsuk at 5000’ at 7:30pm.  I was planning to hit the bluff camp by sunset.  I reached the bluff camp (6600’) at 9:30pm, still light enough to see without a headlight.  The bluff camp is one of my favorites, great views and you are perched on the side of the mountain like a gargoyle. 

As I was settling into camp around 10pm I saw an orb of light coming over the top of Mesahchie Peak heading toward Easy Pass.  I’ve heard of orbs of light out in the mountains but I’ve never seen one in person until this trip.  It was about the size of a beach ball and looked like a giant star.  It moved with a purpose and seemed to be checking out the area.  It would move for a while then pause and change elevation and direction.  It did this for about 10 minutes before moving out of sight.  There was no sound at all coming from the orb of light.  I was trying to figure out what it was and came to the conclusion that it was something strange and unique. 

Sunday:  I was up and moving at 5:30am.  The morning was looking glorious.  I worked my way into the snow basin and over to the South Ridge of Katsuk.  The snow was perfect for booting up, no crampons needed.  The South Ridge was fairly nice quality rock by Cascade standards, lots of nice holds and options to get around steeper sections.  The route to the summit is a bit of a maze, weaving around several spires.  The rock was mostly class 3 with sections of class 4.  I reached the summit at 8:30am.  I climbed both the East and West Summits.  The East Summit is the highest by a few feet.  I didn’t find a summit register on either peak.  I headed back down going straight down the snow arriving back to camp at 11:30am.  I packed up and retraced my route back to the trailhead arriving at 5:00pm. 

This was a fun climb with great views.

 

Some Tips and Notes:

1.       The turn up the slope at 5000’ from Fisher Creek Trail is pretty obvious.  After passing Fisher Camp, you will come into a section of the trail that is tall grass and flowers heading up the slope.

2.       The route to the bluff camp (6600’) is mostly diagonal.  The toughest part (after the climbing) is finding the best spot to cross the streams coming down the side of the mountain.  I found good crossings around 5800’-5900’.

3.       There is plenty of water along the way.  Between Easy Pass and Fisher Creek Basin is pretty dry when heading up. 

4.       There is no summit registry currently.    

 

Travel Time for reference:

Saturday:  Trailhead to bluff camp (6600’) – 5.5 hours.

Sunday:  Camp to Summit  to Trailhead – 11.5 hours.   

Total Mileage:  about 15 miles

Total Elevation Gain: around 8000’

 

Gear used:   Trekking Poles & Ice Axe.

 

Outrunning the rain at Easy Pass.

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Easy Pass View.

62df849141d7c_EASYPASSVIEW.jpg.f9afe7f6821488ccdf418757b166e0bc.jpg

Mesahchie Peak & view to bluff camp.

62df84bc17f36_MESAHCHIEPEAK.jpg.509cfe0687ceb2f439c25d472e7987ca.jpg

Stream crossing on the way to bluff camp.

62df85561d492_STREAMCROSSINGONTHEWAYTOBLUFFCAMP.jpg.3b99fa8f69e58de8f13d0d684b9f8e23.jpg

View from camp.

62df858d1cffc_CAMPVIEW.jpg.a495dc6092683a0df9759faadb6c54e4.jpg

Start of South Ridge of Katsuk Peak.

62df85bba0495_STARTOFSOUTHRIDGE.jpg.bdc96fa5419b423661a56e97c9f323d8.jpg

View on the way up, Mount Arriva in the middle.

62df85e55d042_MOUNTARRIVAFROMKATSUK.jpg.3fa13f8060fa7cec0dd826ca7189a019.jpg

Ridge rock on the way up.

62df8627c7583_RIDGEROCK.jpg.c0189b32f3891f4e2e4d0061a01b1520.jpg

Summit of Katsuk Peak.

SUMMIT.jpg.8c393a7fd466a9a80974ab717a78c865.jpg

Summit view.  A great peak for scouting future climbs and current conditions.  

62df867e999ba_SUMMITVIEW.jpg.f6bad49ab785fe95dd44b04870a048ea.jpg

Gear Notes:
Trekking Poles & Ice Axe.

Approach Notes:
Easy Pass Trail to Fisher Creek Trail.
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What a great day out! You definitely made the best of your time!  Did you get any video of the orb?

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That area is really nice this time of year, I was happy to make it happen.  Unfortunately I didn't get any video of the orb.  I had just turned off my phone and I didn't want to fumble around trying to get it turned back on to try and get video.  I figured by the time I was ready for video it would be gone and I would have missed watching it.  So I just observed the best I could.  I had my headlight on when I first saw it, so I turned that off and just sat in the dark watching.  It was very interesting.  

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That area is really nice this time of year, I was happy to make it happen.  Unfortunately I didn't get any video of the orb.  I had just turned off my phone and I didn't want to fumble around trying to get it turned back on to try and get video.  I figured by the time I was ready for video it would be gone and I would have missed watching it.  So I just observed the best I could.  I had my headlight on when I first saw it, so I turned that off and just sat in the dark watching.  It was very interesting.  

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