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Sam Boyce

first ascent [TR] Spectre Peak - “Spirited Away” FA of the S Ridge of Spectre Peak 2000’ 5.8 07/26/2022

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Trip: Spectre Peak - “Spirited Away” FA of the S Ridge of Spectre Peak 2000’ 5.8

Trip Date: 07/26/2022

Trip Report:


Joe Manning and I just got out of the Northern Pickets. We did the first ascent of the South Ridge of Spectre Peak. We had excellent weather and were out for 4 days. I’m having trouble loading any photos from my phone on here so this will be super brief. For extensive photos and whatnot check out my trip report on our blog… 



Gear Notes:
Singles .1-2 doubles .3-1 light rack of nuts and optional 3. 40-50ft of cord and a single 60M rope.

Approach Notes:
Easy peak to improbable impasse to perfect pass to challenger col to phantom to pickle pass.

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  • Rawk on! 5

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Super cool!  That is one of my favorite spots in all the Cascades, glad you had a safe adventure.  We wondered about that line, looking up at it, it is great that you and @manninjo have provided the details!

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If iPhone the photos have be converted to jpg. Board doesn’t currently support HEIC.

Congrats on the climb!

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Posted (edited)

Awesome climbing again with you Sam after so many years, this climb went about as smoothly as I could have hoped! Great trip report on your blog, I recommend giving it a read. A few thoughts about the climb: 

  • Pleasant (and warm) temps made for light bivy gear and few layers needed
  • Snow travel conditions and coverage were outstanding, mostly boot-sole to shoelace deep made for easy kicksteps and cramponing pretty much the whole time, never too firm or post-holely, with rubble, heather, and crevasses well covered
  • We brought food for only 4 days/4 nights, and with meltwater never really carried more than ½ a liter of water at any given time (except on route)
  • Certain sections of choss on the ridge required delicate climbing, alternating with heavy-handedness; we trundled a ton of stone, especially on the ridge crest

Sam is an exceptionally strong and efficient partner who set much of the boot pack, led most of the pitches, and graciously humored me with belaying the Impasse both ways. 

We packed a lot into 4 days, with back-to-back 15-16 hour days including the full day climb and descent, followed by a marathon exit hike the final day all the way from the 7k ft moraine bivy south of Challenger to the car, leaving a little before 10am and making the trailhead around  2am. 

It was so hot the afternoon of our hike out, despite drinking 7-8+ liters of water and eating lots of salty snacks, by 10pm, what little urine I could pee was the color of motor oil. It was a little unsettling, to say the least. Fortunately, a couple days later and I’m no worse for the wear :)

Here is a John Scurlock photo (used with permission) of the line, dotted sections were below the crest on the east. We did two rappels on route to get off or around gendarmes. 

Spectre S Ridge Scurlock Topo.png

Edited by manninjo
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Few more photos:


On Phantom arm, under west ridge (route looks very good), looking over to Haunted Wall; lower part of Spectre's south ridge partially visible above Pickell pass.


Approaching the ridge


Sam leading delicate 5.9 PG-13/R up bulging flakes on pitch 3


Spot the climber




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So rad!

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Posted (edited)

Nice one. There look to be a couple other lines on the west side of Spectre for those willing to brave the runouts. 

Very disappointing to hear of the new NCNP permit fees.

Edited by rat

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