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Ursa_Eagle

Jack Mtn?

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OK, 0 for 2 at this point. This year at least we made it to within 1500 feet of the summit (better than turning around 3500 feet short last year). Who has actually made it to the summit, what routes did you take, and when did you do it? The guidebook seems like it would be better used as toilet paper. Two other parties up there this past weekend agreed with us.

 

So far I've tried the Little Jack route (last year) and the Jerry Lakes route (this past weekend.) The gulleys on the south face that we traversed under this past weekend were nothing but extremely steep and loose choss, including some overhanging stuff. We tried to get out onto the snow, but were expecting a rock scramble and weren't prepared for a 45-50 degree traverse on soft snow with a cliff for a runout. It looked like if we could have gotten across the snow, we could have made it up from there (the west side of the tall part of the south face.) I can provide photos of where we went and where we think the route went (they're on another computer right now.) Also, what about the glacier on the north side? How's the approach, how's the exit?

 

Oh yeah, Jerry Lakes thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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The east ridge of Jack is a pretty good climb. (I have to say that because my brothers did the first ascent.) When I climbed it a few years ago we descended the south route. I have heard of people descending back down the east ridge to avoid the south descent. I think that would be tedious.

 

The key to climbing Jack mountain is to go when the south route is mostly snow. Then you can downclimb the south face by backing down the snow, with just a rappel or two in the lower rock bands. In most years, that means going by mid-July. It's too late this year, in my view.

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Better route (IMHO) here ...

 

http://www.ericsbasecamp.net/trips/JackMtn/JackMtn.htm

 

 

This is the best way I could describe our S. Face route to you (there are MANY variations) : line yourself up with the big butte looking thing below the S. Face (you will be East of the summit by about 300m, at the base of the S face -- if that makes any sense). From there, begin with a class 4/low class 5 move up onto a ledge. Follow this ledge on a generally rising traverse towards the summit (at times, you will not be angling towards the summit, but away from it) -- you will find mainly loose, chossy class 3 with the occasional class 4 move (and one class 5 move near the summit, depending on time of year and amount of snowcover). We topped out below and to the East of the summit where the SE and E ridges meet. From there we traversed down and below the summit block then up the gulley on the W side of the summit block. I personally think the best time to do this route is in September, but I like loose chossy rock and I'm too lazy to put on and carry crampons if I don't have to.

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I climbed the north ridge of Jack via the May creek approach.

 

The approach was not very pleasant, definitely one of my worst (oppressive heat and bugs were contributing factors). From May creek to about 4,000 feet the going isn’t too bad. But then there are some cliff bands that you have to negotiate for about a thousand feet requiring some bush belay class 3 dirt climbing. Then the traverse from the 5,000 foot level over to the moraine is pretty brushy. Between the mosquitos and the brush, we lost a lot of blood on the approach. Figure on 6 hours or more to get to a moraine bivy sight.

 

To climb head up the left side of the Nohokeem (sp?), gentle grade, no problems here. But getting off of the glacier up to the north ridge does provide some challenge. We took a slanting ramp of steep snow 40-45 degrees, but where the snow got too thin to safely climb on one section, we took off our crampons and transferred to the rock. Scary, wet, sandy, slabby third class terrain made us wish we were back on the snow. We climbed up this section unroped, but roped up and stayed on the snow when we headed down.

 

The north ridge is cruiser to just below the summit block. Class 3 with only a couple of exposed sections.

 

Then the TRAVERSE, 2 pitches of 50 to 60 degree snow above the northeast glacier (maybe steeper for a short section to reach the east ridge, seemed like it was). Awesome exposure. Good belays can be found by climbing into the moat, making this more reasonable than it first appears. But it is steep and exposed. Really cool!!

 

Finish off with one 50 meter pitch of 4th class rock and then scramble up to the seldom visited summit.

 

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Lowell_Skoog said:

 

The key to climbing Jack mountain is to go when the south route is mostly snow. Then you can downclimb the south face by backing down the snow, with just a rappel or two in the lower rock bands. In most years, that means going by mid-July. It's too late this year, in my view.

 

Good point, coming back from SEWS this spring and I think around mid may we noticed Jack with perfect snow fingers bottom to top. We commented to come back at this time next year and get that one.

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I've done both the May Creek via the Nohokomeen Glacier and Devils Creek via the complete North Ridge.

I think the North Ridge is by far a better way to go.

The May Creek route is ok to navigate up but coming down it is a bitch. Excellent Mountain to climb.

If anyone wants info on it, let me know. cheeburga_ron.gif

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My wife and I climbed Jack last year at the end of July via the Jerry Lakes approach. From the lakes, we crossed the intervening ridge, and got to Jack proper. From there we simply traversed about two thirds of the way across the snow slope (below and around a buttress) until we found a pretty simple (3rd-4th) way through the rocks. As I recall, we only belayed one short rock pitch around an exposed bulge. Above there it was some steepish snow, some easy rock, then the summit ridge and the summit. Only 2-4 parties a year sign in. We reversed the route for the descent, there was plenty of snow to down climb.

 

We found it to be a nice climb with interesting but not too demanding route finding. It appeared to me, from seeing rap slings and dead ends, that some people begin the ascent of the face too soon during the traverse; that leads to downsloping, slabby rock. I recommend the peak and route, it was a fun, rewarding climb.

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yeah, we saw some of those slings you were wondering about, but nothing really looked good (unless you like wet, downsloping choss with some overhangs.) We reached the large rock outcropping the middle of the face, and didn't feel like continuing to traverse on the 50 degree snow slope without the right gear. We figured the route followed that snowfield to the top, then ledges and snow fingers up from there.

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