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Juan

Chiwawa Lyman Glacier TR

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Friend Crispin Prahl and I had hall passes for Fri./Sat. and learned that the road to the Phelps Creek trailhead was re-opened. The Trinity Fire is under control. With a good forecast in hand, we went in to Chiwawa on Friday at the crack of noon. We camped on top of the ridge that is above (climber's right) what's left of the Spider Glacier. We were a ten minute ridge walk from Spider Pass and at about the same elevation. It was cold and clear Friday night with very little wind. Temps in the mid 20s. Glorious weather. No running water but snow to melt.

 

The Lyman Glacier route looks very different than it did last July. There is 3-5" of new snow in the area, and thin ice smears over much of the shaded rock. We crossed the lower shrund on the far right and headed up the third class, ice smeared rock. Easy terrain. You can avoid the entire snout of the very broken-up glacier by staying right. You might be able to get up on the far left too. We had another shrund to tackle farther up, and it required about six feet of easy ice or snow covered rock. We are such studs.

 

For the final shrund, we walked above it, then up to the ridge for the short scramble to the summit. No one has registered since late Aug. The mountain was evidently crawling with Mounties mid-summer. We missed out on the summit pin award ceremony, but maybe next time.

 

This is a good easy climb right now. Take steel crampons and one axe, maybe two though you don't really need a second. A thin short rope was a good idea on the upper glacier as many cracks are lurking, but covered with new snow.

 

Go get it before the big snow falls.

 

John Sharp

Bellevue

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Juan,

 

Thanks for the tracks! My partner saw your name in the summit register. We used your tracks for the descent, and it saved us some time.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Sure thing. How did you get to the top and on which day?

 

Also, did you find a black ditty bag in the parking lot? I seem to have left it on top of the car or something, and lost a pair of glasses in the process . . .

 

Juan

 

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Hi John,

 

How did you get to the top and on which day?

 

We summited at 11:00 AM on Sunday morning 10/26.

 

Our ascent route skirted the first large bergschrund (the one at the very base of the route) on the climber's left, then traversed climber's right. Went into a moderate-angle mixed gully, then straight up a 2-pitch, 45-degree ice tongue leading up to the snout of the icefall. Then directly up through the icefall. We passed the final schrund (the one just a few hundred feet below the wide snowy saddle) on the climber's right, very near the moat, then traversed climber's left once above it.

 

On the descent, we followed some tracks along the climber's right-hand side of the Lyman Glacier. We rapped on a V-thread into a wide (but largely snow-filled) crevasse, but downclimbing or scrambling through the moat would certainly have been an option. This may have been the same ice step you mentioned in your TR. Then followed the tracks down more easy snow slopes, then down about 800' of 3rd-class terrain that alternated between snow and rock slabs. Then down a steepish snow gully, to reach the first crevasse at the bottom of the route. Followed tracks (climber's right) into the moat to bypass the crevasse.

 

thin short rope was a good idea on the upper glacier as many cracks are lurking, but covered with new snow.

I second this. My partner punched through on the lower Lyman. Her first time punching through into a crevasse, something of a right of passage I guess.

 

Didn't see a black ditty bag, but it was dark when we got to the trailhead. Sorry.

 

Cheers,

Steve

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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Good job. The only tracks you would have seen anywhere on the Lyman were ours, I think. We never needed to rap, and downclimbed the short steep step at the highest shrund (far climber's left on the descent, against the wall).

 

Fun climb, eh? Did you do it in a day?

 

Juan

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Hi John,

 

Did you do it in a day?

We camped in the snowy basin just below Spider Gap.

 

We never needed to rap, and downclimbed the short steep step at the highest shrund (far climber's left on the descent, against the wall).

Yeah, the step was short, but we were really tired. Seems like the route was in fine shape, but I don't really have a basis for comparison. Certainly was a fun day of climbing.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Let's just say the mountain goat was smilin'. Crispin got sloppy seconds. Bahhhhhhh.

 

Juan

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