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[TR] Mt. Buckner- North Face 7/24/2004

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Climb: Mt. Buckner-North Face


Date of Climb: 7/24/2004


Trip Report:

Heinrich and I hiked into the Sahale Arm camp on Friday. Without the constant wind, it would have been hot and buggy. As it was, Friday evening was very pleasant and there was only one other person at the camp.


We started at 4:40am on Saturday morning. A friend had suggested a 3:00am start, but I'm glad we waited - got more sleep and I wouldn't want to do the Sahale-Boston choss scramble in the dark. The scramble and glacier crossing went fine. We descended left from Boston to bypass some crevasses, and traverse high to Buckner. This worked out great and we had no problems with crevasses.


We Started at the right corner of the N face to avoid crevasses on the left-center, but it would probably go fine on the far left. I got the first lead. The shrund has melted out and is a bugger with exposed rock, deep moats and overhanging soft snow. I started to tunnel through the overhanging snow, but I can't say that it looked like a very inviting route. I backed off and the route which we took went over a ledge on the left side just below the shrund; this put you on a snow field which bypasses the shrund - way better! It might also be possible to get onto the snow field lower down.


Once above the shrund, this was a relatively mellow step-kicking exercise. There was no ice anywhere on the route - pickets are the only gear you'll need. We topped out about 10:00am. After an hour on the summit, we dropped down to 6200', traversed the basin and were back at Sahale camp by 2:30pm. It was pretty hot Saturday, and the 1400' of gain and scrambling to get back to camp was my least favorite part of this otherwise great trip.


The snow is melting fast, but this route should still go for another one or two weeks.


Gear Notes:

8.5mm x 37m rope

4 pickets

second tool


Approach Notes:

Lots of bugs

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Awesome smile.gif. Does this route melt out completely or just become a good alpine ice climb in Sept-Oct?

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At one time there was more ice, but now it's more likely to be a dry, choss filled gully as the snow melts. We didn't see any obvious ice. But choss can be fun too!

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hey mvs,


long time no see. Sounds like you must have encountered a few friends of mine as you came down off of the Johannesberg weed-wack outing.


I climbed Buckner NF 2 summers ago and we found some very nice alpine ice -- about 60 meters worth -- at the top of the face. It would take screws nicely, though the angle and conditions were such that we simply soloed it.


We also bypassed the schrund on the North Face via the rock rib traverse to moderate snow on the left (East) side, regaining the NF proper abover the schrund.


My two friends (the same two you met) tried to climb the NF couloir yesterday and encountered schrund problems that they were unable to surpass. They stated that the NF looked good, however. bigdrink.gif

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