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Chiwawa & Cloudy Peak

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Heading for Chiwawa and Cloudy Peak during second week of June. I know many persons ice climb Chiwawa in autumn - we're hopin' to kick steps up that sucker. Cloudy should be a scrambly snow climb.

We plan to access via Spider Meadow.

Any info would be appreciated.


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Below is my trip report from climbing Chiwawa a couple of years ago. We climbed the icefall, but that can be easily avoided by passing it on the right. Otherwise you'd follow the same route we did. Hope this helps.



DATE: 8/22/99-8/23/99


This climb proved to be an easy straight forward climb and approach. We drove to the Phelps creek trailhead and made the 5 mile hike up to spider meadows without incident. After a short break we headed up toward some bivy spots on the upper edge of the valley about 500-700 feet below spider col. It probably took about 5 hours for the approach. I carried my boots in which slowed me down somewhat. The next morning we got up at 5:00 and were at spider col by about 7:00. A short trip down the other side got us to the edge of the Lyman glacier where we roped up with the entire route in view. From there the climbing is really straight forward. We walked across to the ice fall where we got about 2 and a half pitches of ice. Not real steep but with a couple of bumps and bulges to make it fun. Then a relatively flat section, followed by a steeper upper headwall of hard snow probably about 40 degreees. I made the mistake of taking off my crampons for the upper headwall and got surprised when we hit a stretch of hard ice part way up. Phil drove in a picket for me while I, totally sketched out and hating life, got my crampons on in mid slope. We finished climbing the headwall and got to a small col. We drop our packs there and made a a short 10 minute scramble up easy rock to the summit arriving about 1:00.


The descent was easy though it was steep in places. You can skirt the ice fall on the left (on the left as you descend).



Easy alpine ice climb, almost a little to easy. It was a good first alpine ice climb for Phil and I. We moved a little slow. There were too many people hiking in this area, it detracted from the experience.


RACK - Standard glacier gear, two tools, 6 screws, 3 pickets. More than we needed.

TIME - Trailhead to camp at just 700 ft below spider col 5 hours.

Camp to Summit left at 6:00 arrive at summit 12:30 - 6.5 hours.

Left summit about 1:00 back to Camp by 4:00 3 hours.

Camp to Cars left at 4:00 arrived at 7:30 3.5 hours.



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If you're going to trek across to Cloudy Pass and Cloudy Peak, give yourself lots of time so you don't have to rush. Although it may be buried under snow still while you're there, the upper Lyman Lakes basin is a fascinating place worth exploring in a meandering kind of way. I was there Labor Day weekend last year, no snow on Cloudy Peak, pretty straight forward scramble. If it's clear you'll have awesome views of Dome, Sinister, Bonanza, Glacier, and a bunch of others.

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