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chesterboo

Mt. Persis-Index traverse

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My partner and I plan on doing the traverse this weeks that starts up the Persis west ridge route. I have been to Persis that took approx 2 to 2and 1/2 hours. I would like to know if anybody has done the traverse and how long it takes going light. Also, is there water on the Index section and if anybody has been up there lately is it snow free at top of Index? Thanks for any info. confused.gif

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If that is your time up Persis figure about 4 more hours to Index.

 

There will be water at the Perfect Place & a couple of other spots.

 

There will be some snow on the route, mainly between the head of Anderson Creek & the summit.

 

Fun trip.......enjoy

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In April, 15 years ago, I did this route. We got to the summit of Persis in just under two hours, but took ten hours car to car. The traverse starts a fair ways down the south side from the Persis summit, traverses a ways, then follows a chute back up and eventually follows the ridge. After passing the low point in the ridge (4800') there are a couple of steep snow steps, then a gentle rolling ascent to the Index summit.

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We went for it today with the great weather. Our start time 7 oclock was too late. We went up a gully too soon on the traverse and got cliffed out so we had to go back down and traverse farther and then found the correct route. We got to the flank of the Index portion and we had to turn back to get it another day because we were running short on time etc...Now that we know the route, it should be faster and more straight forward for us. At any rate, it is a long trip and a warm one. Thanks to Mr. Mo and Tread Tramp for the help. cheers.

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After you cross the pass at the top of Anderson creek drainage it's about 4 or 5 false summits until you get to the summit of Index main peak. I remember thinking I was almost there and it took another 2 or 3 hours. I also remember some steep snow and scrambling, not just a hilly hike.

 

I would almost plan on doing part of the return in the dark or just do part of the ascent in pre dawn.

 

I went up Anderson creek and summited then went down the normal route to Lake Serene. It was dark when I hit the lake and made it to the car at 1:00AM.

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We were on route counting our misdirection for 9 hours and 20 minutes and were moving most of that time. When we turned we figured 2 to 3 hours to go to the summit. It would be best to do it we think with a bivy the night before on top of Persis and then a very early start, but the challenge remains to do it in a day and if we got to the trailhead early enough and could get back to top of Persis before it got dark we could do it. Buckaroo, how long would it take do descend from top of Index to Lake Serene and the trailhead there via a scramble route, and is that route hard to find from top of Index?

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A couple of things may help:

1)On the traverse itself don't even think about being on the ridge crest or Index side until you are past the Perfect Place, and also until you have really no choice. I'm guessing you doped this out belatedly as did I once apon a time.........the notch I suspect you visited is one of the great boulder trundling sites in the universe but not otherwise on the way to anywhere.

2)There are a couple of shortcuts, one being a supposed not too brushy route to the head of Procter Creek (which I've never been able to find) and following the road past the Procter Creek washout to it's high point & thence traversing the obvious talus at the head of the basin. Prior to that road's washing out one could with two-wheel drive reach a point only about 4 hours from the summit. I'm betting that walking the road adds less than two hours. Both of these alternatives are shorter and eliminate the big elevation loss off of Persis.

3)Just before Anderson Creek pass where you face a loose & unpleasant descent right after the ball bearings do yourself a favor & go up a hundred feet or so, it's just a walk then.

4)I wouldn't recommend dscending the Lake Serene route if you have not been up it.

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Thanks Mr Mo for the beta. You sound like you know the area very well. I think you know where we were when we made a wrong turn. We were walking up to the crest saying things like , "ok, this is awsome, now lets eat lunch here and it will be a strait shot and then we get to the edge and were like oh, f.... After some expletives we went down and then around and to head of proctor creek. We traveled another hour and 15 past that and got a pretty good view of the rest of the climb. Is the Perfect Place that pretty lake with the rocky walls around them? We were 20 minutes past that when we turned. It seemed to be a brushy ridge top traverse over to INdex from there that we felt we would mostly stay on the R hand side of the ridge. Am I right?

How many times have you done the traverse? How often does it get done It is a beautiful trip but not entirely strait forward if one is not familiar with the route. anyway, thanks for your help.

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4)I wouldn't recommend dscending the Lake Serene route if you have not been up it.

 

Hiked up the "original" trail up to the lake a couple weeks ago just for nostalgia's sake. Was wondering how many people remember how epic this short route can be, especially on the decent. Also who's been in the mines at the end of the abandoned road? I bivi'd in them once when I was about 15........damn creepy. BTW a new trail carves up the slope to the east of Bridal Veil Falls now.

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Is the Perfect Place that pretty lake with the rocky walls around them? We were 20 minutes past that when we turned. It seemed to be a brushy ridge top traverse over to INdex from there that we felt we would mostly stay on the R hand side of the ridge. Am I right?

 

You are very much on the right track. It's not really brushy from there except a teeny bit. Much of it has a defined path, some to the left of the crest, some to the right around a little rock thumb, and sometimes right on the crest. Traverse and descend left across an open area to the low saddle of Anderson Creek before the last major bump. Assuming no unforseen problems you were about an hour and a half from the top.

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I think the 'old' trail is still the route of choice: It's shorter & more direct, it goes right by the Falls, it has a lot more character and it's not overrun like the new one.

 

Regarding the mines at the start one and all should beware the partially planked over winze not too far inside. It once tragically claimed a local dog & would be a really bad hole to fall into.

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"" Buckaroo, how long would it take to descend from top of Index to Lake Serene and the trailhead there via a scramble route, and is that route hard to find from top of Index?""

 

Like MrMo I don't really recommended it to go down the first time, I was just putting it out there so you could compare times. And it is hard to find, and hard route finding once you're on it if you have no description, I got temporarily cliffed out near the bottom. Basically it's about 300 to 500 yards south of the summit. Right at the lowest place in the first pass you come to. It's called the "East Route" of Main peak in the tan Becky guide.

 

The best way would be up the East Route and down toward Persis if you wanted a full traverse.

 

Another little story from my traverse. I had been cliffed out like I said and phoned a buddy for beta, which he had little of since it'd been so long since he'd been on it. So after I got off ok I called him to tell him, then headed down from the lake in the dark. Right after hitting the trail for some reason I thought I'd stop and eat my last food even though I wasn't really hungry, just thought I'd eat for the extra energy to make the last descent down to the car. In fact I had trouble eating I was just so burned out from the days effort. Anyway just after I stopped to eat I heard a huge explosive rending and tearing sound from above the trail and subsequently the most horrific crashing and smashing. A hundred feet in front of me I saw sparks in the dark where the trail passes through. The smashing and crashing continued down the hill and I realized it was a huge rockfall. You could just hear trees, the ground, and other rocks being smashed and crashed all the way down to the valley floor, it sounded like a couple of pieces the size of volkswagens.

 

It was timed right about where I would have been if I hadn't stopped to eat. It was pitch dark by that time, it would have been dicey. When I continued down in the light of my headlamp I could see the huge scars in the trail and surrounding brush and trees where the boulders had crashed through. I hurried by worrying that other stuff might come loose but luckily nothing ever did.

 

You sometimes wonder if a particular mountain is "dark" so to speak. Index has sometimes felt like that, with all the people that have died there, Stuart is sort of the same way. Other places like WA pass don't feel like that. Or maybe it's just the rock and climate conditions that make it inherently more dangerous.

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