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zoroastr

[TR] Snowfield Peak - Day Hike- NEW PICS 5/21/2006

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Climb: Snowfield Peak - Day Hike-West Ridge?

 

Date of Climb: 5/21/2006

 

Trip Report:

On Saturday, the forecasts for the mountains looked kind of mixed, so Erick Johnson and I just did a quick conditioning hike up Mt. Teneriffe in the I-90 Corridor. Sunday looked better, so we planned a bigger hike.

After tromping over a few miles of pretty but primitive trail up onto the Colonial Glacier, we passed under Paul Bunyan's Thumb, Pinnacle, and Pyramid Peaks...

 

 

18snopan2.jpg

 

Fresh glacial meltwater has the mysterious ability to make even Cytomax taste gr8.

18STC_2965a.jpg

 

The hike started a few minutes before 9am, and at 1pm we stopped at the col between the Colonial and Neve Glaciers, took stock of the situation, looked at the weather and the clock, and decided to press on. I had expressed an interest in shortening the trek, opting for Pyramid or one of the other Colonial-area peaks, but my fellow sloggers would have none of it. I thought they were nuts, they disagreed, we continued. As things turned out, I needn't have worried--we finished in 10 1/2 hours, arriving back at the trailhead at 7:30 p.m. after having crossed both glaciers and topping out on Snowfield.

18snopan1.jpg

 

The Colonial GL. was a little broken up, but not bad...

18STA_2966.jpg

 

Moving fast on easy ground: the lower slopes of Snowfield Peak.

18STA_2979a.jpg

 

 

 

We avoided the obvious gully that ran right up the middle of the face on Snowfield, opting for a direct line to the summit. Soft, deep snow on the upper face made for interesting mixed climbing as snow yielded to 4th class rock just below the summit. For the descent, we hopped into the main gully for a quick glissade.

 

18STA_2981.jpg

 

Light snow flurries on the summit caused some slight concern, but the march out was dry.

 

Summit of Snowfield: Erick autographs the register, while Jesse surveys the sprawling expanse of the Neve glacier below. All in all, a gr8 day in the hills.

18snowf_0068a.jpg

 

 

Gear Notes:

Boots, stick, 'pons [not really needed.

 

Approach Notes:

it's kind of a long one, and you'll gain over 8000' for the day, so start fairly early.

Edited by zoroastr

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No postholing whatsoever. In fact, with the exception of the soft stuff on the face of Snowfield, snow conditions couild not have been better--classic "Cascades Concrete" on the lower approach, and the glaciers were in fine shape for travelling. No one in our party brought snowshoes.

BTW: the third member of our party was one of Erick's friends, a very technically capable and strong climber named Jesse, who led most of the way and whose alpine skillset was grossly under-utilized on this little jaunt.

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Two questions...

 

1.)Where in god's name did you find a crack that size in the glacier? I did this tour a few days ago and did not come within 200 feet of a crevasse, and even that was on the neve glacier. There was absolutely nothing visibile on the colonial.

 

2.)How in god's name did you stand that tour without skis? That is a slog deluxe.

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Trick for making modest crevasses look big: stand at one end, while your buddies walk around the other end....:)

 

About the skis: I've never owned any--can't ski to save my life. I really enjoy hiking, though, and since this was my first trek into the area, things never got boring. In fact, I can't wait to get back in there and line up P.B.'s Stump, Pinnacle, and Pyramid--a great 3-peak traverse.

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It's a truly sweet area. THat was my first time up there a couple of days ago. When I was up there it would have been nearly impossible travel without skis, it was deep slush city!

 

Did you see those truly bizzare crevasse ponds (for lack of a better term) at the base of the Colonial Glacier? They were clear blue ponds sitting on top of the snowpack, with cracks underneath them. It was one of the more odd things I have seen.

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yeah...in fact, the picture I added to this T.R. yesterday is of that exact sort of pool...see above. S'funny...on Monday mornings, I usually start looking for new places to check for the next weekend, but I can't seem to shake the idea of getting right back into that same area--so many climbables so conveniently near to one another. Oh well, big weekend coming up...:)fruit.gif

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