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goatboy

[TR] Forbidden Peak, all to ourselves?- West Ridge 7/1/2006

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Climb: Forbidden Peak, all to ourselves?-West Ridge

 

Date of Climb: 7/1/2006

 

Trip Report:

Foreword: My wife Tamara has attempted to climb Forbidden a number of times before this weekend, being shut down repeatedly by bad weather or inability to get a permit after driving all the way from Portland. Now we live in Seattle and are much more within striking distance...

 

Premise: We decided to brave the crowds we were certain would swarm into Boston Basin over the holiday weekend, and I left Seattle Thursday night to be first in line for a permit Friday morning at 7:00 when the ranger opened the door in Marblemount.

 

Friday: Got permit at 7 AM and waited for wife to finish up work in Seattle that morning. She arrived in Marblemount around noon, and we charged ourselves with french fries from Good Food before shouldering heavy packs and hiking in the afternoon heat up to the low camp in Boston Basin. Took a leisurely 3 hours to get arrive at camp in early afternoon. Sunset colors were nice, and the views of Jo'berg and the basin were spectacular as always...

 

Johannesberg

298JoBerg_resized.jpg

 

Sahale and Quien Sabe Glacier

298Quien_Sabe_resize.jpg

 

Sharkfin Tower

298Sharkfin_resize.jpg

 

Boston Peak glowing red with sunset colors

298Boston_sunset.jpg

 

I slept well that night, awakened periodically by Tamara's shrieks as mice continued to run through her hair and over her face all night, at one point actually entering her sleeping bag, much to her dismay.

 

Saturday: Alarm goes off at 3:30 AM and I am awake, making coffee and oatmeal. We leave camp by 4:45 or so.

 

298GB_leaving_camp.jpg

 

The morning is calm and blue, and the dull pink glow in the sky gives way to first light playing over Torment, touching on Sahale, drifting over Jo'berg. We paused in the cold wind near the high camp to take advantage of the composting toilet there and rehydrate a bit...here's Tamara climbing up to me with Sahale in the background:

 

298TWA_coming_up_to_high_camp.jpg

 

From here, our objective lay clearly before us, though we wondered what the couloir would be like, having heard that it was melting out fast...

 

298W_Ridge_Couloir_resized.jpg

 

As we approached the couloir, it looked okay from below...perhaps 40-degrees or so and reasonably firm.

 

298Looking_up_Couloir.jpg

 

...but we decided to rope up so we could tackle any problems head on rather than roping up in the middle of the difficulties.

 

After crossing a few snowbridges over glide-cracks, we encountered an appreciable bergschrund about 300 feet up the couloir. I have no photos showing it from below, but it was passable only by some mixed climbing on the left wall of the couloir. This entailed manteling on rock, sinking one tool into thin alpine ice along the left margin where snow met rock, scratching for purchase in steep sugar snow above, and committing upwards. A few moves like this and the difficulties were over, though it was quite exciting for 15 feet or so...from here, I ran the rope out to a rappel station just above and brought Tamara up to me. She had no problem pulling though the moves.

 

298Schrund_crossing_resized.jpg

 

Then, she lead up the remainder of the couloir, climbing some improbably steep snow and an aesthetic snow arete to top out:

 

298Top_of_Couloir_resized.jpg

 

298Couloir_top-out.jpg

 

Soon enough, we were on the ridge crest, climbing the sun-warmed Skagit Gneiss, our only company on the ridge a friendly Marmot snaf.gif who followed us up and down the ridge:

 

298Snaffle.jpg

 

298Start_of_W_Ridge_Resized.jpg

 

298GB_on_W_Ridge.jpg

 

298GB_further_along_W_Ridge.jpg

 

Tamara lead the entire West Ridge in two very efficient simul-climbing pitches, generously pausing at the West Summit so I could get in a token lead to the true summit.

 

Here I am, posing with this friendly goat who joined us on top:

 

 

298Two_goats_on_summit_of_Forbidden.jpg

 

298Goat_summits.jpg

 

We had the summit all to ourselves, and in fact, had the entire West Ridge all to ourselves. There were some climbers coming up the East Ridge, but we were gone from the summit by the time they came into view (note climber wearing red rappelling off the big gendarme):

 

298E_Ridge_climbers.jpg

 

The North Face of Buckner looked to be in very straightforward condition, though the North Face Couloir approach appeared to be complicated by the Bergschrund beneath it:

 

298Buckner1.jpg

 

We descended via a combination of rappelling and simulclimbing. There are three rappels you can do in close proximity to each other, which sets you up for pretty easy simul-climbing all the way back to the West Ridge notch:

 

298Rappel.jpg

 

Soon, we were rappelling the couloir. Two ropes proved very helpful for this descent:

 

298Rappelling_couloir.jpg

 

Soon enough, we were back in camp and ready for a big burrito dinner. I believe it was about 14 hours, camp to camp...we were hungry, thirsty, and proud of our great day, and especially grateful to have had this wonderful peak all to ourselves on this glorious, warm blue day.

 

298GB_and_TeeWa.jpg

 

Sunday: Hiked out and headed straight to the Skagit River Brewpub in Mt. Vernon....great IPA and a towering plate of nachos! bigdrink.gif

 

298Brewery.jpg

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Pickets, two ropes, two tools each, light alpine rack with cams to 2", extra slings for long simul-climbing pitches

 

Approach Notes:

Trail is clear and good into Boston Basin. Route through deadfall sections much clearer now than in the past....Midas Creek crossing fine, contrary to climber's register at ranger station.

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Hey were you the ones we met up at high camp on Saturday evening? We made it to the top Sunday and encounter just one party up there. Surprise there was not that many people up there this past weekend. That colouir was pretty sketchy. Great pictures and TR!

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thumbs_up.gif sweet! great pics. i've never heard of a goat being all the way up on the summit though. but then, since you had the entire west ridge to yourselves i suppose anything is possible. yellaf.gif

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Hey were you the ones we met up at high camp on Saturday evening? We made it to the top Sunday and encounter just one party up there. Surprise there was not that many people up there this past weekend. That colouir was pretty sketchy. Great pictures and TR!

 

Were you the party of two with the Megalight camped on the snow? If so, then yes. I hope the climb was good for you guys! We certainly enjoyed it. The schrund-crossing was "spicy," eh?

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Yes that was us....

 

My friend's Megalight Tent works really well especially on the snow. Super light, packs in small, and large height and floor space. Yes the colouir was "spicy" plus decending the West Ridge can be stressful as you have to downclimb most of it. Takes just as long to get down then go up. We arrived back at camp around 6:30 and back at the car around 8:30. At home around midnight and now here at work with a big headache. rolleyes.gif

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Pleased to meet you Goatboy, Tamara. That was us camped right next to you. I saw you leave and greeted you when you returned. Our climb of Sahale on Sunday was great.

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Jerry, I've been eating bacon and drinking coffee all day...know how you feel!

 

Good to meet you too, CBS. Looks like you guys got some stuff DONE this weekend, huh? Sharkfin, Forbidden, and Sahale? Is that right? We saw ya'll tromping up the Quien Sabe as we packed up Sunday morning....

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Oh, no we didn't do Forbidden- just Sharkfin and Sahale. It was my first time to Boston Basin. What a beautiful place it is.

 

That trail needs some brushing out. Just a couple guys with some light tools could make a difference in a day's work. Probably would have to go through a beaurocratic nightmare to get permission to do the work, though.

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Hey nice pictures and trip report! I was also up at Sharkfin and Sahale this weekend with the group of 8, but I don't believe our half of the group saw you two. What a great weekend, eh?

 

Oh yes, that trail had pretty views but it was a mess!

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Hey Erden

 

I saw your group of 8 when I was on the West Ridge of Forbidden. You guys were bunch of dots moving up towards Sahale Peak.

 

Also on the West ridge, I kept on smelling marijuana and we were the only party up there. Did someone forgot their weed up there?

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In case you were wondering about the strangely stacked rocks at your tentsite:

11086P1000364.JPG

 

Trying to get better reception of KEXP on a lazy morning.

 

We did WR of Forbidden the day before (only one other party on it) and left after noon over to Shale Arm for more action. Great strech of weather.

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Good to see you, Jerry and partner on the West Ridge, and Marko and partner on the East Ridge. I have a bunch of nice pics (planned bivy just below the summit), and will post some in a few days.

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Great pics!

 

I like the image of Eldo since we also had it to ourselves during Saturday/Sun morning while looking over at Forbidden and wondering if it was crowded.We thought maybe the heat was keeping people home? That all changed Sunday when a parade of Mounties came. Luckily we were headed down by then.

 

Did you stop at the Good Food then drive to the Marblemount Ranger station in a suv with racks and a box on top?

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Were you the guys camped at the base of the E Ridge on Eldo? We saw lights there and were wondering if you guys saw ours. A group was also heading in to do Eldo W Arete...

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Did you stop at the Good Food then drive to the Marblemount Ranger station in a suv with racks and a box on top?

 

We DID stop at Good Food and go on to the Ranger Station but we were in a Subaru....

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Were you the guys camped at the base of the E Ridge on Eldo? We saw lights there and were wondering if you guys saw ours. A group was also heading in to do Eldo W Arete...

 

Yep, that was us at the bivi spots below the East ridge. Sorry, we didn't see your lights. I think we were distracted with all the views. We hiked up at the same time as the W Arete group untill we headed our different ways.

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Damn, it was fairly empty up there despite all you folks being around. We headed up Sunday morning, chatted briefly with a couple about the virtues of hiking poles, hid from the burning orb in Goatboy's now empty campsite, exchanged pleasantries with someone from CBS's party coming down from Sahale, sorry to have missed you Brian wave.gif. I was sort of surprised to just walk in and get a permit for BB on 4th of July weekend.

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Off White,

 

I think we were the couple chatting about trekking poles (on the trail, as we were going down and you were going up?)

 

If so, good to meet you! Relative solitude in Boston Basin rockband.gif

 

- Goatboy

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Don't know how we missed you, Off! We did meet a group of three coming in. One poor fellow was wearing plastic boots and wasn't looking too happy.

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That trail needs some brushing out. Just a couple guys with some light tools could make a difference in a day's work. Probably would have to go through a beaurocratic nightmare to get permission to do the work, though.

 

CBS, the last two times up there I realized how lame this is. the NPS feels the need to permit us to use the area but not to maintain a trail that is obviously pseudo-official. If they are going to abandon the trail then it's not fair to permit us. Otherwise, if they are going to permit, then spend the few hundred bucks to cut the brush down low.

 

Yes, very Coloradian of me to complain about some brush, but it seems like a very inconsistent policy.

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Just a paranoid thought creeping in here, but perhaps they like the brush so they can discourage casual hikers from going into the basin and creating additional SAR work for the staff.

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