Toast Posted July 6, 2007 Share Posted July 6, 2007 (edited) Trip: Mt Challenger - Big Beaver - Luna Cirque Traverse Date: 6/30/2007 Trip Report: Four years ago, my friends Dustin, Ken and I tried Mt Challenger over a Fourth of July weekend via Easy Ridge. We passed a guy we'd seen the night before in the parking lot who had just summited and would make it out car to car solo in a day. After seeing this guy, we figured how tough could it be? We got as far as Perfect Pass. Granted, we only given ourselves a one day summit window and it rained on us with no visibility that day. We tucked our tails between our legs and hiked out. This time, we came in via Ross Lake, did the Eiley Wiley high traverse, tagged Challenger, descended into Luna Cirque and were awed by the greatness all around us. Unfortunately, we forgot to take the cell phone up to Luna summit, so we didn't have arrangements for a return boat the following day. We assumed there’d be several boats in to drop off hikers. There were, we just missed them all. We ended up being castaways at Pumpin Mountain campground for a day, managed to Yogi a couple rounds of breakfast buritos the next morning from a GRCC environmental studies class, and played with signaling mirrors flashing every boat on the lake till one was lured in to investigate. They passed word back to the resort, and we were on a boat back home in time for pizza at Annie’s in concrete by 5:00. In hind sight, we should have made the boat arrangement ahead of time, and I should have brought full gaiters. My feet were soaked after the snow went isothermal from the recent heatwave. Some things we did right were careful research and verifying the Big Beaver crossing on our way in. As of this writing, there is a single log across Big Beaver that would have been dicier to have taken, but there's a log jam a twenty minute bushwack down stream that's a lot safer. No bee stings on the way in, a perfectly reasonable brush bash up to Eiley Wiley ridge, one amazing alpine sunset, incredible alpine views of all peaks around us, and two really great friends made this one of my best climbs to date. On the boat dock July 4th, I felt totally beat up, scraped and bruised… but in a good kinda way. Gear Notes: Handful of nuts (not needed,) Pickets (handy for descending the wrong gully into access creek,) Full Gaiters (I wish I'd brought) Approach Notes: From Beaver Pass, descend just past campsite marker and aim for the wide gap between drainages. Head directly uphill skirting cliffs. Trending to the right, find bench at ~ 5700’. Follow ridgeline up and follow along south side to Eiley Lake. You will need to skirt around Eiley lake clockwise. Nice camp in rocks above Wiley Lake with spectacular ampetheter seating to view sunsets. From Challenger Summit, descend NW ridgeline trending to the right as you enter Luna Cirque. Corkscrew downwards staying as high as practical around Luna cirque till Lousy Lake is due East before heading straight down. Anything short of that will get cliffed out. From Luna Pass bivy site, descend bowl aiming for the far side of the minor peak that extends off Luna’s east side. There are three points to drop into Access Creek from that point. We rapped the first gulley which was very narrow and steep. In hindsight, I’d take the second if it has snow. It’s less steep and more forgiving. There is a third point to drop in from further down that would go. From head of Access Creek, follow right hand side of creek till boulders run out. We saw a small cairn and took it as a sign to cross to the north side into trees. We found mostly light brush but ran into a few bad patches of slide alder around dry creek beds. Once it leveled out we crossed Access Creek to find a log jam across Big Beaver – approximately at the “v” in Beaver marked on the USGS quad. The creek draining down from the trailside is just north of Luna Camp. If you should come upon a red Suunto Vector laying in the rocks at the creek, it's probably mine. Edited July 7, 2007 by Toast Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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