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lunger

first ascent [TR] Greybeard Peak - East Face 5/16/2009

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Trip: Greybeard Peak - East Face

 

Date: 5/16/2009

 

Trip Report:

Dan Helmstadter and I climbed and skied the East Face of Greybeard (on maps appears as eastern terminus of Ragged ridge just E of Easy Pass, elevation 7965’) on Saturday. I haven't seen any record of this being climbed or skied; would be curious to hear if any of you have heard tales. The climb alone as a moderate alpine objective is worthy and recommended; its proximity to the road makes it that much more appealing.

 

A few weeks ago, somebody had posted a shot of this face, unnamed, on a report from Cutthroat (I think)—looked intriguingly possible. Then last week a couple buddies and I were on Mt Hardy and noticed the east face looking pretty fat—perhaps probable. Greybeard East and North Faces:

greybeard%20EF%201.jpg

The obligatory Scurlock photo:

http://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/53643445

On Friday evening I drove up towards Swamp Creek and saw that the face had melted out some from a week ago, but still appeared relatively do-able. What the heck, give it a try and if it’s not good, bail or descend some other aspect (the southwest is more mellow)… evening east face

 

We started climbing from 6100’ at around 3:30am after a solid freeze, and availed ourselves of a NE-facing couloir to gain a rib and ultimately the east face proper. Runnels in the couloir initially made for ready sticks with axes and crampons, but abruptly morphed into chunder-wonder variability. The climbing on the ribs and faces above was often steep and entertaining; I recall at one point left hand to rock hold, right hand to axe in snice, left foot post-holed, and right foot kicked into ice—what was next was a guess. Route-finding slowed us down a bit, as did two crampon failures for Dan, which he handily repaired. Luckily, clouds kept the sun at bay, urging us upward.

above the couloir difficulties IMG_6134.JPG

 

on the face

last stretch to summit

IMG_6149.JPG

 

IMG_6160.JPG

The views from the summit didn’t disappoint.

Goode et al

 

Dan and Black Peak

IMG_6178.JPG

sunlit Mt Logan, Arriva foreground

 

Jack Mtn S Face w/ lenticular and Crater Peak

 

The skiing was classic “spring variable”. We had gained the summit at a bit before 8, and as it had been cloudy all morning, waited for the sun to come out and work some magic on the icy patina found on most of the snow we had climbed. When the sun finally came out full-force at 11 a.m., it was forceful, and our worry turned from too crusty to too soft. For the most part we enjoyed soft-snow turns on the face.

up at summit

turns

We had to down-climb a couple sections due to either grave avy conditions or too-rocky chocolate-chip sections. We finally jumped a little step to finish the c. 1700'face, and skied a ridge feature to my bivy site at 6100’, making for a c. 1900’ run.

link1

link2

Perhaps this face will come into better shape (i.e., ski-able in full) in future years after a more robust snowfall for this area.

Taken later that afternoon with Rainier in hand:

EF%20from%20Swamp%20Creek.jpg

route up in red, down in green

greybeard_EF_route_lines.jpg

edit: guess I used the wrong "shortcut" for showing images. will try to fix later...if any of you mods have helpful suggestions...

 

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Well I'm glad I didn't miss out on a super awesome descent, but looks like a good adventure!

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Where the fawk was CaseY?

 

Eric: you're a worthless-old-man cross-posting attention whore. :ass:

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Casey had other obligations, unfortunately, & had to bail.

 

haha. Posted over there to hopefully get some news re: whether this had been climbed or skied before. Also the east face is a fun and accessible climb w/ or w/o skis. Seems the North Face gets all the attention, but with this so close to the road, who knows...

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Obviously there is no way in hell I would ski that, but it looks like a good climb! Did ya'll ever rope up or place any pro?

 

Beautiful peak.

 

 

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Hey Pax! Yeah, that peak is pleasing to the eye.

 

We had some gear, and encountered some spicy sections where we talked about it, but never did bust out the rope on the ascent. The cruxes were mercifully short.

 

We belayed the ski off the summit to stomp on what appeared a big nasty slab. Fortunately, we were able to downclimb the dicy sections so didn't have to rap.

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Posted over there to hopefully get some news re: whether this had been climbed or skied before.

Not sure about who climbed it first, but it has been used as a (ski-less) descent route by parties climbing the north face.

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Nice work Olde E and dan! Beautiful pictures. Feck and I thought we saw Dan by the side of the highway on Friday night as we sped east, but weren't certain. I was wondering if I'd come home to some badass TR.

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That first rocky section on the way up looks dicey from the picture... How long did it take to get to that hourglass-shaped-looking gully about a quarter of the way up?

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good eyes--the first 1/3 took us about 1/2 the time, methodical and mildly ponderous mixed climbing.

 

we took about 4.5 hours total, including crampon field repair. so i'd estimate that passing that last noticeable constriction (that i think you reference) took us nearly to the 2 hour mark.

 

would've taken longer if we'd roped up, which we were on the verge of doing.

 

(cbcbd -- thanks for the info.)

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Beautiful line Mr. Lunger! I know phil and co. have given that a try once.

 

I found out from pete that it was you above us on hardy the week before. thanks for the steps!

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