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Josh Lewis

Sloan Peak

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I know it's probably a bit out of my league, but I am curious. A climber calls Sloan a scramble, and a scrambler calls Sloan Peak a climb... what is it acually? On the easiest of routes is it technical? Or as long as your roped in and set protection its good? Is it a 5.0? Just wondering because I want to climb this peak some day.

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I know it's probably a bit out of my league, but I am curious. A climber calls Sloan a scramble, and a scrambler calls Sloan Peak a climb... what is it acually? On the easiest of routes is it technical? Or as long as your roped in and set protection its good? Is it a 5.0? Just wondering because I want to climb this peak some day.

 

I assume you mean the Corkscrew route. If so...

There is some glacier travel where (depending on time of year) you many need to wind around a few crevasses (or traverse high above them).

 

After that there is a trail, that turns into class 2 and then class 3 scrambling. There are a very few exposed moves near the top.

 

 

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I tried to climb the Corkscrew route in late season and got shut down by the moat and 'schrund, which were basically impassable. Early season is supposed to be a walk up. I went back later from the Bedal Creek approach and soloed the thing from the bottom right sloping ledge to join the Corkscrew route. This was wet and scary class 4 climbing but I did it in boots without a rope and lived (down climb was even scarier). Once on the Corkscrew route it was all class 3 to the summit. Classic route.

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josh this is a fun peak! you must be able to route find through the maze of paths and then find the best crossing of the NF sauk. This time of year you may be fine but I know folks who have had some ...lets say fun...hah crossing it when it is full.

 

Don't make the mistake and try this one in a day unless you are in TOP shape! It would be a great overnight trip for you and a partner. great camping in the basin below the peak.

 

like KKK said the glacier does have crevasses. Later in the year things open up. I think it also depend on the snow that the winter before. This is what it was like when i did it. Aug 2005

 

123597.jpg

123598.jpg

123599.jpg

 

the rest is easy scrambling till the top then it is exposed C3 but VERY short on nice rock. If you ask me the gully just before the exposed scramble is the worst part especially on the descent.

 

Don't underestimate this one, folks HAVE fallen and died up there.

 

 

Oh and helmet is a must as the NF may try and throw some rock at ya!

Klenke has a good page on SP for the peak and the route. Study it and dial in the route if your gonna go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried to climb the Corkscrew route in late season and got shut down by the moat and 'schrund, which were basically impassable. Early season is supposed to be a walk up. I went back later from the Bedal Creek approach and soloed the thing from the bottom right sloping ledge to join the Corkscrew route. This was wet and scary class 4 climbing but I did it in boots without a rope and lived (down climb was even scarier). Once on the Corkscrew route it was all class 3 to the summit. Classic route.

 

Josh, look in Nelsen's Select vol 2 or in Beckey for info.

 

There are currently moat issues associate with the snow below the ramp you mention. There is also a section getting from the ramp to the corkscrew trail that we rapped coming down that way. I wasn't thinking about going up it, but it is probably 4th class or easy 5th.

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Ok, so rope up for the glacier... is roping up needed in other spots as well. And I was reffering to the Cork Screw Route. And when people said recommended in Eary Season, how early? As for the river, I guess I don't mind getting soaked.

 

Thanks for all those who helped with info.

Edited by Josh Lewis

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Ok, so rope up for the glacier... is roping up needed in other spots as well. And I was reffering to the Cork Screw Route. And when people said recommended in Eary Season, how early? As for the river, I guess I don't mind getting soaked.

 

Thanks for all those who helped with info.

 

There are two approaches: Sloan peak trail (which had a washout a few years ago) and Bedal. I have only done the former, and it was mid-August. The routefinding through the washout is no problem, but there is a stream crossing that could be dangerous early season (right below a waterfall a few miles in). The stream at the beginning is deep and fairly wide and you'll need to take your boots off for it (we brought sandals and then stashed them).

 

We only roped up on the glacier.

 

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Josh,

Different people will rope up in different places. In the mountains you need to integrate your knowledge and skills with information about weather, terrain, and other conditions to develop a plan to guide your actions. While there are some generally accepted practices (e.g. roping up on active glaciers and class 5 rock) there are always exceptions and plenty of gray areas and oddities. For example, I rappelled down a blueberry slope last weekend because it seemed like the best course of action. Others may laugh, but they weren't there to assess the conditions. Learning to make good decisions and be responsible for their consequences takes time. Try and build your experience gradually over time, avoiding catastrophes, and ramp up to more difficult objectives.

Keep getting out and be safe.

Rad

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There are two approaches: Sloan peak trail (which had a washout a few years ago) and Bedal. I have only done the former, and it was mid-August. The routefinding through the washout is no problem, but there is a stream crossing that could be dangerous early season (right below a waterfall a few miles in). The stream at the beginning is deep and fairly wide and you'll need to take your boots off for it (we brought sandals and then stashed them).

 

We only roped up on the glacier.

 

Is this route any good?

Sloan%20Peak%20Route.jpg

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I did that route in the Winter, Josh, and it was an excellent climb. I'd be curious to learn how those ramps on the SE face are without snow on them.

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This is a great peak, highly recommend the Corkscrew Route. I climbed that route in October of '02, which was a wonderful time to be up there (maybe not so late this year with all the melt action). The approach was classically Cascades, the glacier travel was exciting (some fun jumps) and the rock section was easy. One of the most memorable climbs I have done in the Cascades. I haven't done many climbs in the Monte Cristo/Mountain Loop region, but everyone I've climbed has been awesome.

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There are currently moat issues associate with the snow below the ramp you mention. There is also a section getting from the ramp to the corkscrew trail that we rapped coming down that way. I wasn't thinking about going up it, but it is probably 4th class or easy 5th.

 

Rad, since were there recently, could you elaborate a bit more on those moat issues and the class 4/5 section? Do you think the moat is (was) passable on the ascent? How long is the rock climbing section between the ramp and the trail? Thanks.

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These comments are based on a moonlight descent, where we were not thinking about ascending. Subsequent rain/snow and sunshine may have changed things. With that in mind, here's what I recall:

 

Our first rap from the gully below the corkscrew trail to the top of the ramp was only about 12m. It looked like you could downclimb/slide pretty easily. Not sure about ascent, though I know some people do go up that way so it must not be too bad.

 

We rapped 27m off a block to a ledge near the edge of the moat. From there, we unroped, traversed the ledge, climbed down to the bottom of the moat where it was shallow, and found a spot where we could easily reach the snow lip. That's where Blake chopped the bollard and we rapped.

 

Rock at the bottom half of the ramp is low angle smooth slabs that offer little if any protection. We rapped off the side of the ramp about 50m from its Eastern end. I don't think it would be possible to ascend there unless you're free soloing unprotectable 5.10-looking slabs.

 

We did not get a good look at the end of the ramp where it meets the snow at a more gentle angle, but glimpses from a distance suggest the moat is at least 10 ft wide there and overhanging.

 

With daylight and determination you could probably make something work. It would certainly be an easier ascent route in spring/early summer before the moat forms.

 

Moats can be dangerous places, so be careful out there.

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Josh,

See my comments in the other thread about the driving approach. The trail/approach in red looks right. The evil blueberries were near the notch by point 5752. You'll have no trouble if they are dry.

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Josh, I just climbed this yesterday. I thought about you on it a little bit.

 

You would be able to climb it. It's not very technical, but it's just hard. I thought so anyway. Super fun though! You will be able to climb in two days like Tazz said, don't try it in one, it's too long and being extremely tired as you would be if you did it in a day would put your team members at risk. The route is very good though, the conditions are nice! We had no moat or bergschrund problems to deal with, and the river is only knee-high.

 

I would call it a climb- easy glacier (PD-), and a little class 4 rock near the top. I went with one other person, we roped up on the glacier, but climbed the rock unroped. If you are uncomfortable climbing/downclimbing class 4 rock, you might want to rope up. Bring a light rope though, we used an 8mm 30m. Even moving at a steady, fairly fast pace, it still took us twelve and a half hours car-to-car.

 

-Mark

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Ok, that does it! Now I have to do this one!! Perhaps this weekend... I do have three and a half days off after all. Mark, if your willing to do this one again, let me know. Thanks for the update, and great work! This weekend was fun for me too in the North Cascades. Shame the clouds were blocking most of the views.

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good work mark!! Your kicking ass this season!

 

Thank you!

 

Ok, that does it! Now I have to do this one!! Perhaps this weekend... I do have three and a half days off after all. Mark, if your willing to do this one again, let me know. Thanks for the update, and great work! This weekend was fun for me too in the North Cascades. Shame the clouds were blocking most of the views.

 

I'd rather not do it again...I'd like to go somewhere else. Sorry.

 

Where did you go in the North Cascades?

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Hidden Lake Peaks which we spent the night at the lookout which it snowed and it was cold, then the next morning scrambled up to the real summit.

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Hidden Lake Peaks which we spent the night at the lookout which it snowed and it was cold, then the next morning scrambled up to the real summit.

 

If you haven't bagged 3 Fingers yet - I recommend it. I headed up there a week ago and it is 99% trail at this point.

 

 

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If you haven't bagged 3 Fingers yet - I recommend it. I headed up there a week ago and it is 99% trail at this point.

 

Done! It was a fun one.

444593.JPG

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