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[TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012

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Trip: Black Peak - NW face


Date: 5/19/2012


Trip Report:

In a collaborative effort, Eric Wehrly and I climbed and skied the NW face of Black Mountain. There are ski lines that when viewed from a deceptive perspective, or through some camera trickery appear to be truly steep when in fact they are only moderate in slope angle. The Northwest face of Black mountain is not one of those lines. Steep, sustained, exposed, are words that come to mind when contemplating a description. Snow conditions were scary in places, but good enough for a complete descent in proud style. Rocks and holes shallowly buried with sugar snow, slick ice crusts lurking under variably meager depths, these conditions added spice to both the climbing and skiing. Little in the way of progress came easy, the ground we gained was fought hard for in places, and entailed many white knuckled / no mistakes hours of fun. As I write this days later, I am still in a daze of emotions and memories that will be long to fade.


We got some good pictures, this is my favorite one, Eric shreds the knar



John Scurlock photo Black peak NW face (left), and Black peak western summit (right).



This was our first view of the NW side of Black, we had to make a long steep downslopeing traverse on variable snow to get to the beginning of the NW face (far right). Eric Wehrly photo



On the traverse, Eric Wehrly photo



E$ climbing lower face



Eric Climbing steep sugar over rock and ice high on the face.






Looking down on our route from the summit. Eric Wehrly photo












Eric Wehrly photo



Eric Wehrly photo



Eric Wehrly photo












Eric Wehrly photo



E-Money crossing a runnell mid-face






Eric Wehrly photo



Eric Wehrly photo



Eric Wehrly photo



Eric Wehrly photo



Looking back on the traverse


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When we skied Black last May, right after we saw you, I took a look down the NW face. While potentially skiable, I thought, it was improbable. It's a proud face; really steep, sustained, committing, and by the looks of it technical.


Good work. This is a significant line.

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Had this face even ever been climbed before?

The first ascent was made by my brothers Gordy and Carl in August 1978. Gary Brill and I did the second ascent in May 1979 under snowy conditions similar to the ski descent.


When Gary and I climbed the face, we were climber's left of the central rib. Our route had a step that I don't think would be skiable. I'm guessing that you guys were skier's left of the rib. Correct?


Glad you had a safe trip...


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