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mountainsloth

[TR] Crater Mountain - Standard 9/6/2012

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Trip: Crater Mountain - Standard

 

Date: 9/6/2012

 

Trip Report:

I had another mid-week break with no one to climb with so I was looking for a mellow outing to a summit that offered a great bivy.

Crater Mountain did not disappoint.

 

There is basically a trail going all the way to the top of this sucker with maybe 2 moves of class 3. The route looks improbable but goes quite easily aside from the long uphill slog through a ridiculous amount of switchbacks.

 

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Aside from a few backpackers, I had the place to myself. The hike in was long but traveled through a surprisingly varied forest.

 

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Dougie Fresh with a nut

 

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Frilled Fungi

 

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Pearly Everlasting?

 

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cool mushroom/plant growth

 

All of my favorite aspects of solo travel through the mountains presented themselves in these two days of Summmer fun.

 

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Looking south along the trail

 

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The trail brought me to a tiny and very shallow lake at the base of the south face.

 

The trail continues West up the shoulder but I had ideas of camping near Jerry Lakes so I went right around the lake aiming for the pass between the two peaks of Crater.

 

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First views of the Jerry Glacier and the South side of Jack Mountain.

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That South face sure looks like sketchy crap!

 

Since it was later in the day than I had hoped I scratched my idea of heading to Jerry Lakes and cut across the snowfield below Crater's South face back over to the West shoulder where I met up with the trail.

 

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The geology was quite interesting along the way with very unique stones.

 

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I found the trail, set up my bivy and ate an early dinner.

 

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With about 1.5 hrs of daylight left I set my eyes on Crater's summit for some golden hour time up high.

 

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Jack with Hozomeen in the background

 

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Its amazing how much mining evidence I found up there!

 

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Jack with a lonely alpine tree

 

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The alpine foliage was at times, stunning

 

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The views of Jack and the Ross Lake peaks were pretty

 

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As was the HWY 20 valley heading east. It was cool to see the contrast of dry, glacier free peaks to the NE to the heavily glaciated peaks SW of the valley.

 

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I enjoyed the summit with dessert and quickly headed back down.

 

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I rolled into "camp" just as the Sunset was hitting its peak.

 

From my bivy I had 270 degree views of the North Cascades.

 

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Pasayaten Wilderness

 

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Mt Baker and the Picket Range area

 

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and the mind-blowing sunset West

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The view South was a bit washed out but included everything from Black Peak through Goode/Logan to Colonial Peak area.

 

The next morning I packed up, and headed out, whistling goodbye to my marmot friends and smelling the butterscotch smells of the Ponderosa Pines all the way back down.

 

Side note,

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anyone know what this amazing squarish rock face is S/SE of the Colonial Complex? I couldn't seem to pick it out on the N. Cascades Nat'l Geo Map.

 

Gear Notes:

quads of cams up to 6, a full rack of iron, and a lot of guts ;)

 

Approach Notes:

Devils Dome Loop to an unlabeled spur trail that brings you underneath the S face of Crater Mtn. follow the trail up the W shoulder and follow the spray-painted signs up high (yup, I said spray-paint)

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anyone know what this amazing squarish rock face is S/SE of the Colonial Complex? I couldn't seem to pick it out on the N. Cascades Nat'l Geo Map.

 

Maybe Tricouni NE face?

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dberdinka nailed it as it is cetainly Perdition. Page 280 in the green CAG.

So would that be the NE rib on the left side in the photo?

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Great photos! The summit makes an even better camp, especially when there is still a snowbank on top for your water. Your picture of mining relicts is most likely the remnants of the tripod cable device used to haul supplies to the former summit lookout.

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That mountain with the big squarish face that you are asking about is Perdition Peak, found between the Backbone Peaks and the McAllister Glacier/Eldo area. The glacier to the lower right is the Backbone Glacier, the peaks to the right are some of the backbone summits, probably the Cervical and Thoracic Peaks.

 

I was just in that area in August, passing closely behind the other side of that mountain while traversing the upper Marble Creek basin on the Isolation travserse. What a great place.

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cool, thanks for the info.

The lookout idea makes more sense than mining but I did also see steel wiring and wooden 2x4s down low on the shoulder as well.

Judging from my position, NE rib sounds about right Tyson.

 

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cool, thanks for the info.

The lookout idea makes more sense than mining but I did also see steel wiring and wooden 2x4s down low on the shoulder as well.

Judging from my position, NE rib sounds about right Tyson.

This was all part of the cable and pulley system used to get stuff up the steep part to the summit lookout. Mt. Pugh used the same arrangement to both haul materials for initial construction but also to supply the person staffing the lookout with something other than a back-breaking load up the rocks.

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