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bitin

bear mountain direct north buttress

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Folks,

my friend and I are going to try DNB on Bear mountain in two weeks. Any beta would be welcome. Particularly:

a. approach from Canadian side

b. do we need full crampons for glacier or aluminum 1/2 crampons are ok?

c. any beta/topo for the bottom half of the climb? What guidebook has it?

d. whatever else you want to share.

 

Thanks a lot!!

 

boris.

 

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beckey and mcclain guides are good. plenty of trs on this site too. I can't say about the canadian approach, but it can't be any worse than the u.s. way except that there's no descent if you go in the us approach. Bring bug dope and coverage. It all depends on your sketchy ice skills, we got away with aluminum poons and tennis shoes with one tool each but it was shitty (until they got put away then it was nice). Fun route, goes quickly. Do the direct, the way steph went seems like a giant waste of effort

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wait, nevermind...the way i went WAS the canadian approach. give yourself time to get lost

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Did slesse last weekend. glacier was rockin and rolling in the heat. used technical tool and full crampons on the glacier. had the boots out later on the climb for a snow slope pitch on low angle stuff. lotta snow kicking around despite the heat.

take a lot of water. like a LOT. we got very dehydrated despite drinking 4-6l through the day.

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2nd worse approach ive done in the cascades. Get ready for the Vietnam tunnel simulator!

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I've been in there twice now and the bushwacking the first time around was heinous as we got hopelessly and gloriously lost. Second time it paid off to move away from the riparian jungle and further up into the old growth timber and find the trail, which tends to disappear after big blow downs. But it's there. Aluminum crampons were fine approaching the DNB.

Be sure not to start climbing right where the buttress toes into the glacier. It's slabby and run-out. The McLane guide talks about going up on the snow, climbers left of the buttress to avoid that. Once you start climbing on the DNB it's pretty straightforward. Some climbers talk about getting into some horrible orange rock above the dihedral pitches. We avoided it by not traversing right too soon. Have fun. The campsite up there is one of the most remote and scenic spots in the N. Cascades. You may want to consider doing it in August to avoid the bugs and to take advantage of the blueberries and spawning sockeye in the Chilliwack.

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2nd worse approach ive done in the cascades. Get ready for the Vietnam tunnel simulator!

 

I'm curious, what was your #1 worse Cascades approach?

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2nd worse approach ive done in the cascades. Get ready for the Vietnam tunnel simulator!

 

I'm curious, what was your #1 worse Cascades approach?

 

Icicle Canyon: Hook/Rat Creek - Blockhouse West Face in mid july. :)

 

 

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Just remember when the sh_t hits the fan on the Chilliwack trail: "They" didn't want the international trail crossing to exist, so huge trees were felled in order to rub it out, But the line is still true where the trail was and it was a pretty straight line. Also the sub alpine bush field can be circumvented a little on the left. THere are several starts possible at the base. we did the crack system just left of the huge dihedral with the back-off sling. Not a casual trip

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2nd worse approach ive done in the cascades. Get ready for the Vietnam tunnel simulator!

 

I'm curious, what was your #1 worse Cascades approach?

 

Western Southern Pickets. Kind of similar to Bear, but maybe a bit longer.

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Just remember when the sh_t hits the fan on the Chilliwack trail: "They" didn't want the international trail crossing to exist, so huge trees were felled in order to rub it out, But the line is still true where the trail was and it was a pretty straight line. Also the sub alpine bush field can be circumvented a little on the left. THere are several starts possible at the base. we did the crack system just left of the huge dihedral with the back-off sling. Not a casual trip

 

how the fuck can you remember that?

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On the Canadian approach, do not follow a line of flags uphill to a mining claim, way too soon. We realized this mistake in time to catch up with a family of picnickers frolicking in the creek... Fail.

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Just remember when the sh_t hits the fan on the Chilliwack trail: "They" didn't want the international trail crossing to exist, so huge trees were felled in order to rub it out, But the line is still true where the trail was and it was a pretty straight line. Also the sub alpine bush field can be circumvented a little on the left. THere are several starts possible at the base. we did the crack system just left of the huge dihedral with the back-off sling. Not a casual trip

 

how the fuck can you remember that?

 

pain

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Hi all. Dont mean to hijack this thread though I was wondering about a possible approach to the Direct North Buttress. We are intending to climb Redoubt's north face, the glacier one, and then traverse over on the eastern side by contouring above bear creek to the base of North Buttress of Bear Mountain. Were hoping to stay high and only spend a day crossing over from redoubt to bear. Let me know what you think. Are we in for bushwhacking or will it be nice alpine walking. Thanks in advance.

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I noticed that from Redoubt a couple weeks ago, that the approach down to Bear Lake and from there to the base of the DNB looked chill--mostly open snow covered slopes--fairly brush free. Your strategy would be to return to camp at Bear Lake after the climb?

Good luck on the northeast face on Redoubt--it looked like the schrund crossing might be tough, Depot Glacier was opening up and the top couloir might still have a cornice guarding it. We switched our plan for the north to the south side. There we found a nice snice couloir option before exiting left into the final gully that takes you to the exposed step around on the north side before the summit. Enjoy!

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I've wondered if that face on Redoubt may be getting tougher as the years go on and the glacier thins. Seems like a narrow window when it is in reasonable shape these days.

 

Ooops, sorry for contributing to the drift!

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Hard, probably like this, only more difficult and committing.

 

I remember climbing along the top of the Diamond on the summit ridge and dropping a rock down a bomb bay chimney the exited onto the Diamond. It overhung enough that the rock I dropped (didn't throw, just dropped) didn't touch the sides of the chimney nor the face for more than 1500' vert, maybe more. That face is WILD!

 

Has it even been repeated?

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Western Southern Pickets. Kind of similar to Bear, but maybe a bit longer.

 

Crescent Creek? To the saddle by the Chopping Block?

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Just got back from Bear Mtn. With heavy loads and a couple poor route finding decisions it took 11 hours into high camp. It was hard. The summit register sees very little traffic. Only 1-2 ascents a year. No ones climbed and signed from the north side since Steph did in 2010. Last summit registry for DNB was in 2007.

 

Steph might have the best advice in that hers is nondescript and simple. Trying to piece together someones description to the landscape might get you into all kinds of trouble.

 

Steph's Bear NB report

 

 

But I'll do it anyway.

 

Canadian Side: Starts at a prominent "Ecological Reserve" Sign. Unfortunately the trail is no longer maintained. Only marginally better now than the U.S. side in many places. Plenty of brush, some blowdowns and a few places where the trail seems to have altogether disappeared. Fortunately it's well marked with reflectors on trees. When in doubt head to the river as it generally parallels the river.

 

U.S. Side: This is a very special experience. The truth is the trail is there to follow probably 80% of the time but can be very easy to loose and is frequently buried in thick brush. There are definitely places where the river has fully blown out the trail and things can get real nasty. The first mile is by far the worst, after that the trail can be followed almost entirely to Bear Camp.

 

The trail is accurately mapped on USGS topomaps and we found a GPS invaluable for reestablishing ourselves after loosing it.

 

A little detail. Upon crossing the border the trail starts out quite good. Eventually the brush thickens up and you'll have to cross three small side channels or streams on fallen logs. After the third crossing it is imperative to head left into forest rather than right back towards the river. Go left into the woods then double back to the river maybe a quarter-mile upstream where you can pick up the trail again. For the next mile or so when in doubt always head towards the river. Eventually you hit a nice gravel bar with a view of Bear Mountain. Shortly after this you should find an old bridge across a stream/swamp after which the trail generally becomes much easier to follow as it ascends into old growth and stays away from the river for the rest of the way.

 

About a half-mile from Bear Camp the trail passes though a slide alder path. The trail is a bit uphill and hard to find but worth it. It still exists under all that slide alder even if you have to crawl on all fours in places.

 

At the Bear Camp sign take the left fork hike a couple hundred yards the cast off uphill for 3000' to the alpine. Good times.

 

If I had to do it again I would

 

1) take a couple days to brush out the trail. Another informal trail crew this fall?

 

2) Take two days to hike in. Stay the night at bear camp but camp out on the gravel bars. Next day hike into the alpine early in the morning and rest all afternoon. Maybe I'm just old.....

 

 

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Attempted the DNB last weekend. We did not actually climb due to various factors, primarily rain, so I don't have that much to add, except...

 

Something that I have not seen mentioned in previous TRs is that we encountered quite a few yellowjacket/wasp/hornet nests (did not want to linger long enough for a positive ID). Most were underground or in rotting stumps in the wooded ridge section above bear camp (two appeared to be partially excavated. who digs up yellowjacket nests?? probably don't want to linger long enough to find that out either). One was hanging off a devil's club on the riverside "trail", which really ups the "worst approach ever" factor.

 

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Ha. I remember getting a couple yellowjacket stings a couple times on the way down right around there. Quite the sting-in-the-tail on that route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Western Southern Pickets. Kind of similar to Bear, but maybe a bit longer.

 

Crescent Creek? To the saddle by the Chopping Block?

 

Yup. Terror / Rake area. Across the barrier from McMillan Spires, etc.

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I think you'll now find that the Crescent Creek approach is WAY better than Bear. I was surprised by how much it had improved in the five years since I last used it. Almost a "trail" the whole way and not too hard to follow. 7.5 hours or so to Terror camp.

 

Bear, on the other hand, yikes. I still remember the approach vividly, and it sounds like it has only gotten worse in the intervening years.

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