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[TR] Boston Peak - Southeast Face 7/20/2013


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Trip: Boston Peak - East Face


Date: 7/20/2013


Trip Report:

My friend CC and I have not climbed in years. We like to do long strenuous day climbs with a car camp. After some vacillating between objectives we settled on Boston Peak. AM and MT joined us. AM is a newb and MT a new trad leader.


We car camped at the Boston Basin TH and got up at 3:30 am Saturday. It was warm even in the middle of the night, so we were glad to be moving in cool temps.


The standard stream crossing into Boston Basin was not too bad at 6 am:



View up BB in the morning:



We took a rest stop and break to refill water at a rock island just below the Quien Sabe glacier, then roped up and headed up.


The Quien Sabe in the morning:



We bore left and crossed under the cliffs with Sharkfin Tower above us, crossed the flats, then headed up and right. Route-finding was straightforward with just a few open crevasses until the bergschrund. The schrund was open almost wall to wall with a huge collapsed snow bridge you must climb into and out of.


Endrunning the bergschrund:



We unroped at the Boston-Sahale col, dropped some gear and headed up the ridge towards Boston. I had been this way two years ago, so it was straightforward to get to the point you drop down. The ridge was as exposed and butt-clenching as I remembered it.


KK and MT on the knife edge before the false summit:



We got to the Boston glacier, put on pons again, and headed to the ledge going along the East Face. CC and MT headed up first with AM and I following. CC and MT swapped leads, and I rope-gunned AM. We did the route in 3 pitches with a final belay along the summit ridge for safety (it is exposed) but only one piece of pro. Despite the reputation of this peak, we had little trouble. Yes, there are pebbles and small rocks on every foothold/ledge, but we found very few big rocks or porta-holds, and avoided knocking anything substantial down on one another.


CC leads up the first pitch:



CC leads up the second pitch:



Where's Waldo (AM)? View along the exposed summit ridge:



The views on the summit were awesome, and the summit register was as impressive as advertised. We were the 2nd party to sign the register so far this year. A party of two came up right behind us though.


CC and KK on the summit:



Obligatory summit p0rn:



We took longer than we had hoped to summit, so we did not linger too long there. It was also quite windy and chilly and some wispy clouds blew in after we had taken some good clear photos.


MT coils a rope:



CC on rappel:



We descended the ridge in about half the time we ascended it. Apparently we had "acclimatized" after a day of exposure on friable rock. Some of us actually smiled:




Originally we had toyed with the idea of going over Sahale and down the arm, however, it was late and we decided we wanted to get to the cars as fast as possible. So we retraced our steps down, foregoing Sahale. Our only concern going down was the stream crossing, so we opted to go straight to the high crossing on the flats at about 6000 feet. This proved a good choice, as the waters were raging. We got to the cars just after dark.




Gear Notes:

60 m rope allows for 2 rappels. Small alpine rack up to 2".


Approach Notes:

Stream crossing into Boston Basin fine in the morning but much more serious late in the day.

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I was surprised by the bergshrund on the Quien Sabe Glacier when I took my wife and son up there a few weeks ago. Does it become impassible in late season?


I haven't climbed the Quien Sabe in many years. There never used to be an issue with a bergshrund there, even in September.


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