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[TR] Torment Forbidden Traverse - 7/26/2013


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Trip: Torment Forbidden Traverse -


Date: 7/26/2013


Trip Report:

My friend Lance (Skoolsukz) and I climbed Torment Forbidden Traverse over Fri and Sat last week and found it still in good conditions. In full force as an RMI guide, after taking clients to the summit of Rainier on Thu, Lance got off Muir and we sprinted straight to the Boston Basin TH from Seattle. So much for sprinting - we were dragging behind the unrelenting deer bouncing on the Cascade Pass road for about a mile at midnight who would not let us pass.


As usual, we slept in the dirt by the rig for a few hours and hit the trail at 4 am. The approaches in the dark are all the same, uneventful, but J-burg is always hard to miss on this one:




Boston Basin in the morning:







After crossing the Cl.3 slabs in the basin, we got to the Taboo Gl. at 8 a.m., roped up and hiked through the moats (some of which are getting too skinny too fast) to the base of the South Ridge. Yep, South Ridge and not the SE face where we got emotionally traumatized last year in the House of Pain.


Lance on Taboo:



Getting to the moat at the base of South Ridge:






After getting situated in the moat, we racked up and I went to the notch on the left side. The cl.4 loose gully on the right is in the new and improved state of boulders precariously moving in the dirt right above your head. After having a close call in this gully last year, I thought screw that and chose to go through the more solid but harder rock on the left:




Lance in the “grey dihedral” above the notch:




Mid-way on South Ridge:




In the “dirty gully with an old pin”:




We were making good time to the notch separating the South Ridge and SE face until we rapped down and downclimbed to the center of the “cl. 3” trench intersecting the SE face.


Some people learn on their mistakes, while the others ...

Last year it took us freaking forever to get our asses off Torment by taking the SE face. Don’t do it unless you are in the mood for excitement and long descent. And it is exactly what we ended up doing again – descending the SE face to where we left the packs.


The summit of Torment had to be tagged as Lance never been on this peak before. The best part however is the last 100’ to this summit is pretty solid and enjoyable for a change.


On the summit of Torment:






After downclimbing for as long as we safely could, the nightmarish raps to our packs had begun. At one point, we could not come up with anything better but to sling a hump placed in the sand that I leaned against with my pack to “help” prevent the sling from slippage while Lance was rapping. With more sketchy downclimbing ahead, we were seriously wasting a lot of time and getting concerned about being back in Seattle on Sat so that he would get at Muir next day. I did my best to be optimistic and reassured him that once we rap down on the north side back to snow/ice, our life will improve. And sure it did. Thank gawd, we are back in the boots and steel crampons, with one tool in hand, the life is great again… By the time I rapped into the infamous moat, Lance is already up on the surface of the glacier. I found a convenient rock outcrop 15 feet down in the moat where I put crampons on (while the other team who smartly and quickly approached from the U-notch of Torment were rapping on our rope).


The other team is rapping down while I am underground:




Lance kindly tossed the second tool that helped climb my ass out of that grave on vertical hard snow. Sketchy - with the abyss below you.


Finally, nice views greeted us on the north side of the traverse:




The moats and holes are everywhere on the 50-60 deg slopes, but passable if you don’t step into those:





Lance suggested we solo the snow sections with one tool, which we did - for the most part. That luckily sped things up until we hit the loose rock towers which unluckily slowed things down again. I bet we should have traversed low to stay on snow for longer rather than sticking to the crest on the shitty rock.


Soloing the traverse and getting through the moats/holes:






Looking down on the other team on one of the zillions of the rock bands we passed:




Finally, at sunset we reached the ½ mile bivvy:




High Life at the ½ mile bivy:







Next day, we hit more "fun" towers before the “fun” catwalk:




The 10 a.m. arrival at West Ridge saddle seemed like taking forever. After running into a bunch of friends from Portland who were heading up WR like civilized people (camped in the Boston Basin a day before), they kindly let us pass and we made it to the top at noon before hurrying back down to the car.


Thank gawd for the solid rock on WR of Forbidden. BTW, marmots have a good taste and are soloing it all way to the summit block. I wish I was that fat and could do the same.







Gear Notes:

1 tool, steel crampons, single rack to 2", 60 m x 8 mm rope


Approach Notes:

Boston Basin

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