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lukeh

[TR] Boston Basin - Forbidden Pk Approach 9/1/13

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Trip: Boston Basin - Forbidden Peak Approach -

 

Date: 9/1/2013

 

Trip Report:

Boston-9.jpg

Audrey placing a light source for a time-lapse on an exposed ridge between the Taboo and unnamed glacier below Forbidden Peak. Click the pic above or most pics for a much larger version of Facebook.

 

Audrey and I went to try and camp on Forbidden's summit by climbing the West Ridge. We instead wound up hanging out in the Boston Basin area, relaxing and taking in the gorgeous scenery.

 

We made it to the high camp in only 2.5 hours with a 40-pound pack, then cruised up some waterfall ledges and skirted the Unnamed Glacier below Forbidden on the left (West) side. After some glacial traversing on moderately steep terrain, we turned around (see pic below for route info). The snow wasn't great for steps, and Audrey's still pretty new to snow/ice. It wasn't super steep, I just didn't like it. There was a thin layer of soft snow on ice, and you couldn't really kick good steps, yet blowing "steps" out was easy to do. That said the sun was doing more softening as the day aged, but mostly I was dreading downclimbing in the morning on super hard snow in alum crampons with a bad runout. I brought a picket but it wouldn't go. I needed a screw and didn't have one, otherwise I could just belay her down then solo. Anyway, I'm sure more experienced climbers wouldn't think twice about this section/have any issues (later we saw two guys cruise over it w/o much issue as it softened up even more). I ended up downclimbing back to Audrey, anchoring in the softer snow by a glacial lip, lowering her off the 10 foot little ice cliff back to rock, then climbing back on the glacier alone the way we came. We talked about options, I did some scouting around a corner that would bypass a lot of the glacier, but we ultimately decided there was plenty to enjoy down lower.

 

Heading back down to some seracs that offered shade on their "safe" sides, we relaxed then went exploring on the ridge between the Taboo Glacier (below Torment) and the Unnamed Forbidden Glacier. We found a cool little bivy spot on a ledge overlooking the very broken up, loud Taboo Glacier. The Milky Way came out as darkness fell and after some pics and a time-lapse set up, it was off to sleep under the stars, which looked brighter than I've seen them in a long time. I woke up a few times to loud rock fall and glacier break-up activity, which did not surprise me.

 

In the morning we headed down over the beautiful slab granite and waterfalls as the sun rose. We were back to the car in no time then stopped in Arlington for some French Toast.

 

The route is super accessible/short/moderate so I'm sure I'll be back soon. I hadn't been to this area before and am happy to have made the visit. I'm also glad I had the opportunity to just chill and enjoy the surroundings vs. having to constantly move and worry about deadlines. Sometimes it's nice to stop and smell the massive seracs near glacial moraines.

 

Boston-1.jpg

Audrey admiring Johannesburg Mountain from the main camp in Boston Basin.

 

Boston-3.jpg

Large blocks of ice slowly slide down a thousand feet of slab granite.

 

Boston-2.jpg

Johannesburg, a shadow, a grassy knoll, morning. Click for a larger version.

 

Boston-4.jpg

Alleyways between large seracs cast shadows on the rock and each other. The sun causes them to break further and slide down the hillside. Click for a larger version.

 

Boston-6.jpg

Lush green on the left (East) and the Taboo Glacier on the right (West). Johannesburg on the left and Glacier Peak in the distance to the left. Click for a larger version.

 

Boston-8.jpg

Audrey down-climbing the exposed ridge at night.

 

Forbidden Peak West Ridge, Route Photos

 

Boston-11.jpg

Route up to the West Ridge of Forbidden. A party of two came down in the dark, you can see one headlamp on a rappel a quarter of the way up the rock.

 

Boston-10.jpg

We went up to the green "x" then I decided to turnaround. The concern was downclimbing sketchiness in the morning. Audrey has little to no experience on snow and the snow wasn't great. I lowered Audrey off the glacier, then scouted the blue line, which would go avoiding more snow, but still would require a decent amount of downclimbing on hard snow in tennis shoes and aluminum cramps. Looking at this pic though it looks pretty casual. The basin was beautiful so I didn't care either way, there were photos to be had everywhere.

 

Boston-7.jpg

Audrey checks out the Taboo Glacier while the party of two continue to descend the gulleys below Forbidden's West Ridge.

 

Boston-GPS.jpg

From the car you can get up this thing pretty quickly if you're motivated .

 

Boston-5.jpg

Yes Steve House, I do offer ice climbing lessons. Photo by Audrey Sniezek.

 

Copied from my blog.

 

Luke

Edited by lukeh

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Since it sounds like you haven't been up Forbidden before, the summit is a pretty dry/uncomfortable bivy. Just an FYI for a future rematch.

 

BUT, those are some amazing images, thanks for sharing!

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Great pictures. I hope you attempt it in the future with better snow conditions...it's a cool climb. Jason G is right, the summit isn't the best bivy spot. There is a ledge at the base of the west ridge that is pretty nice though.

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Thanks - yeah I'm sure the summit sucks for a bivy - I wouldn't be camping on it for comfort. As always main motivation is typically interesting photo perspectives, often resulting in extreme discomfort (Little Tahoma summit comes to mind).

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Thanks - yeah I'm sure the summit sucks for a bivy - I wouldn't be camping on it for comfort. As always main motivation is typically interesting photo perspectives, often resulting in extreme discomfort (Little Tahoma summit comes to mind).

 

Right, forgot you bivied on Little T! So, yeah, something similar, though maybe a little less comfortable given the large blocks at the summit.

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Another great set of photos Luke! I had to show my brothers your pictures the other night. Love the night shots you take. Definitely an inspiration. :rocken:

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