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[TR] Lincoln Peak - Wilkes-Booth Route (NW Face) Grade 4+ AI4+ 3/13/2015


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Trip: Lincoln Peak - Wilkes-Booth Route (NW Face) Grade 4+ AI4+


Date: 3/13/2015


Trip Report:

Lincoln Peak

Wilkes-Booth Route (NW Face)

AI4+ Grade 4+ ~2000 ft.

FA- M. Rynkiewicz, D. Coltrane



Michal Rynkiewicz and I climbed the NW face of Lincoln peak via a combination of glacial, alpine, and water ice, with steep snow fields and amazing ridge traversing mixed in. I was inspired to climb this route by a 2010 TR of Assassin Spire by the phenomenal Cascade hardman Tom Sjolseth. His trip report included a few choice picture of the NW face of Lincoln with big inspiring flows that would possibly lead to the summit of Lincoln. Given that and the great snow conditions we have been having this year I didn't really have a choice but to go out and give it a try. We were a little concerned with the warm temps and recent snow, but upon views of the start we couldn't resist. We climbed the route in a single push from the Heliotrope ridge trailhead ascending the NW face and descending the SW face (Standard) route. It was a big day and one of the most amazing routes I have had a chance to climb in the Cascades. I feel very fortunate to be blessed with outstanding partners and to be allowed passage by this amazing mountain.



Sunrise on the Sisters



Looking at first pitch on Descent. This is the same start as for Assassin Spire and the route shares the lower portion with Shooting Gallery until you get to the upper Ampitheatre.



Starting up the first pitch. The upper half of this pitch is the crux with poorly protected overhanging ice of dubious quality.



looking down at the overhanging glacier while cruising up through the first snow field.



Vertical ice curtain headed up to the glacier.



Michal climbing the glacier to gain the upper amphitheater. This was a fun step of glacial ice with good protection.



First views of the ampitheatre. We climbed the obvious flow in the middle. It was about 120m of amazing WI3+ plastic ice like I have never seen in the Cascades. We climbed it in two long pitches.



There are other climbs to be had along the face. Climbers right is a slightly easier variation that would traverse in to the main flow, and climbers left the gully would probably go with a bit of shenanigans at the top.




Setting up an anchor for the first pitch.



Michal Starting out the first pitch, this pitch was a full 70 meters with a little simuling on 60m ropes. this was the harder of the two pitches with a few vertical step of ice that had good features.



So Much Ice!



Starting out the second pitch. This was the easier of the two with one short 85 deg. section at the start and about 50m to the top of the flow.



Cruising the upper snow field with the amphitheater below.



Amazing ridge climbing along bomber snow and rime. Assassin Spire is the rocky spire down and right.



Navigating the upper ridge to the first sub summit. From here we had to downclimb a short portion of rime ice to get to the last pitch to the summit.



Looking back at the downclimb section.



Such amazing position.



Michal Working his way up the last technical pitch to the summit.



Looking up the gulley to the summit. This was another full 60m pitch, but relatively easy.



Summit Selfie!



All that was left was getting off #2 on the hardest peaks in Washington. Just downclimb 2000 ft of steep snow...



Out of the danger zone and glad to be heading back.


From here we traversed back along the north side of the peak to Heliotrope ridge.


Thanks again to my amazing partner for the commitment, and strength to get this huge climb done.

Special thanks to The Tom Sjolseth for getting after it and sharing the stoke! I would have never known this was an option without his beta.


Daniel Coltrane


Gear Notes:

9 screws, 3 pickets, small rack to 2", set of Nuts, and small set of pins, 60m rope

Mostly used screws and pickets.


Approach Notes:

Approached from Heliotrope ridge across the lower portion of the Thunder Glacier.

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That's a sweet tick, and the FWA of Lincoln. Strong work and possibly the only other route to be put up on this peak?

Yes I was thinking this was the FWA and the only other route.


Tom- All I know is that this is not the first time I've followed in your footsteps to some of the most amazing places in the cascades.

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That looks like a fantastic trip, congrats on the FWA!


I'm curious how long it took for car to car, also do you have a photo showing the entire route outline on the NWF (maybe from a distance/approach)? I would be interested in checking out this route, if not this season then the following...

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It took us 18.5 hours round trip, which was very conditions dependent.

I have asked John Scurlock if he would let me put a line on one of his photos, but until he responds I don't have a good photo of the whole face as it is quite complex and large and cannot be completely viewed on the approach.

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Sucks that the guy who killed our greatest president is commemorated by any place names in our mountains. He isn't worthy of the honor.

Not much of a joke person eh? I guess humor is overrated.



Several of the peak/feature names in that group (Baker/Black Buttes -- Lincoln, Colfax, Sherman, Seward, Assassin Spire) reflect historical significance as much as some perception as an "honor". Additionally, the first ascenders of a route are, by convention, entitled to name that route as they see fit. I see nothing wrong with that name (it's certainly within the context of the area), and suggest that if someone doesn't care for it, they should first consider that they missed their chance to be the first ones up the route & thus aren't in much of a position to be critical.

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I think the route name is perfect, and fits in well with the other peaks. Even the USGS map calls the southern most summit of the Black Buttes the Lee Promontory,

does anyone know what the history of that summit? has it even been climbed?

The Black Buttes Quinary: Colfax, Assassin, Lincoln, Seward, and the Lee Promontory has most likely yet to be completed.

Thanks guys for sticking with route names that make sense!


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