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[TR] Redoubt and Spickard - 5/23/2015

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Trip: Redoubt and Spickard -


Date: 5/23/2015


Trip Report:

Summary: Dylan and I had high ambitions for the Chilliwack slam over memorial day weekend (May 23-26), with planned climbed of Redoubt, Spickard, Mox, Custer, and Rahm. But we were ultimately foiled by rain and poor snow conditions. Still, good times were had.


Details: We drove up to Depot Creek Rd on Friday to an apocalyptic scene of dark clouds threatening rain. The week prior we watched the forecast steadily deteriorate to 50% chance of rain/thunderstorms, every day of the trip. Still, not having any better ideas, we committed to what would probably be several days in pouring rain. For driving and approach directions, use Steph Abegg's website: http://www.stephabegg.com/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/chilliwackslam. Nice to have, but almost feels like cheating.


On Saturday we slogged up to Depot Creek Falls under grey skies and dripping folliage, but things began clearing up and the sun came out to reveal Redoubt in all its glory. Sun, what's that doing here? With renewed hope we charged up to basecamp near 7000' below Redoubt, and climbed up the south face route. The route was filled with snow and ice, making for some thoughtful climbing. Apparently, we were the first ones up this year.


Sunday we headed over to Mox, again under surprisingly sunny skies. Wow, was the weather forecast wrong or what? Once on Mox, we found a disconcerting amount of snow of route, and even worse, the snow was a bottomless slush that was impossible to climb up. With the prospect of lots of unstable slush on steep ledges, we decided to turn around before attaining the Ridge of Gendarmes. Next time Mox, next time. By the time we made it back to camp, that clouds started moving in, and we moved camp down to Lake Ouzel in a whiteout. Prime camping spots can be found near Lake Ouzel on sandbars near the lake!


Monday dawned with the promised rain, and we kept to the tent while it sprinkled until noon. When the rain looked to be gone, we headed up to Spickard by the NE face. Snow conditions were terrible, an interminable slog up gloppy snow. Rather than directly climb up the final steep snow slope (glop over slabs) we headed to a small col and made some enjoyable 4th class moved over to the true summit. At the summit, the weather came again and it started snowing. We intended to then descend the easy south face, but somehow managed to go down the W face instead due to low visibility in the clouds. Quite steep and direct, but it goes, I guess.


Tuesday was a long hike out in the rain! Wetness. That about sums it up.



The wetness begins, Depot Creek Falls



What's the sun doing here?



The summit of Redoubt



Sketchy snow on Mox



A last view of the route on Mox, like a vision of Mallory on Everest. Next time Foxy Moxy.



Endless glop on Spickard. So good.



Fun 4th class scrambling near the top of Spickard.


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