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[TR] The South Brother - South Couloir 5/30/2016


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Trip: The South Brother - South Couloir


Date: 5/30/2016


Trip Report:

Our summer had a change of plans given that Ulee broke his thumb when catching in a game a few weeks ago and had to get some pins in it, and he can't swing a bat or catch a ball till August most likely.



So new possibilities to show Ulee something I love (vs his love of playing baseball with his team) arose.

We've been talking about climbing the South Brother forever together, so it seemed like a good time to do it. It just may over take the Tooth as the most popular TR on CC.com! We invited Alpinfox along, and hit the road way to early in order to miss traffic and spend more time sitting around bored at camp. It was good to have someone else along to trade insults with and to give peace of mind given that Ulee was climbing with a cast and a non-functioning thumb.





We camped at the "climbers camp" up at the top of the Valley of Silent men. Our camp was next to the stream that runs down from the North Brother rather than the one that runs down from the South Brother. It was flowing really nice. We got our water out of it and it provided a really nice white noise to fall asleep to. The next morning when I got up at 5:30, it was gone. The stream bed was totally dry! Someone forgot to pay the water bill. It wasn't even running in the afternoon when we got back from the climb, even though Monday was by far much warmer than Sunday.



Climb up through the burn wasn't too bad, though not as nice as before obviously. Alpinfox only complained a little bit. Snow starts as previously reported at about 4000 get. We ended up putting on crampons mid-way up the first snowfield as at that point it was still in the shadow and pretty firm.





I believe you see Washington, Thorson, and Pershing here...with the Sawtooth Ridge (Cruiser, etc) to the right:


You'll want crampons and axe going up through the hourglass before noon. It was pretty exciting and Ulee got his money's worth between burning calves and a "no breaks for you" dad consumed and foaming at the mouth with summit fever.



Once you're on top, everything is made worthwhile. What an awesome view. Glad I got to share it with Ulee. And Alpinfox. And a couple of other people (hey, it was Memorial Day weekend, what can you expect?)







Finally it was time to head down.




I roped up to Ulee as he got used to climbing down and figured out how to arrest and front point downward. Things had really softened up, so there was pretty good footing. Next time when Ulee has both thumbs maybe more glissading. He got some in down lower where it is less steep.




Hiked out and drove back the back way to West Seattle: Belfair to Southworth Ferry to Fauntleroy.


Way more burley than my first alpine climb! Super proud of Ulee. Now he gets to spend most of the rest of the summer doing what kids who don't play 100+ games of baseball a year do. He's headed to the San Juans and then the Oregon coast with some school mates for a couple weeks. Can't wait to get back up there with him or even just go backpacking up in the high country. On the hike down we did get a whiff of some alpine flowers, that smell may be the best there is.



Gear Notes:

Crampons and ice axe definitely necessary early in the day

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