Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
canela

[TR] Boston Basin - Forbidden 6/3/2016

Recommended Posts

Trip: Boston Basin - Forbidden

 

Date: 6/3/2016

 

Trip Report:

More to come (photos)... hopefully this will help anyone headed up there today. Short story: couldn't get above 4500', so we didn't get to Boston Basin/ Forbidden. Sad. Beautiful views though!

 

We got our permits for Boston Basin in Marblemount at 5pm, and got to MP 20 on Cascade River Rd after a stop at the diner by 730pm. Plan was to camp in Boston Basin Friday and Saturday nights, climbing Forbidden W Ridge Saturday and Sharkfin + Sahale Sunday. The gate is closed at MP 20. Most route descriptions say that the TH to Boston Basin is at MP 21.7, but the ranger reports said that it is 2.5 miles past the gate at MP 20, and we found that to be true... so the TH is really at MP 22.5 (ish) and around 3200' elevation.

 

We found the trail to be very brushy (vine maple mostly) - if you are inclined to carry a machete, bring it (no joke)- but OK to follow and fairly dry (I was wearing minimalist trail runners) until 4000'. Just before the first stream crossing there are some downed trees which make finding the trail a bit of a hassle, but bearing uphill at an angle towards Forbidden has you on the trail again just before the stream (Midas?). At 1030pm, we found the stream crossing to be too dangerous; a pair of guys attempting Dorado Needle at the cars said that their friends had experienced similar problems a week or so ago. Footprints and a bag of tennis shoes lower down suggested that another party got up there, but it was cooler earlier in the week, so perhaps the stream was easier to cross. Because it required walking directly in the stream (unless one were to run and jump 3+ feet to a rocky landing higher up somehow), and the stream crossing was essentially a break in a roaring waterfall (we couldn't hear each other talking over the noise)... coupled with the fact that there were 2-3 more stream crossings to go, and the temps were forecasted to increase significantly throughout the weekend (we were afraid the streams would just be insane on the way out Sunday night, and I have to be at work on Monday)... we bailed. Not an easy decision after the approach with 40 lb packs, but there was no way we were going to attempt it even without packs on.

 

On the hike out I lost my black O.R. gaiters to the overgrown vine maple shitshow that was the trail, so if anyone finds them and wants to send me an email I'd be forever grateful- asilbermd at gmail.com

 

It was already late, and we figured we might as well suffer more, so we continued up the road to the end... it was completely dry except for 3 small snow patches... so apart from that and some rock clearing that seems to be in progress, we're hopeful the road will open all the way soon. Biking up is no problem, and there's no need for boots (well, for what we did). Heard reports of snow at 5000' but melting fast. We camped at the end of the road, and awoke to huge ice/rockfall from the hanging glaciers on J-burg.

 

We were totally wiped from the late night, lack of sleep, and inability to get to Boston Basin, so we bailed for the car. Passed two black bears on the hike down this morning; salmonberries are out; the parking lot had 6 cars when we left last night, and this morning (Saturday) it was more than full at 830am. Pretty crazy.

 

Pics to follow... although the one of the stream crossing didn't really turn out due to lack of light at the time. :)

 

Approach Notes:

See above.

Edited by canela

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a shwaky approach with treacherous river crossings?? Ive never heard of such a thing in the north cascades ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did this about 6 hours behind you (saw your note Canela!) and had a fine time crossing the creeks at around 600am when we got there.

 

When we crossed them on the way back down, however, closer to the time you were crossing (10-11pm) they had doubled in size. Definitely not something I would choose to do in the dark with a headlamp... but we survived - definitely doable with some surveying and hiking poles. There were 6 creek crossings in total, 2 were much bigger than the other 4.

 

Except for one switchback (added a couple cairns), and two spots with a load of blown over trees, the trail was easy to follow. If it starts to get hard to find, you've probably lost it - go back - the real trail is solid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I realize not a real TR, but as the rangers had no real news on the area, and I couldn't find anything online for this year (other than skiing on TAY), I thought I'd post something so others could avoid our... error. Someone found the gaiters in the morning and returned them to me, which is awesome; they had a similar report about the creeks and dealing with them in the AM (not bad) vs PM (water above gaiters and not fun).

 

There was also a ptarmigan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, but there was a deer. He chased us around.

 

Did you do the the High Adventure Program at Camp Parsons in the late 80s?

 

"A DEER TRIED TO RAM ME!!!!" :lmao:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But anyway, post up some pics! And thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry you lost your gaiters, hope they are returned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an alternate approach to the upper basin that avoids all the stream drama, you can go up the Cascade Pass trail, up Sahale Arm, over the shoulder and down a 3rd class ramp and you're high up on the glacier, maybe 1,000 feet or so above the Boston Basin camp. Great location for going through Sharkfin Col if you're doing the North Ridge, a bit of traversing for the West Ridge, but there are some nice rock benches and a very tidy approach compared to the unmaintained outing the Boston Basin approach can offer.

 

Do I recall correctly that people got in trouble for pruning things on that trail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NPS doesn't like people pruning on the trail, but they haven't caught anyone that I'm aware of. They just complain loudly when they discover it. Why they refuse to maintain the Boston Basin trail is beyond me (but not surprising). Part of it was a road, and all of it was constructed and maintained for years. There is a permit system in place in the basin to limit use, and frequent ranger enforcement. Volunteer groups would gladly (and do!) maintain it.

 

There is just no good reason to let it grow in.

 

Perhaps everyone could let them know if you feel the same?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×