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[TR] Mount Anderson - West Peak and Namesake Standards 6/26/2016

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Trip: Mount Anderson - West Peak and Namesake Standards

 

Date: 6/26/2016

 

Trip Report:

This past weekend I had a two day hall pass to get out in the mountains. After half-heartedly reaching out for partners, I realized what I really wanted to do was spend a solitary night in a remote alpine setting somewhere. Better yet, somewhere I didn't know very well. Enter Mount Anderson, the hydrographic apex of the Olympics, and a long way from any road. Saturday morning found me at the end of that road, at least what was drivable.

 

I left my truck a little after 8:00 and biked 5.5 miles up the abandoned Dosewallips River Road. From there a nice 10.5 mile gradually ascending hike through lush forest led to Anderson Pass. Another couple hours up a climbers trail towards the Anderson Glacier and I finally caught my first good view of the massif:

IMG_09041.JPG

 

The Anderson Glacier is apparently a shell of its former self, with one consequence being that the steep snow finger leading to Flypaper Pass is melting out quicker every year. There was already a small bergshrund at the bottom of the finger which forced me out to the right on easy rock for 20' or so:

IMG_09174.JPG

 

Then back onto the snow finger and up to Flypaper Pass. It was almost 5:00 by the time I got to the pass but I was feeling good and there was plenty of daylight so after a short rest and dropping my bivy gear I dropped ~400' down the Eel Glacier where I came across a monitoring station:

IMG_09292.JPG

 

Then traversed west towards the taller West Peak before heading up to a notch in the minor north rib. The view of the summit from this notch:

IMG_09341.JPG

 

Originally I planned to do the steep snow traverse, but once I saw it and realized it had been baking in the sun and with perched hangfire above, I opted for the "class 3" ridge route. Calling it class 3 is a stretch, it felt waaay more exciting with incredible exposure and horrendously loose rock. Over a couple bumps and a false summit:

IMG_09361.JPG

 

And on to the true summit of West Peak for a selfie:

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Looking back towards Mt Anderson proper and Flypaper Pass:

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Longer views of the rest of the Olympics were mostly obscured by clouds:

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On my way back to my bivy I came across TONS of glacier worms that had appeared in my footsteps from a few hours earlier:

IMG_09702.JPG

 

Back at Flypaper Pass by 9:00PM where I made camp, watched the sunset, and let the RPMs from the west peak scramble wind down. If a remote alpine bivy is the kinda thing that makes your soul sing, this place was hard to beat.

 

Sunday morning I woke up with the sun, packed my kit, and again dropped 400' down onto the Eel before traversing east towards the shorter namesake Mt Anderson. An hour plus later and I was on top with spectacular cloudless views in all directions:

 

Hellooo Seattle:

IMG_09801.JPG

 

Mount Anderson West Peak (7365') from namesake Mount Anderson (7321'):

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Longer view:

IMG_10041.JPG

 

The backside of the Brothers:

IMG_0984.JPG

 

Mt Olympus:

IMG_10035.JPG

 

Some big volcano:

IMG_09812.JPG

 

Buncha stuff I don't recognize:

IMG_09962.JPG

 

To complete my adventure, and since I was already carrying my kit, I dropped down the southeast face and somewhat followed route 3 down from the guidebook:

IMG_10273.JPG

 

I eventually picked my way down to a pair of small lakes, then up over a ridge and back to the Anderson Glacier basin and hike & bike home.

 

The Olympics once again impressed me. I need to do more trips starting and ending like this:

IMG_1049.JPG

 

Gear Notes:

Ice axe, crampons & mountaineering boots plus trail runners. I also brought an avy probe and a couple aerial photos of a late season Eel Glacier for crevasse management. The upper glacier towards Mt Anderson proper has some legit cracks.

 

Approach Notes:

Bring a bike for the road.

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Thats covering some ground! Sunday was an awesome day for views in the Olympics! Did you just follow up on the ridge then for West Peak?

 

Sounds like an awesome calorie burning weekend. I've been taking the Southworth ferry back to West Seattle fyi...been on it Sunday evening for 5 weeks running. Nice, puts you right back in the hood after a nice drive through Belfair, etc.

 

We should join up for a trip, sounds like at least I wouldn't have to worry about you being fit and ready for anything! ;) Now me on the other hand...

 

 

 

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Witness the fitness! I agree, that's a lot of terrain in two days. I've been meaning to get back to Anderson after hiking up to the glacier back in the 90's. Thanks for the report!

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Jason, Iet me know, its definitely on my list too. I could take off time from work too...as I said I would like to spend more than 2 days doing it...but I guess I'm up for whatever.

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It was definitely a lot of mileage but didn't feel like a slog due to a light pack and relatively good trail all the way up to the basin.

 

Oly, I scrambled the standard east ridge of the West Peak. Klenke has some great beta on summitpost that gives blow by blow descriptions of the ridge. He calls it class 4 with some low 5th moves which I think is more accurate that the guidebook "class 3". Then again, I'm new to the Olympics so that might just be the way it is. It's loose enough that it'd be kinda hard to protect for the leader.

 

And heck yeah, I'm up for some more easterly adventures from westerly Seattle! The Needles look pretty interesting...

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there isn't much actual rock climbing in the Olympics....its mostly crap, unprotectable rock. also most everything was climbed before modern grading so almost everything is class II or III, no matter how hard it is...but finding an actual route that is 5th class for more than a couple moves is a rarity.

 

Klenke's description of Anderson..."Cascadeclimbers.com elitists"... :lmao:

 

 

Needles and what also look fun is just to travel that backcountry from there to Constance pass and check out Mystery basin.

 

Lets do it...got earn it with a little family time this weekend, but hope to be back at it soon after.

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Very cool trip, inspiring.

 

It was definitely a lot of mileage but didn't feel like a slog due to a light pack and relatively good trail all the way up to the basin.

 

We went in there with skis this Spring and found the trail to Honeymoon meadows to be a bit sketchy when covered with plugs of snow!

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