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[TR] Sherpa Peak - North Ridge 6/26/2016

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Trip: Sherpa Peak - North Ridge


Date: 6/26/2016


Trip Report:

Climbed North Ridge of Sherpa over two days, Sat/Sunday June 25/26 in mild sunny conditions. Route was mostly snow-free (and existing snow can be easily traversed or avoided with no need for axe or, at least when warm, crampons either). A great wild, alpine climb.


We mostly followed Jim Nelson's description in Selected Climbs vol II, plus Matt Lemke's trip report. Gaining the ridge at about 7,200 was, for us, a couple pitches of 5.7 climbing, seemingly harder than Nelson has it, though consistent with Beckey who says that two pitches of 5th-class are needed to gain the ridge. We also encountered a couple other mid-to-5.7-ish moves between here and the major notch, and though route-finding was rarely obvious, it was almost always fun. A few snowfields are persisting on lower angle terrain, but they can either be skirted (via moats) or stepped across without difficulty. There was no snow on the technical portions of the climb.


We followed descent as in Matt Lemke's trip report, which was spot on for the southeasterly descending traverse, but thankfully for us, we had perfect plunge-stepping from Sherpa pass (~7050 ft) back down to 5800'.


Times were as follows:


Sat 3:00 pm- left Stuart Lake trailhead

Sat 6:15 pm - Arrived at camp (fantastic flat sandy site on bench at about 5800', just downstream and 50' above moraine in upper basin of Mountaineers creek)

Sun 7:00 am - left camp

Sun 3:30 pm - summit (20 min)

Sun 7:00 pm - back at camp

Sun 10:00 pm - back at car



Approach notes:

There is a fairly well trodden path between the Stuart Lake trail and the upper basin of Mountaineers creek, but it can be hard to follow due to considerable dead-fall. In general, after leaving the Stuart Lake trail at that trail's first switchback, crossing the creek, and avoiding the swamp, it closely follows the west bank of Mountaineers Creek all the way to the talus field below the upper basin that starts at around 5,400'. The east bank may look tempting at times, but it becomes more brush higher up and the trail on the west bank is far faster. Having lost the trail early on way up, and staying mostly on it on descent, we can say it's worth the little bit of time it takes to stay on it, because it is much faster going (saved us roughly 30 min. on descent).



Gear Notes:

About ten cams up to 3". A set of nuts and a couple hexes (1", 2") for good measure. Ice axe (used) and crampons (did not use).


Approximate route:




En route:


Edited by pugetgold

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