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[TR] Forbidden - East to West ridge traverse 7/3/2016

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Trip: Forbidden - East to West ridge traverse


Date: 7/3/2016


Trip Report:



After climbing the west face of NEWS on Friday we came back west to bivy at the trailhead (with a stop over at Mondo in Marblemount, that place is awesome).


Left the car just before 5am, even at the early hour I was sweating bullets on the start due to humidity. Crossed the creeks near the first camp up high to avoid slippery slabs, the water was running decently high.


We aimed directly toward the east ridge from high camp, the gully is currently snow filled.




I tried going left at the Y, but those rock slabs were a waterfall and it just wasn't going. We took the steep snow couloir on the right, it is melting out at the top.




There was a 6-7 foot vertical section to negotiate where a moat is opening, it required stemming hands and feet between the snow and rock wall. A bit spicy with that exposure below and no pro.


After this it was a short walk around the gendarme to the start of the route.




We simul climbed most of the start, at this steeper gendarme there was a hold up.




I didn't want to lead out the overhanging section because honestly I just flat out don't trust the rock on this route, I've never had so many hollow sounds when I smacked holds/placements before. So I climbed down from the belay and traversed lower on some mid 5th slab. Run out 40 feet from my last pro Ethan called out that we had 10 feet of rope left. I had finally come to a thin hands crack, but when I grabbed the flake it flexed back. I looked up, there wasn't much promising in the way of pro above me either. While the climbing was easy I want three good pieces of pro between us and that just wasn't going to happen. I came back to the belay. Ethan said he had eyed a line across the slightly overhanging north side of the gendarme and went for it. I'm happy to say that only ONE handhold moved on me when I followed!


This section had cost time and we really wanted to see how parties that had come up the west ridge were descending, so we bypassed the gendarme you rap off. As we got close to summit the wind had picked up and was blasting up the south face. Audio communication was spotty even spaced out 30m. On a section of the ridge we were simul climbing the rope dropped down onto the north face. I wasn't able to get it around a horn, so I dropped onto the steeper face to get the rope off. Ethan couldn't head me yelling. Once the rope was free I went back up toward the ridge and was faced with a V2 boulder move through hairy lichen. The rope is still moving, no time to think, just don't f*cking fall, blow this and we are both taking a shitty painful ride. I quickly ripped furry lichen out of a hand size pod and made some bigger moves into the sketchiest insecure mantle I've ever done. This was not cool in the least. I really wanted to be off this damn ridge. I could really go for some solid white granite about now. And a beer. We hadn't brought a cooler for beer, had none waiting at the car and now I was really pissed off at myself. Always bring beer.





Anyway back to the TR, we arrived at the summit in a cloud and started descending the west ridge.




Saw parties taking the snow couloir and cat scratch gully descents. When we got to the notch we decided to do one rap to bypass the steepest snow section. Down climb had great stairs kick in, other than one short ice bump on a rock where the snow will not be continual soon.




As we started down toward high camp in Boston Basin a heli came in. Apparently another climber had taken a fall on the snow that they could not arrest from. No severe injuries, but bad enough that they weren't able to hike out on their own.




Once back at the lower camp we went back up to our crossing points from the morning. There was significantly more water running. Both of us made some dynamic jumps. Both of us got the better part of one boot in the water. At least we had made it back to the easy to follow trail before darkness took over. The hike out was uneventful, other than being reminded to never forget the insoles from my mountaineering boots as my toes smashed into the front of my boots with every step. Only lost one toenail though. We made it back to the car around 11:30.



Gear Notes:

8mm half rope doubled over

X4 .3-.5

C4 .75-2

Set of wallnuts

Pink tricam

DMM torque nuts in green, red and yellow


Would bring tricams to blue over hexes if I had them.


Approach Notes:

Approach couloir is steep snow, option on the right will be melted out with a nasty moat soon. Rocks on the left will likely be better.

East ledges still had some snow, but I'm not sure exactly what height most parties traverse. You could likely find a path through without going through snow.

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Nice work. Looks fun! East Ridge of Forbidden is still on my list, too. Did you get a look at the east ledges descent? Is it in good shape or wet/snowy?

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I'm not sure exactly what height you traverse back, the whole east side looked like a terrace of choss and bullshit. Far down there was a bit of snow still, but I think you could make a traverse go up higher.

I did not get any photos down there unfortunately.

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Great pics! Especially that misty one with the climber standing behind the knife ridge!! (6th one down)


This route is so fucking awesome!!



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