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[TR] Buckner - Out of Horseshoe basin and back. 8/13/2016

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Trip: Buckner - Out of Horseshoe basin and back.


Date: 8/13/2016


Trip Report:

Hot and buggy, lots of flies not so many mosquitoes. We wanted to do Buckner from Sahale glacier but no overnight permits to camp at the glacier. I imagine many more will be forced onto this route choice after failing to get a Sahale glacier camping permit. However later in the season it seems a good enough option as the snow looked thin for the traverse from Sahale glacier to Buckner and back. But we did see a party of three doing it, couldn't tell how they did it though?


Coming out of Horseshoe basin is a bushwhack and rock scramble upward. The bushwhack is only semi difficult if you go the best way. It is best to use a GPS with tracking to find your way back or use cairns or flagging. We left a few cairns, but sill had to use GPS back tracking to find our way back down.


Once above the bushwhack area in the green belt and the upper scree fields the going went well, not that bad. As your moving toward the mountain we went up the second left hand snow field (that looked good). We climbed the mountain left to right on the snow, had a rock section in between snow sections where we kept the crampons on. The snow was steep, not extremely steep but close. We used one ice axe and one trekking pole without basket up and down with no protection. Coming down at 3pm the soft snow had my full attention, and I wondered how self arrest would work out so I went down slowly face in, my partner went faster face out. A trekking pole with no basket works pretty well in one hand, just extent it far and it goes in the snow deeper than a ice axe, ice axe in other hand. The upper rock scramble above the snow at the point we went up was easy 3rd class.


Plenty of water on route.


When got back down to the lower bushwhack and rock scramble it was getting dark. We were not that fast up and down and also got a late start about a hour+ after daylight, so ended up on the bushwhack rock section at dark and unable to tell where to go exactly and had to use the backtrack feature on the GPS.


At full dark we decided to Bivy as we thought it too dangerous to continue in the dark. It was a shiver bivy, I had a backpack with it's support foam to lay on and a bivy sack. my partner only had his clothes. In the morning with our GPS backtracking and cairns it was fairly easy to find our way down back the way we went.



Going up, when starting out. Looking at the climbers right side of the upper basin


We went up at the upper part of the basin at about the lower part of the snow field--located at the creek. Start out right above a waterfall creek and moving upward then left on a bench toward a upper waterfall creek. Again-starting out you scramble up and left, ie go up some and move left on a large rocky bench, keep moving left on broad bench to somewhere before a waterfall, then move diagonally up and slightly to the right, having rock and/or bush whacking how much each depending where you go. About 60% of the way up you cross a creek while moving diagonally right and then keep moving diagonally right (and up) upward on mostly 3rd with a few 4th class rock sections of rock with vegetation. Keep moving up and you run into nice open fields.


When at the upper end of Horse shoe basin it is fairly easy to see this route, I would not do the tree filled ridge lower down the basin that one guide book seems to indicate. Just look at the rock and you can see a sort of zig zag pattern. Up first then left on bench, then up up and slightly moving to the right, look for the rock.




Gear Notes:

Ice axe, crampons, rope and a little pro if anyone shaky on semi steep snow (not super steep, but had my attention) or on low level rock scrambling. GPS with tracking is nice, some minimal bivy gear just in case if possibility of moving slow.


Approach Notes:

Bugs in the basin, the higher you camp the better it is to get out of the bugs.

Edited by DanO

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It is difficult to know and remember where to draw the exact best route up, so look closely yourself on the way.







Edited by DanO

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