Contrary to the title of the blog (kc-climbs), I am putting more than just climbs. I am putting weekend hobbies ... Climbs, hikes, Fun brew news, and other exciting or not so exciting excursions. I'm trying to organize trip reports, recipes, etc. on the right. Please leave comments as I love reading them!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
On Tuesday 7/27 after work Ryan, Lucas and I set out for our long trip of the summer. The intentions were to set up a car shuttle and hike from Thorton Lakes TH to Baker river TH, climbing many peaks and traversing other terrain features on the way: Triumph – Despair – Mystery Ridge – Hagan – Blum - and others? This would have been a great trip but it didn’t turn out as such for various reasons, but still was a great excursion with interesting ‘deviations.’
Day 1: We left Seattle Tue after work and did the car shuttle. We stopped in Marblemont to fill out the climbers permits and discovered that Lucas had a flat. After spending an hour taking off the flat (thanks to the fact that it had rusted onto the axle) we decided it would be prudent to fix the tire before heading out. We couldn't find a closer tire fixing station than Sedro-Woolley. We drove around on a doughnut at 25-30 mph for what seemed like 3 hours looking for a place to pull over and sleep until morning. During this time we got pulled over on suspicion of DUI. The cop thankfully believed our (truthful) story and didn’t even ask for our docs. We went on our merry way and pulled over on a dirt road threw out our pads and sleeping bags and went to sleep at 1:30 AM. Was this an omen for the rest of the trip?
|While a horrific “fail,” our attempt of glacier peak was oddly fun. The bike ride made for an added dimension and if the going is right, makes for much quicker travel. Alison and I decided on the Monte Cristo environs (glacier basin) last weekend. Monte Cristo is a pretty cool place: an old mining town from way back in the day. I found the ruins of town to be a worthy destination for a laid back short day trip. The only access is via a 4 mile washed out road from leaving the mountain loop highway at Barlow pass. Besides one washout, the road is in great condition.|
We headed to monte cristo on our bikes, and arrived in about 90 minutes. Headed up to glacier basin on a nice trail and made camp. We saw some other campers and they pointed us to a great spot where we pitched the tent. It was only later that we realized that we really shouldn’t be camping in that area and there are places for more impacted on the knoll in the middle of glacier basin.
After a quick lunch we decided to attempt Columbia. Per the route description, we made a rising traverse to Wilman gap (5oo feet of the gap, take a hard right up the glacier). We needed to do a fancy two step move to get onto the rock because of a moat, but nothing bad. We headed down and across the 76 glacier to meet the W spur route. From there, as described up a snow field. Unfortunately I went up a little too far and had to traverse steep snow over a very large moat adding a little unnecessary spice to the adventure. Went around the blind corner and started climbing what looked like class three. It ended up being a rotten gully terminating in slightly exposed class four climbing which only looked to get more difficult. I finally decided to poke my head around farther to the S face and every time I did the words “humph, why didn’t I just start over here” came out. Easy climbing led me back to the W face and another two step move got me past another moat to the final 20 feet to the summit.
The summit was spectacular – 360 degree views without a cloud in the sky, and only slightly hazy. (The Panorama at the top is from the summit.) This was a really fun route and I really enjoyed the approach. Poodle dog pass is obviously more direct, but this approach added a lot of variability that I personally enjoyed. Not to mention the passing through glacier basin which was glorious in itself.
The decent went without issue and we enjoyed a superb evening in camp. We ended up only tooling around the basin on Sunday and argued over the routes up to all of the other peaks in the area. Hopefully we’ll be back to climb those sometime soon (Monte Cristo, Foggy, Cadet, etc.). A stellar climb in a stellar setting.
See more pics here
Who knew there would be a bike rack in Monte Cristo?
Poor pic, but it shows the route. Columbia is center, in the background. Took the snow as close to the rock as possible almost to the low point (left of pic). Took a sharp right to go behind Wilman peak (not discernable) to hit the col to glacier 76.
First snowpatch as heading up the W ridge.
Dirty Gully on Summit block. Should have traversed farther right.
Baker and Shuksan from the summit
Puget Sound glistening in the Sunlight
Alison at camp at sunset. Monte Cristo behind.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I haven't been able to get out as much as desired, but I am hoping to change that. I decided to get back in the groove and just do a long, straight forward solo "climb." Decided on Pugh since since it's one that I've heard was fun, is a lot of elevation gain (I need to get back into shape), and it's mostly on known, good trail so there wouldn't be a repeat performance from last outing (glacier peak fail).
Got out of Seattle at the bright bushy time of 8AM and was hiking at 1900' by 10:00. There isn't much route description since it's walk on trail until you are at the summit. But the first 3k are in timber which is a little mind numbing. At least it was cloudy and I didn't feel like I was missing anything.
But as I came out of the timber, the clouds were burning off. View up to Stujack Pass.
I got up to Stujack pass in a surprising 2 hours. Then the fun part of the climb started. The knife ridge shown here, leading up to the class 2+ kinda exposed alpine scrambling.
Another vantage of the ridge, looking back down.
I managed the summit exactly 3h after departing the trailhead. It was a gorgeous day. Crystal clear about 75 and 360 degree views.
Sloan Peak and the monte cristo group to the SW
White Chuck and Baker to the NNE. Loved how white chuck looked... that might need to be added to the list.
Dickerman, Forgotten, Twin Peaks, etc to the S(W)
... and to the North the panorama on top. Everything clearly visible. Eldorado, Forbidden, Dome, Glacier, etc. etc.
At the top, I needed refueling and spent 90 minutes enjoying the views and exhaustion. I could have easily spent another couple hours taking in the sun and views, but commitments awaited. I took off and landed back at the car in just under 2.5 hours.
I really enjoyed this hike. Although not the most technical at all, it was interesting up above Stujack pass in a fun environment. The 3,000' timber slog was a little blah, but added to the exercise and I am sure keeps some of the riff raff out.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
From there, we headed up the Teanaway River road and made camp at a forest service campground just before Dark. Hung out around the fire until it died and turned in. The casual weekend continued with a late start at the esmeralda trailhead. I was pretty surprised to find mostly snow just past the trailhead at ~3800'. It gave me some hope for this climbing season! Instead of taking DeRoux creek to Esmeralda we took the first turnoff and headed towards the pass between Koppen and DeRoux peaks. After a nice little climb we decided to head back to drier grounds, and relax at camp.
The eve was nice and always fun to hear the rain pounding on your tent overnight while you're safely cozy inside. We got up and headed back to seattle to prep for Alison's lab going away bbq. All in all a fun, relaxing trip.