Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Fury ~ July 26-28, 2020
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Fletcher
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 1:33 pm 
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James and I reached the elusive summit of West Fury this week. It instantly became one of my best trips ever. James is friends with North Cascades Hardman, Wayne Wallace, the first ascensionist of the famed Mongo Ridge that reaches its apex just below the summit of West Fury. The route has never been repeated, but James has aspirations to do so. He isn't a peakbagger, but has a fascination with the area and West Fury in particular. Ill never climb Mongo Ridge, but he was stoked to join me for a traverse over to West Fury from the east peak to recon the area.

We met up for dinner in Marblemount on Saturday evening and agreed to shave off a few miles of the approach after dinner. We left the Ross Dam TH around 8:00 or so, hiked about 6.5 miles, and bivied on the bridge over Pierce Creek that night. Up and moving again fairly early, we hiked another 10+ miles until ~1 mile beyond Luna Camp where we turned off trail to find a good log crossing Big Beaver Creek.

sunset on Genesis
sunset on Genesis
some scenery along Big Beaver
some scenery along Big Beaver

The route up Access Creek is straight forward but it was very hot and muggy. The bugs were oppressive and would continue to be so for the rest of the trip. We eventually made it to Luna Col around 6:30 pm and found the nice camp spot just above the col with the kitchen table melted out. We then hiked up to the false summit of Luna to enjoy the views and call our girlfriends.
Luna first look
Luna first look
Southern Pickets first look
Southern Pickets first look
Luna Col
Luna Col
sunset
sunset
Fury
Fury

We knew we needed to start early the next morning for our long summit push. We brought our bivy gear with us just in case we didn't make it back to Luna Col that evening. The route to Fury begins by climbing loose talus to the awesome red ledge that grants access across the first obstacle along the long ridge run to the East Fury Glacier. We then passed a party of three bivied on the ridge and pretty quickly found ourselves at the 5th class step up another steep bit. Beyond that, it was a long descent to the basin just east of the East Fury Glacier. We traversed this basin at the 6600 ft level or so, crossing a few snow fields, a lot of heather, and some airy but wide ledges, to gain access to a snow filled gully that lead us to the upper East Fury Glacier.
sunrise
sunrise
alpenglow on Fury and the northern Pickets
alpenglow on Fury and the northern Pickets
the ledge
the ledge
the 5th class step
the 5th class step
Fury getting closer
Fury getting closer
traverse towards the glacier with Outrigger Peak
traverse towards the glacier with Outrigger Peak
almost to the glacier
almost to the glacier
James climbing with Mac Spires to Terror and The Rake
James climbing with Mac Spires to Terror and The Rake

We stayed right and high on the glacier to avoid some crevasses, then climbed steep snow up the right hand side of the headwall. The finish to E Fury was a really aesthetic and fun snow arete. We made the summit of E Fury at about 11:15.
E Fury
E Fury
some steeps
some steeps
E Fury summit
E Fury summit
W Fury from E Fury
W Fury from E Fury

We took a long break on the summit of E Fury, fueling up for our traverse to the west peak. I was a little nervous for the terrain ahead but so stoked to be up there. We dropped some loose and nasty terrain towards our first col. We were happy to have a lot of snow here because there is a lot of very large blocks that like to move around. Great care should be taken through this section.
James with the traverse ahead
James with the traverse ahead

As noted in the few other trip reports for West Fury, the traverse from the east peak goes over 3 distinct towers. To get around the first tower, drop maybe 100 ft or so on snow until you can step off onto class 4 terrain. A route opens up above you and sort of rounds the side of the tower in a clockwise motion. It is very exposed, but unlike most of the traverse, the rock is solid. We found great running water here and drank and fill, which I was thankful for given it was a hot day, even at 8000 ft. The terrain eases as you near the top of the tower, which we traversed around on the south side. More class 3/4 terrain (now very loose) brings you down to the notch between Tower ! and Tower 2.
James traversing snow towards Tower 1
James traversing snow towards Tower 1
airy scrambling up Tower 1
airy scrambling up Tower 1
Tower 2, Tower 3 and the summit from Tower 1
Tower 2, Tower 3 and the summit from Tower 1

To get up Tower 2, descend slightly from the notch and find a class 4 switchbacking ledge. This is exposed with loose rock everywhere. After a particularly airy move, the terrain eases and ledges lead round the north side of the tower. Once on the west side of the tower, descend a class 3 "dike" that takes you most of the way down to the next and final notch. Before you arrive at the notch however, the terrain steepens to 5th class. We did a short rappel here and ascended horrible, loose rubble and dirt to the notch between Tower 2 and Tower 3.
ledge leading up Tower 2
ledge leading up Tower 2
James scrambling up Tower 2
James scrambling up Tower 2
James descending dike on Tower 2
James descending dike on Tower 2

To get up Tower 3, ascend more terrible terrain with great exposure to the north to the right of 2 chimneys. There is a short (maybe 20 ft) section of low 5th class to gain the top of the chimney which I found difficult to squeeze through with my pack. I feel like a belay here would probably be more dangerous than soloing because of the potential for the rope to move rocks around.
scrambling up towards the chimney
scrambling up towards the chimney

Once atop the chimney, there is one more distinct class 4 step then some slabby terrain and finally the summit of WEST FURY!!! Opening up and signing that register was a euphoric experience for me. The stoke couldn't have been higher.
James finishing Fury
James finishing Fury
Jake, Eric, and Fred
Jake, Eric, and Fred
our entry
our entry
Luna and E Fury
Luna and E Fury
South Pickets
South Pickets
I know what all these peaks are but I'm not going to take the time to type it out
I know what all these peaks are but I'm not going to take the time to type it out
Blum, Baker, Shuksan
Blum, Baker, Shuksan
Crooked Thumb and Challenger
Crooked Thumb and Challenger
the fence
the fence
the other side of the fence
the other side of the fence
Chilliwacks
Chilliwacks
summitshot
summitshot

After 45 minutes or so on this iconic summit, we began to reverse our route to E Fury. One rap down tower 3. Then I messed up the scramble route back up tower 2 and found myself stuck with nowhere to down climb... a short rappel back to scramble terrain to the top of tower 2. We also rappelled down tower 2 to avoid down climbing the loose class 4 ledges.
getting the rope unstuck on tower 2 rap
getting the rope unstuck on tower 2 rap
the scramble back up tower 1
the scramble back up tower 1

From the top of Tower 1, go to the precipitous north side and find an unlikely ledge and grants access to another wide ledge on this tower's east side. One more long rap (a 60m rope is barely enough) brings you back to the snow below E Fury and generally safe(r) terrain! Whoop!!
our last rap
our last rap

While we were out on West Fury, the party of 3 we passed that morning arrived on the east peak. Turns out it was 3 friends from all around the country that get together for a Pickets trip together every summer. That must be pretty incredible when you spend most of you year in Iowa or Texas! They were going to move on and climb the North Buttress of Terror over the following days. I was impressed with them. After another lengthy break on E Fury, we dropped the headwall and glacier. There are so many break places to bivy along the ridge back to Luna Col that we just decided to go as far as we felt like it.
stoked
stoked
Outrigger and Southern Pickets
Outrigger and Southern Pickets
Elephant Butte (hi Neek!)
Elephant Butte (hi Neek!)

The climb up out of the big basin east of the glacier was pretty tiring after our long day, so we decided to camp on the ridge shortly thereafter. It was an incredible spot, probably one of my favorite camps ever. We finished off the rye that night to cap off an amazing day in the North Cascades.
Bear, Redoubt, Moxes, Spickard, and Luna
Bear, Redoubt, Moxes, Spickard, and Luna
Fury
Fury
Crooked Thumb and Challenger again
Crooked Thumb and Challenger again
doesnt need words
doesnt need words

We began our slog out at 6:15 on Tuesday. We made descent time back to Luna Col and promptly descended into the heat. The drop back down into Access Creek was sh##ty. We then made great time down Access Creek and back to the trail. 10 miles later, we found ourselves at the Big Beaver dock, wondering if there was any way we could coax someone with a boat to give us a ride back to the dam. We knew those last 7 miles in the later afternoon heat would hurt.

We were so lucky to come across Zane and his family, who were spending the week camping along the lake. We offered him 100 bucks to ferry us back to the dam. After consulting with his in-laws (presumably because of the pandemic) he agreed! Our gratitude was difficult to express.
almost to Mondos
almost to Mondos
Hozo and Desolation
Hozo and Desolation

The hike back up to the parking lot was brutal in the heat. The beers I had in the cooler waiting for us had long been warm. The burgers at Mondos were amazing and so was my shower when I got home to Queen Anne. Mount Fury did not disappoint.

~44 miles
~14,000 ft of gain
~69.5 hours c2c
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neek
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 2:02 pm 
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Fantastic! You guys sure didn't waste any time.
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ONELUV1
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 2:08 pm 
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Awesome job friend!  So happy for you. That looks like one hell of a trip.  Sweet edit, MJ will be stoked to Watch it.
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 7:55 am 
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Congratulations on a fine and rare achievement.  up.gif
I had a distinct feeling of relief while watching your video as your made your 'escape'.

The bugs must indeed have been bad. Skeeters even show in your early morning filming at 8,000'!

Fletcher wrote:
ascend more terrible terrain with great exposure

Sounds lovely.
Yikes! shakehead.gif

Best thing about Access Creek is that it isn't Luna Creek ( or even worse:  McMillan Creek , the latter not an access to anything other than torturous geologizing).

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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ozzy
The hard way



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ozzy
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 4:54 pm 
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Damn!! eek.gif super gnarly terrain out there!! Crazy to run into other crazy climbers out there! Maybe one day I'll get out there, no time soon lol! Congrats doods! cheers.gif

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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awilsondc
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 8:08 pm 
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I need a 'Leanardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street doing the slow clap' meme for this one.  Well done Fletcher!  Hats off to you bro!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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trent
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Joined: 02 Oct 2006
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 10:19 pm 
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Congrats on a rarely visited summit (except for super soloist Roger Jung). Nice job getting it in good style!

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It's all downhill from here!
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veronika
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PostFri Jul 31, 2020 12:57 am 
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Sweet job! 👍

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Take risks not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping

I may not have anyone rocking my world right now but, I don't have anyone messing it up either.
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silence
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PostFri Jul 31, 2020 6:35 am 
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Fantastic!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Bob Dylan
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Stefan
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PostFri Jul 31, 2020 10:54 am 
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great!!!

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Art is an adventure.
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Aug 03, 2020 2:34 pm 
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#24!!!  Thanks for the message.  I was so stoked.   hockeygrin.gif

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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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