Forum Index

Trail Talk

Partners

Trip Reports
 

Stewardship
/History 

Gear
/Food/Photo

Support
/Links 

Saloon
/Trade 
Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Bessemer Mountain (5166') - 6/26/04
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2823 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:58 pm    Bessemer Mountain (5166') - 6/26/04
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

The weather looked surprisingly good when Craig and I met at 700 in Issaquah, so our west side option won out. We parked at the CCC road turn out at roughly 959' along the MFK road. Our route of choice was the long SE ridge of Bessemer as described in Dreisbach.

We walked the CCC road for about 1/2 mile then took the first road that goes to the right. We walked this road another 1/8 mile until we came to another intersection where we went left up the "rockier" option. Another half mile on this road brought us to the SE ridge at 1600'. From here we followed the ridge on up - mostly easy travel with minimal brush. At 3180' there is a large rock horn that we bypassed to the left. We traversed about 200' over to a narrow gully that heads up and around the rock horn. The gully is mostly a cake walk, but at its head is a difficult class 5 step where you'll be clinging for your life to the huckleberry stalks. Craig didn't like the looks of this and found an easier option about 3/4 of the way up the gully. Exit to the left up a subtle ramp then head right through large trees parallel to the gully. Either way gets you back onto the ridge at 3400'. The next obstacles were a couple class 3 rock steps maybe an 1/8 of a mile from the gully. One has some exposure, but is easily bypassed especially if you have a partner you can shuttle your pack to. From here to about 4500' there were several minor obstacles where we had to get off the ridge to the left, but these presented few if any difficulties.

At 4500' along the ridge we dropped 80' to the right down a very steep huckleberry slope. Once down we traversed along the base of the summit ridge to the north about 1/4 mile across several steep snow fields to a gully that angled NNW. The snow fields offered the only relief to my withering water supply and I was glad I decided to throw some snow in my water bottles – there is absolutely no other water on the route. The gully that angles NNW gains 150' on wet slabs where it turns to the west up the final 250' to the summit ridge. The gully was quite wet and slick from melt water which made the friction climbing (class 3-4 at times) way more invigorating than it should have been. After I had to downclimb a particularly sketchy section, we found an easier way to the ridge. About 50' of vertical past where the gully turns to the west, exit left into the trees where the going is much easier. About 60’ from the ridge top we traversed the head of the gully about 100’ to another gully that put us on a friendlier section of the ridge. Simply ascending to the top of the gully then traversing leads to unnecessary exposure. The second gully isn’t any better than the first as the climbing is on featureless duff and moss covered rocks, but it leads nicely to the summit ridge and an easy traverse over to the summit block.

We found an exposed notch to set up a belay about 50-60’ below the class 5 summit block. From the notch we thought we were hosed because all we had were a few slings and no pro to protect the block, but it turns out there’s an “easier” way to the left. I belayed Craig from the notch and he used one sling at the summit block to protect the exposed left corner. After belaying me up and around the corner we rolled up the last few feet to the summit without difficulty. Bessemer is a great summit as it’s large enough for about 100 of your closest buddies assuming they don’t mind swinging through classic MFK brush and ascending rotten gully systems. Views were great over to Garfield, Russian Butte, Preacher, Quartz, and Rooster. All three of the Blethen Lakes (yes three!) were visible directly (and I mean directly) below us as were Hancock and the seldom visited “Quartz” Lake. There were only a couple names in the register placed by Fay Pullen in 2002. I believe the only other ascent was in 2003 by Don Beavon and company. We were surprised not to find “Plinko” in the register, as he was just up here a few days prior.

For the return we opted to rappel directly off the summit block instead of downclimbing around to the left. One rappel with a 30m rope got us back to the notch in no time. We followed the same route out and made a single rappel down the second gully described above. Overall, this was a fantastic climb that entailed everything the MFK typically has to offer; thick brush, steep terrain, steep terrain with thick brush, cliffs, steep duff slopes, slick gullies, slick gullies with scattered duff, more duff, sounds of gunfire, sense of adventure, and of course amazing summit views!

Pictures soon!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Plinko
Member
Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 214 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle-ish
Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:33 am    Bessemer
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Excellent TR Randy!  I wonder how feasable thew west approach would be in winter or early spring...from the slope angles, could you get any idea what kind of exposure you'd have to avalanche along that approach?  Fay Pullen's TR on Peak Baggers speaks of cornices on one of his attempts, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while now...  We should climb together sometime  up.gif Looking forward to your pics! smile.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
hikerjo
Member
Member


Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 749 | TRs | Pics

Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:58 am   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

There is always gunfire up there!  agree.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail
Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2823 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:42 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Plinko wrote:
Excellent TR Randy!  I wonder how feasable thew west approach would be in winter or early spring...from the slope angles, could you get any idea what kind of exposure you'd have to avalanche along that approach?  Fay Pullen's TR on Peak Baggers speaks of cornices on one of his attempts, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while now...  We should climb together sometime  up.gif Looking forward to your pics! smile.gif

I wasn't really looking over the west edge too much as it was pretty exposed along the ridge. I know it's a pretty open (logged) slope though that would be in direct line with falling cornices. I'm sure it's a feasible route though...it's not that steep  smile.gif

If I was to do this in winter I'd probably opt to come in from the logging roads to the south - not the most appealing route, but much more accessible then that west side of the mountain in winter, IMO.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2823 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:11 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Snaps!



Cnv0010.jpg
Cnv0010.jpg
 Cnv0010.jpg (76 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 435 time(s)

Cnv0013.jpg
Cnv0013.jpg
 Cnv0013.jpg (94 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 468 time(s)

Cnv0014.jpg
Cnv0014.jpg
 Cnv0014.jpg (57 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 405 time(s)

Cnv0015.jpg
Cnv0015.jpg
 Cnv0015.jpg (135 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 372 time(s)

Cnv0019.jpg
Cnv0019.jpg
 Cnv0019.jpg (79 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 398 time(s)

Cnv0016.jpg
Cnv0016.jpg
 Cnv0016.jpg (129 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 407 time(s)

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Plinko
Member
Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 214 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle-ish
Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:10 am   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Great pics!! Thanks a bunch Randy!  All that evil brush doesn't look so threatening in that second pic tongue.gif The ledge/traverse in the last photo looks real fun wink.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2823 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:59 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

A few shots with views...



Garfield Mountain and Upper MFK Valley.jpg
Garfield Mountain and Upper MFK Valley.jpg
 Garfield Mountain and Upper MFK Valley.jpg (59 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 388 time(s)

Looking South From Summit.jpg
Looking South From Summit.jpg
 Looking South From Summit.jpg (66 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 412 time(s)

Quartz Mountain.jpg
Quartz Mountain.jpg
 Quartz Mountain.jpg (59 KB)
File downloaded or viewed 433 time(s)

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
  
Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours 
 Post new topic Reply to topic
Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Bessemer Mountain (5166') - 6/26/04  
  Happy Birthday Traildad!
 
Jump to:   
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
Search this topic: 


   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group
Privacy Policy