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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> kendall peak, alaska mountain - 2008-12-06
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iron
back in my element



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 4059 | TRs | Pics
Location: seattle
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:03 am    kendall peak, alaska mountain - 2008-12-06
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i just really hate those days when you get poured on the entire day. fortunately, today was not one of them.

it was another late start (slept in, yet again), so i was worried the rains would catch up with me. nope. the trip started from the commonwealth basin trailhead. about 1/2 mile in, i lost the trail. i didn't look very hard to refind it since i knew the pct was not far away, but some thorns and an icy grass created a bit of a spill that snapped one of my carbon fiber trekking poles.  waah.gif there's a silver lining to this event, however: it was to remind myself that there's some icy and slick conditions out there and that a fall is possible anywhere. i held this thought throughout the day as the exposure increased.

now on the pct, it was smooth going. there were icy patches, but nothing bad. by EL 5000', it was all ice, so i threw on the microspikes. i originally thought of heading up to kendall via the heather and dirt route, but it didn't look fun. so, i continued onto where the north ridge meets the pct. actually, i stopped before the ridge and headed up on the west side of the ridge the entire time beginning at EL 5450'. there was a bit of firm snow, but nothing you couldn't kick a good step into. i sidehilled and skirted the ridge for awhile, seeing there would be many ups and downs on the ridge proper. eventually, you want to head up to the ridge as the sidehilling gets steep - it'll be obvious. a little class 2-3 scrambling up to the summit. i met up with z-man once on the summit and we chatted for a bit. he came up the gully route (east of the ridge) and said the initial part of it sucked. on the way down, we both took the ridge proper and then dropped off to my route.

we parted ways and i began the slow slog over semi-mushy snow for the remainder of the pct to the eastern ridge of alaska mountain. this is the point where the pct jumps to the other side of the ridge and you get a view of joe lake. from here, i traversed the steep, hard-snow cover slopes of the north side of the ridge until about 50' shy of the summit where there was a sprinkle of class 3 to top out. the views here were stellar.

in fact, the views all day long were amazing. i am thoroughly impressed just how gorgeous this stretch of the pct is, especially for being right on top of i90.

on the return route, i opted to stay on the pct the whole time to avoid getting in a pre-darkness bushwack back to the parking lot.

trip stats:
18 mi
~6000ft
5:45
116 pictures

gear not used:
full crampons (per tazz's suggestion)
extra jacket
two winter hats
two winter gloves
extra LS shirt
two pb&j's
... yes, i came a bit overprepared for the worst weather imaginable. again, i love proving the forecasts wrong  up.gif

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"the trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine whether or not they're genuine." - abraham lincoln
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 3563 | TRs | Pics
Location: Shoreline
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:08 am   
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That's a long way to go on a short day.
Lot better weather than I expected for today.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 11800 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:21 am   
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Good stuff Iron!  up.gif
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Tazz
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7916 | TRs | Pics

Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:33 am   
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well then I didn't say you had to USE the crampons...just thought you may be safer...i am a chicken shi-t when solo.... embarassedlaugh.gif

good stuff.
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Movenhike
\m/..mmmmetal\m/



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 643 | TRs | Pics
Location: Leavenworth, WA
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:44 am   
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Nice work!!

I'm amazed at the lack of snow in that vicinity.

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"Make it your Friend"  -John Bull
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wamtngal
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Joined: 13 Jun 2004
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Location: Seattle, WA
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:43 am   
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What time were you on top of Kendall? Here's a shot I took from Red (crappy lighting, sorry)...


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Opinions expressed here are my own.
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Yana
Hater



Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 3691 | TRs | Pics
Location: Out Hating
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:46 am   
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Wow! I want to be slow and lazy, too.

The thing you think is Mt. Price is actually Big Snow. Mt. Price (which is "in front" of Big Snow from your vantage point) is not visible  as it is blocked by stuff in the foreground, although I think part of the ridge of Price might be visible in the first photo.

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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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Go Jo
of the lykkens



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Posts: 2448 | TRs | Pics
Location: Around The Bend
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:58 am   
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iron wrote:
i just really hate those days when you get poured on the entire day. fortunately, today was not one of them. 
trip stats:18 mi~6000ft~5:45

Looks like you proved yourself worthy of the sunshine, great photos also.
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iron
back in my element



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 4059 | TRs | Pics
Location: seattle
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:23 am   
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wamtngal wrote:
What time were you on top of Kendall? Here's a shot I took from Red (crappy lighting, sorry)...


i think it was around noon

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"the trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine whether or not they're genuine." - abraham lincoln
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Jeff
Ramen Elitist



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 2245 | TRs | Pics
Location: Someone get me out of Everett, WA
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:59 am   
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Alaska is a fun one. There was about as much snow back in October!
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b00
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Joined: 29 Sep 2003
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Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:58 pm   
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Yana wrote:
Wow! I want to be slow and lazy, too....

you may not remember this yana, but last february you were slow 'n lazy with us on dixie pk.  you remember, one of those winters we had snow.
:>)
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Yana
Hater



Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 3691 | TRs | Pics
Location: Out Hating
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:03 pm   
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Yeah, but b00, I was ACTUALLY slow (not lazy, though). ;-)

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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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Tazz
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Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:24 pm   
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yana you are NOT slow!!!! whatever!
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Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2832 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:43 pm   
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Cool trip for December.  up.gif

As much as I can, I intentionally choose the weekends I have to be on call for November and early December with the expectation the weather will be worthless and the skiing almost non-existent. I'm getting screwed this year!
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seattlehikertoo
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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Location: Finding an alternative to Mailbox Pk
Post Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:08 pm   
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Damn it Iron, those are good shots. I am still pissed I couldn't go. These photos make me even more pissed  rant.gif but still glad someone got out today given the ridiculously wrong forecast. smile.gif
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