Everyone agreed that this is one spectacular hike. I did not take many pictures, so hopefully some of the blanks can be filled in by the rest of the group.
It starts in big forest, with a faint boot path that is usually pretty steep. Occasional pink flags guided us though windfall, and past scenic creeks. There were several rock outcrops that were skirted.
Occasionally relenting it's grade, the path hops talus, crosses gullies, the first one being where I got off route last year. After heading downhill, and crossing a second gully the route starts to dodge cliffs via steep dirt. This was probably the area that most captured our attention. A slip here could end badly.
Also not the right gully
Braveheart in action
Up above the cliffs a third snow filled gully is entered. Trees give way to shrubs, and big granite slabs are evident. We were able to stay mostly on snow trending southeast. We finally broke out into the big north facing basin.
Just as I was thinking that this could be a glacier if it was 1500' higher, a glide crack appeared at my feet. The most direct route to the east ridge was steep, but also had cracks. The snow was definitely moaty, so we made the wide traverse to a lower spot on the east ridge. A few more snow steps, some slabs and heather, and the summit was ours.
USGS was here
The wonder of it all
The views from here are superlative, with Sloan dominating the scene. I drooled as I thought of trying to grunt my way up that big boy. We had summit brownies, and ate up the scenery. Someone may have fired off a celebratory noisemaker.
A list of friends
Can't get enough of this
I always figure out at some point that we have to leave. We were able to traverse and glissade all the way down the big bowl. In the lower gully it was mostly too short to butt slide, so I tried some boot skiing. It was the finest conditions for a standing glissade I have ever encountered. The perfect angle, coupled with perfect snow meant fun, fun, fun.
EK loves mountains
Back into the forest for a couple hours of quad pounding. We were super careful above the cliffs. There are just enough trees to help mentally guard against a fall. The talus was hot, and the bugs were aggressive. We arrived back at the car pretty whooped.
Thanks to my boys for a fantastic day in the mountains. We give this one Easy snow, class 2 rock, and an occasional sloppy dirt area to pay extra attention in. Some flagging helps, although some of it is on the ground. I would not want to try to follow this path out after dark. There are several creeks to filter at, and snow was melting right off the rocks in the upper basin.
Post hike spread included real turkey sandwiches, salt and pepper chips, cherries, brownies, and Thomas Kemper sodas to wash it all down. Burp!
Ready to chow down!
8 miles R/T, 4600' cumulative gain, 8:45 car to car
That was some serious machismo in the glissade video
What a great wasy to celebate the 4th of July. Thanks to Magellan for the route finding on the way up and for the great hike idea. Talk about an epic hike with stellar weather.
Adam making his way up the snowfield
Adam looks up the snowfield towards the summit
Our next door neighbor Sloan Peak
Mag help EK celebrate his birthday
Adam looks down over the N Fork Sauk River and basin
I don't know who you guys are trying to fool with all of this Bedal Peak business and pictures, but it's not going to work on me. I was up there 5/13/07 with all of those other folks and they will back me up when I say, the views up there are 360 degrees of fog grey. There's no peaks, mountains, valleys, rivers, creeks, blah blah blah, doesn't exist, nada, catch my drift? So how'd you come up with all of those great pictures to embellish your report...Huh!
All kidding aside, great to see you guys get up there and take advantage of a stellar 4th of July day. Thanks for taking the time and energy to post your wonderful TR, vids, and pics. Now I know what I missed.
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