Forum Index > Trip Reports > Hinman Attempt - 07/03-07/04 via Necklace Valley/La Bohn Gap
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obvious gully
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Mt Hinman (7492') Attempt via Necklace Valley / La Bohn Gap

This would be our second "attempt "on Hinman, as the first one never got started due to a road closure of Middle Fork Road that took us by surprise last season. The approach via Necklace Valley is famously gorgeous and seems to now be the best approach on  Hinman despite the long distance (8 miles to Necklace Valley).

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David[sennin] and I were on the road from West Seattle by 6:30AM, and were hiking by 9:00AM. We passed a friendly group of WTA volunteers and a Forest Ranger working on the trail (thanks for all that you do)! The first 4 miles of the approach was a flat forest jaunt starting at 1600', and the second half turns into a steady rise of 3000' before entering the lakes of Necklace Valley.

David and I reach an unnamed lake at the bottom of giant waterfall flowing from La Bohn Lakes and setup camp at 4700'. The steepness of the snow field leading up to La Bohn Lakes gave us enjoyable scenary for dinner preparations for tomorrow's climb.

After heading to bed by 8PM, we were up around 4:30AM and climbing by 5:30AM in mixed visibility. There are two possible approaches to La Bohn Gap- the first follows a snow gulley and waterfall to the lower La Bohn Lake, and the other gulley is short but steep and pops out above La Bohn Lakes. The shorter gulley didn't look safe as it was a steep snow chute that was showing a bergshrund on one side, so we headed towards the left gulley and kicked steps up the long snowfield. We initially headed towards a potential outlet straight up from the snow to timber, but once we arrived it was clear that the trees were too dense and we'd have to traverse the snowfield another sixty yards to the left in order to gain La Bohn Lakes. The snow was hard and steep (~50 degrees), so traversing that distance took signifant time and energy as we frequently reminded ourselves of the 100% rule on the exposed slope.

After a short scramble to gain the ridge, we were greeted to increased whiteout at 5600' at La Bohn Lakes. After a quick break, we decided the best route in the low visiblity would be to head directly to La Bohn Gap (for-going the shortcut that touches the edge of Hinman Glacier). Routefinding again proved difficult as we lost time ascending chutes to gain the ridge that wouldn't go. Finally we arrived on top of La Bohn Gap by 11:00AM, but were still 3 miles from our goal and visibility had not improved. After doing the math on how long it would take to reach the summit in the poor visibility and if we could spend an extra night at camp thanks to the long weekend, we decided to retreat at 6100' just above La Bohn Gap so we could return to Seattle by late Sunday evening. We were back in West Seattle by around 9:30PM.

[pictures below, thanks sennin]
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Flora
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Enjoying the Sun!
PostMon Jul 05, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Good choice to turn back.  Weather does seem to be a major factor in some trips this year.  Better luck next time!

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 5:27 pm 
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Good call, it is very easy to descend the wrong ridge on Hinman in a whiteout.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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ADAHY
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 7:00 pm 
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Did that hike in from the hwy 2 couple years ago in august, that steeper area you refer to to the right is the way I had to go for I couldn't find that other route you took near the falls. My buddies wouldn't follow (not scramblers) but I was amazed to pass up a couple and the 50ish women was climbing with an umbrella in hand. dizzy.gif BPJ told me of the route you took I just couldn't find it, is it somewhat hidden in the trees ?

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" The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
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Sennin
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 7:20 pm 
Photos!
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Nice write up!  Enjoyable trip....although Hinman has foiled us twice now!

FIrst foot bridge about 1 mile in.
FIrst foot bridge about 1 mile in.
Rock face!
Rock face!
Final stairs up to Jade Lake
Final stairs up to Jade Lake
Jade Lake
Jade Lake
Setting up camp near the tarn under La Bohn Lakes
Setting up camp near the tarn under La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Falls
La Bohn Falls
Camp at the end of the Necklace Valley
Camp at the end of the Necklace Valley
OG at camp
OG at camp
OG at Camp
OG at Camp
Cliffy
Cliffy
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
La Bohn Lakes
Alpine Rocks
Alpine Rocks
Ice fall from Hinman Glacier
Ice fall from Hinman Glacier
Looks like a ghost...in a belay jacket
Looks like a ghost...in a belay jacket
Summit views?
Summit views?
Headed back down to La Bohn Gap
Headed back down to La Bohn Gap
OG at Big La Bohn Lake
OG at Big La Bohn Lake
Big La Bohn Lake
Big La Bohn Lake

I wish I could have take more pics....fog and rain on the 4th of July...heh.
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Sennin
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Pics of our route

Route 1.jpg
Route 1.jpg
Route 2.jpg
Route 2.jpg
Route 3.jpg
Route 3.jpg
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obvious gully
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 9:16 pm 
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ADAHY wrote:
Did that hike in from the hwy 2 couple years ago in august, that steeper area you refer to to the right is the way I had to go for I couldn't find that other route you took near the falls. My buddies wouldn't follow (not scramblers) but I was amazed to pass up a couple and the 50ish women was climbing with an umbrella in hand. dizzy.gif BPJ told me of the route you took I just couldn't find it, is it somewhat hidden in the trees ?

I think David's route gives a good visualization- the step was steep snow at this time of year (~55 degrees? Enough to feel vertical when you're on it!), and then it was a mixed talus/rock class-2 section to gain the lakes.

All things equal, I think the route you took on the right side is preferable as it's both a shortcut and more straightforward!
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Sennin
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PostTue Jul 06, 2010 7:45 am 
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I wish we had today's weather!  tongue.gif
I hope my lotto numbers hit soon also!
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Slide Alder Slayer
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PostTue Jul 06, 2010 11:35 am 
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Thank you for your trip report and pictures, heading out this weekend, sorry your weather sucked!
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Sennin
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PostWed Jul 07, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Slide Alder Slayer wrote:
Thank you for your trip report and pictures, heading out this weekend, sorry your weather sucked!

It looks like the forecast is great for you!
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silence
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PostThu Jul 08, 2010 7:36 am 
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sorry to hear you had to turn back ... but great effort regardless .. nice pix too

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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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peltoms
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PostThu Jul 08, 2010 8:55 am 
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So what it really came down to is with the visibility and the snow conditions the right choice was of Gully was not obvious wink.gif .

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North Cascade Glacier Climate Project: http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/
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yukon222
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PostThu Jul 08, 2010 9:54 am 
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Sorry the weather didn't cooperate with your visit; it is well worth a return trip when you can see the views.
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