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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Whitechuck Mountain (6,989') Summit  9/11/10
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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 395 | TRs | Pics
Location: Tulalip, WA
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:26 pm   
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Well I've wanted to explore this mountain for a while.  I have seen it from many different angles and during different times of the year.  I have always loved it's shape, prominence and location.



I headed up Saturday knowing that there was a 30% chance of rain, which usually means a lot more in the mountains.  Maybe that's just my luck.  I also knew that this mountain can be dangerous when wet or icy.  So I set off knowing there was a good chance I would have to turn back.

I was ok with that, I just wanted to get out on an adventure.  I went on a family camping trip for a week up in British Columbia two weeks ago.  It rained almost everyday so I didn't do any hiking.  I just fished and ate more food than I have eaten in a long time.  So I felt like I put on about 10 lbs in the whole deal.  I was not feeling so quick in the step.  I know it was only a week, but I'm telling you lots of huge meals folks without being active.  Anyways...

My friend Kari went along and she had summited Whitechuck 3 times so I knew that the route finding would not be an issue.  She couldn't remember the right road, so I went off directions from summitpost.org.  The directions were good and after a lot of gravel road driving we made it to the high elevation trailhead.  The whole place was socked in with low clouds, but they seemed to be rising.


We followed the ridge through wet brush.  Came out into a talus field below the two summits.  The false summit being on the left and the true summit on the right.  We headed up the gully between where we hit our first obstacle.  Some slick downsloping rock.  Instead of heading straight up the gully, we traversed the rock to the right until we found a climbers trail.  The trail system was in good shape, but very narrow and a place where you would not want to slip.  It was really foggy on the ascent.


Did the whole follow the pink ribbon and cairns game for awhile.  Most of the sections are class 2 at that point.  We got to one section that was downsloping slabs, wet and with loose rock on top.  We went slow, found good lines that we could  grab solid rock and made sure to have good footing.  This section was exposed.  I couldn't see how far down because of the fog, but my guess is... FAR.  This went for about 60 ft, then it turned into some ledges that skirted along a rock wall.  The ledges had loose pebbles on top of solid rock.  It wasn't to bad through here.


We finally got to the notch.  You downclimb this for about 30 ft until you get to the saddle.  Its exposed and pretty tight if you have a large pack.  If this rock was wet or icy, you might want a rope here.  On the saddle it drops offs on both sides pretty good.  A fall here would be deadly.

From the saddle it was a couple minute scramble up to the summit.  The summit had a huge cairn where the register is buried.


We were in the clouds until we got to the summit.  From the summit we had at times 360 degree views above the clouds.

It was great.  The skies were blue and the sun was out up there.  It took us a little over two hours from car to summit.  We enjoyed the views, ate some food and headed down.


Going down all the crux areas were magnified.  It actually took longer for us going down, than coming up.  For some reason it felt a lot steeper and less protected.  Again, we took our time and choose good routes coming down.  I'm guessing that it took us 3 hours on the way back.  Everything was very slow until we got down to the talus.  Then we were able to cruise.  The blueberries were still not ripe yet... weird...


I really enjoyed this mountain.  I will be back on a clear day so I can get better views.  I would love to explore some other areas around this mountain.  I will be back.

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Yana
Hater



Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 3730 | TRs | Pics
Location: Out Hating
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:35 pm   
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That's a lovely handhold in the "downsloping slabs" photo.  clown.gif

Love the photos of various pointy summits sticking out of the cloud blanket!

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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 395 | TRs | Pics
Location: Tulalip, WA
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:06 pm   
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That's awesome Yana...  Good thing I was looking up, right?  smile.gif.  Let's hope it was more solid than it looks in this pic... Ha Ha

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Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10997 | TRs | Pics
Location: Going to Tukwila
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:35 pm   
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Looks like a really fun summit! Definitely have to get up there one of these days. wink.gif

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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 12061 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:39 pm   
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Nice work in less than optimal conditions.   up.gif  up.gif

I've been there twice.  Once in freezing fog, and once with a lot of smoke in the air.  I don't feel like I have gotten the full experience, so I may have to go back.
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Malachai Constant
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 11699 | TRs | Pics
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:43 pm   
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I remember we compared it to climbing a pool table covered with ball bearings. wink.gif

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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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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 395 | TRs | Pics
Location: Tulalip, WA
Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:10 am   
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Malachai Constant wrote:
I remember we compared it to climbing a pool table covered with ball bearings. wink.gif

That would be a pool table with 1 ft legs on one end and 5 ft legs on the other... yikes...   smile.gif

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Akula
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Member


Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 462 | TRs | Pics
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:23 am   
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Great pictures.  Looks like an awesome trip. thanks for sharing.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, dream, discover.  -- Mark Twain
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Sabahsboy
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 2473 | TRs | Pics
Location: SW Sno County
Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:13 pm   
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Beaudaddy: Very exciting reading your TR!  What a great ascent!  Too bad the views were not 100% "out" to contemplate the pivotal position this peak has between North and Central Cascades (well, between North Cascades and those of the Monte Cristo - Mountain Loop area/Darrington FS District.

Some terrific photos, too! Hey, is that a pooch in Kari's hand at the Notch?  How is that possible?  Tell more!

In all, both of you are awesome climbers!  Terrific!
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fzte
All in the Boots



Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 85 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:50 pm   
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up.gif Love the shots in the clouds! Makes me want to get out and do some scrambling.

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Climbing for Camp Erin - Zero to Everest | Facebook | Twitter
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2009 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:47 pm   
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Awesome TR and pics.  up.gif  up.gif.  I hope to get up there soon.

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 395 | TRs | Pics
Location: Tulalip, WA
Post Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:32 am   
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Sabahsboy wrote:
Beaudaddy: Very exciting reading your TR!  What a great ascent!  Too bad the views were not 100% "out" to contemplate the pivotal position this peak has between North and Central Cascades (well, between North Cascades and those of the Monte Cristo - Mountain Loop area/Darrington FS District.

Some terrific photos, too! Hey, is that a pooch in Kari's hand at the Notch?  How is that possible?  Tell more!

In all, both of you are awesome climbers!  Terrific!


Ya, its a beautiful area Sabahsboy!  I used my imagination to think what it looked like through the clouds below... being above the clouds is always a great experience though.  That's Kari's dog Toby in the pic.  He is a real mountaineer.  She had him in her right arm dropping into the notch, but he was in her pack on the way home.  This notch is more difficult on the way back in my opinion.  Kari has amazing balance and is a very strong climber, so the dog in one arm was a breeze for her... Me on the other hand, would have been a bit sketched.  smile.gif  She prefers to put him in the pack on these types of spots, but old Toby doesn't exactly love the pack unless he is tired.



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Doppelganger
Armchairing



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1199 | TRs | Pics
Location: Sparkwood & 21
Post Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:45 pm   
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beaudaddy wrote:


I was wondering where he came from.  There's no mention of a dog in the TR or sign of one in the pics, and then all of a sudden - there's a dog!

Kari: "I found a dog!"

Beaudaddy: "Leave it.  Nothing we can't leave behind in five minutes, that's the rule now."
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Sabahsboy
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 2473 | TRs | Pics
Location: SW Sno County
Post Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:55 pm   
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New shot of Kari and pup at notch is supremely scary.  I could not bear to look another second....suddenly, I have fear of heights!

My dogs cannot be carried.  I have lousy balance (very poor right knee lacks strength and I rely on left knee for any "climbs" on trails.  So, I must just be an armchair viewer and wish I had been there...and, with relief, I was not and can breathe a little easier!  Thrilling photos of notch and clouds.  It could not have been more exciting if you were on Everest!

Hand it to that pup, though: "Fearless" is his name!  Kari?  I would be terrified to follow her up any wall...knowing she can and will; knowing I cannot and will not!  All of you win awards for doing the impossible.  And, of course, all those that have gone before and will go up Whitechuck in the future: you all amaze me!
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iron
sailing along



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 4234 | TRs | Pics
Location: seattle
Post Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:54 pm   
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awesome! had no idea this was so accessible right now (though haven't given it thought in awhile). how frequently have people signed into the register?

love the supra-cloud pics! glacier, err, YES! peak, looks amazing. and give kari props for letting you post a pic of that awesome pink outfit. love it!

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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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