Summithound and boarder Ben, allowed me to join them for a trip up Red Mountain.
I never thought it would be so hard!
We were at the trailhead at 7AM and started hiking up the new PCT. Summithound wanted more of a workout than offered by going up the Commonwealth Basin directly. He wasn't disappointed.
1 mile up the trail and all signs of snowshoe traffic disappeared. The snowshoes came off our backs and the postholing began. I was pretty tired by the time we reached the saddle.
After looking at the mountain we decided to head up the ridge to avoid any avalanche danger. There appeared to be a thick crusty layer that kept sloughing down.
That decision lead us straight up the steep and the deep stuff.
Snowshoes were not working so Ben opted to try kick stepping in just his boots. It was not any worse, at least. It made him feel safer since he did not have an ice ax. First it was deep snow, then icey rock, then hip drops into tree wells.
It took almost 2 hours to go up the last 800 ft, but we made it!
There was only one other summiter this day, a guy who skinned his way up passing us along the way. His partners were behind me, and it was questionable as to whether they would make the summit. They had removed their skis and joined us postholers.
We spent no time on top because the wind was trying to blow the mountain down into our faces!
Ben wasted no time removing his skins from his new split board, leaving me to figure out how to best transport myself back down the mountain...
Too deep for plunge stepping...too deep for glissading. I finally settled on a unique body surfing, laying on my side ( so my pack wouldn't slow me down ) and bicycling my legs so I would traverse on the descent.
NOT a pretty site, but very effective under the conditions!
There was Ben, waiting for me! Sure hope he did not see that descent!
On the way back, our newly made trail had become a freeway! How did that happen? :confused:Where were the people? Not on the summit.
We took the Commonwealth Basin direct route back to the trailhead.
A workout I never expected.
A nice trench to the saddle now.
Good luck the rest of the way to the top, until the snow consolidates.
Joined: 18 Aug 2008 Posts: 2453 | TRs | Pics Location: Someone get me out of Everett, WA
Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:12 pm
Without looking at a map or knowing what direction you are looking at, I think that peak is Huckleberry Peak. Looks like you can see the Joe Lake basin below and the PCT going across the Chikamins below.
Note that Thomson and Kaleetan also look like that peak.
Great job! Looks like you had alot of fun despite the workout. You are going to have to show me that unique descent one day.
I wish I coulda made it! I was already out on the the trail.
Maybe next time.
-------------- Take risks not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping.
"Stalking" is such a strong word. I prefer "Intense research of an individual".
Joined: 02 Mar 2003 Posts: 10981 | TRs | Pics Location: Going to Tukwila
Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:41 am
Rainie Too! wrote:
Thompson. I have a blurry cellphone pic from Red near the bottom of this trip report.
FWIW -- Thompson (Thomson on the map) is a fun scramble. Two thumbs up.
-------------- "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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