Forum Index > Trip Reports > Snowfield Pk 8347' Neve Pk 7505'  6/22/11
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raising3hikers
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Snowfield Peak is a mountain that I've been wanting to climb for a few years now.  With a rare weekday off, I wanted to make the most of that day.  I left my house at 3 a.m. and was hiking up the Pyramid Lake trail by 5:30.

I passed the tiny Pyramid lake, maybe only 50 yards long, and headed uphill to try and find the climbers trail.  I had a little trouble finding it but eventually found it and followed it until I hit snow at 3800'.  Once I hit the snow, it became deep quickly.  There were 4-5 foot snow walls that I had to climb over near some cliff bands that made things interesting.

Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Peak
Pyramid Peak

Occasionally, I would see some faint boot tracks from possibly a day or two ago and would follow them up the ridge.  It was steep in spots but the snow was surprising good.  It looks like things are finally starting to consolidate.  As the forest thinned, I got my first views of the Colonial area peaks and the route into the basin.  There is still a lot of snow in there and on the traverse to the basin.  It definitely wouldn't be a place to be in when the avi danger is high.  I crossed under the steep side of Pyramid Peak and was at the deeply snow covered Colonial glacier.  It's little lake is still frozen also.  From there, I could see Neve Peak, not an official name but it's a name I've heard it called.  It's the peak just west of Colonial.

Colonial basin
Colonial basin
Colonial and Neve Peaks
Colonial and Neve Peaks

I kept heading up to the col where I would drop down to the Neve glacier.  Once there, I could see the amazing landscape I was about to enter.  The Neve glacier is big and wide and it makes the peaks bordering it look tiny.   I aimed for Snowfield Peak along the flattest parts of the glacier and eventually reached its base.

Paul Bunyans Stump, Pinnacle and Pyramid Peaks
Paul Bunyans Stump, Pinnacle and Pyramid Peaks
Snowfield Peak
Snowfield Peak
the Cat's ear over the Neve/Ladder Creek glacier
the Cat's ear over the Neve/Ladder Creek glacier
the Pickets
the Pickets

I went to the West side of Snowfield where it looked like a pretty easy way up.  At first it wasn't too bad as I even got off the snow for a while and hiked on rocks for a few hundred feet.  I spotted a gully I had to go in and when I reached the top of it, I was back on boulders for a little while.  Then came the unexpected exposed scramble over some big blocks.  It was either go there or be on steep snow that isn't very deep.  So I went along this little ridge and then had to drop about 10 feet.  This is why I'm glad I brought my rope, because this spot wasn't easy to down climb and it was steep on both sides.  My landing would be a patch of snow, so I threw the rope around a rock a let myself down nice and easy to the level snow patch.  From there I scrambled up some rocks until steep snow and kicked stepped my way to the summit.  The summit was mostly snow covered so if there is a register, I didn't see it.  The views were worth all the effort to get here.  Big mountains in every direction.

the gully on the west side of Snowfield
the gully on the west side of Snowfield
Backbone ridge
Backbone ridge
Eldorado and the big McAlester glacier
Eldorado and the big McAlester glacier
Tricouni Buckner and Primus
Tricouni Buckner and Primus
a view to the west across the Neve glacier
a view to the west across the Neve glacier
Austera ridge
Austera ridge

Since the way I came up was a little sketchy, I decided to plunge step all the way down the North face of Snowfield.  It was steep but the snow was great and it saved me a lot of time getting down.  As I headed back across the glacier, I began thinking that I probably a little energy left to walk up Neve peak also.  As I got close to the col I veered off and went east to the easy summit.  It has a cairn on top but no register there either.  It has a great view of the Snowfield Peak area from the summit.  I didn't stay long and began long way back to the truck.  I took a few detours so I would have to run into the annoying cliff bands on the way back down.  I was soon out of the snow and found the climbers trail and followed it all the way back to the lake, a little easier than on the way up.  I reached my truck already thinking about my next visit to this beautiful place.

Snowfield Peak, I went up on the right and came down middle left
Snowfield Peak, I went up on the right and came down middle left
Neve glacier
Neve glacier
the Needle above
the Needle above
shadows on the glacier
shadows on the glacier
Snowfield to the Needle from Neve Peak
Snowfield to the Needle from Neve Peak

A long but satisfying day
16 miles
8400' elevation gain
12 hrs 15 min
2 peaks

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Eric Eames
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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Love it up there.  Nice work on a long day trip.   up.gif
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Magellan
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 9:44 pm 
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That is a lot of ground to cover in a day.  up.gif  up.gif Nice work!
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Bedivere
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Beautiful!

How long of a hike both distance and elevation-wise is it before you hit consistent snow on this route?

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Dayhike Mike
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Huge day! Thanks for posting! smile.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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RichP
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 10:16 pm 
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You are the first person I've ever heard of doing this as a dayhike.
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User-Name
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PostWed Jun 22, 2011 11:56 pm 
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ooh...that's a long day!  I remember it fondly.  Here's our snaps from '06..
thanks for the memories!

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=570310
up.gif

...and another fun one-day link-up in the same area:

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=703878
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Don
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 5:36 am 
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Strong work on a classic climb!  up.gif  I remember the 10' descent to cross the south facing gully near the summit quite well, thought it wasn't in snow.  I don't remember any alternate routes on the north side.  Sounds like the snow was probably your friend!

Don

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silence
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 5:57 am 
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thx eric for letting me live (i mean climb) vicariously thru you  biggrin.gif

great photos as always ..

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 6:52 am 
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good stuff and ambitious trip!
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wildernessed
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 7:32 am 
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up.gif Damn, you mean business knocking off those T100's this year in rapid succession. Strong work, nice pics !

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Living in the Anthropocene
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Type E
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 11:35 am 
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are you ever concerned crossing glaciers solo and unroped?


E

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cartman
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 7:45 pm 
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That's such a great area.  I'll be back for the Needle and the Stump!

12 hrs RT?  Jeez.  Very strong!
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Stefan-K
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 10:12 pm 
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nice one!
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Dayhike Mike
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PostThu Jun 23, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Type E wrote:
are you ever concerned crossing glaciers solo and unroped?

Solo and roped up is so much better. Extraction at that point just requires sufficient prayer to interest God in practicing his mad yo-yo skillz. 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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