Forum Index > Trip Reports > Dome Peak - 9/2/2012
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
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PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:23 am 
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For Labor Day weekend we decided to climb something special.  Sunday would be my 30th birthday and if everything went as planned, I hoped to be standing on the summit of Dome Peak.  The 50 plus miles should be enough that we could fully enjoy our time in the wilderness.  The team consisted of Josh Lewis, Matt Lemke, Ryan Hoover, Jacob Smith, and myself.

Dome SW Face Seen From Painted Mountain, 2009
Dome SW Face Seen From Painted Mountain, 2009
Dome SW Face Seen From Circle Peak, 2010
Dome SW Face Seen From Circle Peak, 2010
The NE Face And Chikamin Glacier Seen From Black Peak, 2011
The NE Face And Chikamin Glacier Seen From Black Peak, 2011

During the drive we decided to make the trip 4 days rather than 3.  Hopefully, with more time, we might be able climb something extra.  We stopped at a store to buy more food and make calls letting people know of our change of plans.  We reached the gate on the Suattle River road late in the evening.  We were able to bike the 8 miles to the Downey Creek trailhead before it got fully dark.  That night we enjoyed a campfire, a rare novelty on my mountaineering trips.  Ryan was startled when he went down to get water in the river.  His headlamp spooked several giant steelhead and they jumped out of the water, splashing around making a ruckus.

Guys With Bikes
5 labels
Guys With Bikes
Josh And Jacob
Josh And Jacob
Ryan And Matt
Ryan And Matt
Josh
Josh

The next morning we stashed our bikes and started up the trail.  We made good time on the 6 miles of Downey Creek trail, stopping at the junction with the notoriously brushy Bachelor Creek trail.  I stashed my trail runners, switching to La Sportiva and then we were off.  The first few miles were no problem.  I had read in Franklin's report about a suggested detour he learned about from Tom Sjolseth.  We were able to locate the correct log crossing and instead of crossing it, we turned around and made our way into the woods.  It was a nice alternative and it helped us avoid most of the brush.  Near the end of the detour, we followed the top of a small ridge and when that petered out we crossed Bachelor Creek and found that we were at a small camp site with several large boulders.

Downey Creek Trail
Downey Creek Trail
Pilot Peak Above Bachelor Creek
Pilot Peak Above Bachelor Creek

Further up the drainage the trail became hard to follow.  We stayed to the left of some talus slopes and ahead we could see the avalanche slope.  We climbed as high as we could between the talus and avalanche slope but small trees forced us out into the avalanche debris.  Here we were delayed by some berry bushes.  An ascending traverse brought us back to the main trail and we followed that to the pass above Cub Lake.  Gorgeous!  Glacier Peak was visible over the lake.  We hiked down to the lake and then over into the next basin.  We crossed some snow fields and melt-water creeks then we were going up again, onto Itswoot Ridge.  We had to cross some wet mossy slabs near the top of the steep slope.  Above that we could see Spire Point and West Spire Point, possible options for the extra day.

Cub Lake
Cub Lake
Itswoot Ridge Above
Itswoot Ridge Above
West Spire And Spire Point
West Spire And Spire Point

We made our second camp on Itswoot Ridge at 6400 feet.  It's a lovely camp spot, one of the best I've seen.  There's even a creek right nearby.  Josh and Matt had a tent, Jacob a bivy sack, Ryan and I, a tarp.  Dome was covered in clouds but we could see the Dome Glacier.  The bottom portion looked fairly broken up.  We decided to get up at 5am and get moving as quickly as possible.  I woke up once during the night and Dome was completely visible in the moonlight.  The valley below was a sea of clouds.

Itswoot Ridge 6400' Camp
Itswoot Ridge 6400' Camp
Camp
Camp
Dome Glacier
Dome Glacier
Dome Glacier
Dome Glacier
Tarp Bed
Tarp Bed
Pilot Peak Sunset
Pilot Peak Sunset

5am came and went.  We were up at 6am and moving by 6:30.  We had to descend onto the south face and traverse under a rock rib.  Then we crossed some bare slabs covered with loose round boulders.  I disturbed some large boulders (300-400lbs) and fell down scraping an elbow and bending a trekking pole to the point where it will no longer collapse.  We crossed more snowfields carefully without crampons and then scrambled up a rock rib.  We were nearing the Dome Glacier.

Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Dome Peak
Dome Peak
Nearing The Glacier
Nearing The Glacier
Sentinel And Old Guard
Sentinel And Old Guard
Edge Of The Glacier
Edge Of The Glacier

At another snowfield, I realized it was too steep to cross without crampons.  But I didn't want to wear them on the rocks on the far side so I used the moat at the top.  We came to the edge of the glacier and stopped to put on all the gear.  Ryan had carried his new 70 meter rope, long enough for all five of us to tie into.  The upper portion of the glacier was mostly flat and there was very little crevasse danger.  We aimed for what I thought was the Dome-Chikamin col.  It appeared to be, but I was wrong.  When we got there, we were standing on the edge of a cliff and the Chikamin Glacier was several hundred feet below.  We backtracked and traversed around rock walls to the correct col.  On the way there, we passed some more respect-worthy crevasses.

Climb On
Climb On
The Wrong Col
The Wrong Col
Traversing Around
Traversing Around

We short-roped through the scree in the col and then crossed onto the Chikamin Glacier, 4th largest in the North Cascades.  We climbed a snow slope and then unroped.  At the top of a snow ridge we came to the summit ridge.  This was described as being Class 3 with considerable exposure on either side.  We scrambled along the top of the ridge which was nearly level.  The first 40 feet were easy enough but there was a spot which didn't look as good.  A large boulder formation was part of the crest and getting over it looked tricky, without many holds.  Josh and I were the last two.  We asked for a belay, which Ryan thankfully provided.  Once I attempted the boulder I could see that it was much easier than it looked from below.  But the exposure was really something in this spot!

High On The Chikamin Glacier
High On The Chikamin Glacier
Top Of The Chikamin
Top Of The Chikamin
Climbing The Snow Ridge
Climbing The Snow Ridge
Top Of The Snow Ridge
Top Of The Snow Ridge
Summit Ridge
Summit Ridge
Exposed Scrambling
Exposed Scrambling
My Belay
My Belay

Beyond the boulder it was a narrow ledge on the west side and then a slanted catwalk to the summit.  Dome Peak.  8920 feet.  No better way to bid farewell to my 20's and my youth.  The best part was that my non-hiking friends could never find me up here with their traditional, birthday nonsense.  I passed out some Red Vines licorice to the team.  We had also had the Red Vines on the summit of Glacier Peak.  We signed the register and then we all took a belay from Ryan past the awkward boulder spot.  We went back to the top of the Chikamin Glacier hoping to have enough time to climb Sinister.  Route lines I had seen showed the route descending from the summit of Dome along a rib and onto the glacier for a lower traverse.  But we were stopped by a giant bergschrund that spanned the entire top of the glacier.  There didn't seem to be any safe way to cross it.  There was a small snow bridge on the far west side but it didn't look good.  After discussing our options we decided we didn't have enough daylight left for Sinister anyway.

Ryan On The Summit
Ryan On The Summit
Summit Log
Summit Log
Red Vines
Red Vines
-Cheval
-Cheval
Tricky Boulder Spot
Tricky Boulder Spot
Sinister
Sinister
The Cannon Hole
The Cannon Hole
Nice Curves!
Nice Curves!
Josh Is Tired
Josh Is Tired

We went back to camp and enjoyed a pleasant evening.  Ryan and I turned the tarp into a makeshift lean-to, to combat the dew.  The next morning everyone was hot-and-bothered for Spire Point but I just wasn't motivated.  It was uncharacteristic of me, but I preferred to have a chill sort of day.  For many years I've tried to cram as many peaks into trips as possible without ever taking quiet time to relax in the mountains.  This was an unusually beautiful spot and I wanted to enjoy it.  I was later teased for getting "old and lazy" but it was all in good fun.  Matt and Josh successfully climbed the east ridge using beta acquired from Fay Pullen while Jacob and Ryan climbed the south face route as described by Beckey (5 pitches of 5.6).  Between naps I took an hour to explore Point 6410 on Itswoot Ridge.  From there I had a nice view down to Itswoot Lake.

Makeshift Lean-To
Makeshift Lean-To
Alpenglow On Dome
Alpenglow On Dome
Last Light
Last Light
Sunset
Sunset
Marmot Head
Marmot Head
West Spire And Spire Point
West Spire And Spire Point
Spire Point
Spire Point
Point 6410 On Itswoot Ridge
Point 6410 On Itswoot Ridge
Itswoot Lake
Itswoot Lake
Dome Seen From Point 6410
Dome Seen From Point 6410
Detail View
Detail View

Josh and Matt got back to camp first.  They quickly packed up and headed down.  They would be doing the full 22 miles back to the car, even after nightfall.  Ryan and Jacob came down a few hours later and we packed up our junk.  We got as far as the boulder camp in the upper Bachelor drainage.  I was excited to try out something I had read about.  Supposedly if you have a fire under a boulder or a rock wall, the rock will radiate heat, even after the fire goes out.  This turned out to be true.  It was very nice to have another campfire.  This trip had turned into one of the most enjoyable of the year.

Boulder Camp In Bachelor Creek
Boulder Camp In Bachelor Creek
One Last Fire
One Last Fire

The next morning we hiked down Bachelor Creek drainage without using the Tom Sjolseth detour.  I was curious to see the difference.  We got totally soaked in the brush.  I joked that I felt victimized by all the soaking water.  In hindsight, the detour through the woods is certainly preferable.  I think we made it back to the car by 12:30pm.  Thanks guys for one of the best low-key birthdays ever!

Misch And Buckindy Seen From The Upper Bachelor Creek Drainage
Misch And Buckindy Seen From The Upper Bachelor Creek Drainage

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:35 am 
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Love it!  up.gif  up.gif Sounds like an amazing trip.
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Goats Know
Gravity's Bitch



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 180 | TRs

Goats Know
Gravity's Bitch
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:45 am 
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Nice job guys!  up.gif  up.gif

The Young Turks of NWH!  I like the red vine shot.

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Here on this mountaintop...Woahoho...I got some wild, wild life  - Talking Heads
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Blowdown
Clearing Trails



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 255 | TRs
Location: On the Summit
Blowdown
Clearing Trails
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:57 am 
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We did Dome many years ago when you could still drive up to the Downey Creek trailhead on the Suiattle River road. Since the road has been closed so long, I'd assumed that the Downey Creek trail would be completely overgrown and Batchelor Creek "trail" would be almost nonexistant. Great news that the routes are still viable. Great trip. Excellent photos!   up.gif   up.gif
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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 10:09 am 
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You didn't take the Detour???
We managed to get through Bachelor Creek fairly quickly and reached Downey Creek at 5:40 pm and we high-tailed it out on the trail in less than 2 hours. Just after dark, around 8:50 pm we reached the car. Thanks Adam, Ryan, Jacob and Josh for a great trip!

My photos will come soon!

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
SummitPost Profile
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http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Sep 05, 2012 10:11 am 
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Blowdown wrote:
We did Dome many years ago when you could still drive up to the Downey Creek trailhead on the Suiattle River road. Since the road has been closed so long, I'd assumed that the Downey Creek trail would be completely overgrown and Batchelor Creek "trail" would be almost nonexistant. Great news that the routes are still viable. Great trip. Excellent photos!   up.gif   up.gif

The USFS hired a contractor who gave the entire Downey Creek trail a facelift in 2006 and 2007. The trail crew logs it out each year; they were there for a week the past June.

The latest Access & Travel Managment Plan for hte Suiattle waterhsed put the Bachelor Creek trail back on USFS inventory, though nothing's been done with it yet.

The road will open.

Someone here has a pic of Dome Peak before the Giant Rock fell off the summit. Lopper????

The pic of the dudes on bikes is great. Well, so are the mountain photos.
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RichP
sin rumbo



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
sin rumbo
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 10:52 am 
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Looks like a great team up.gif .
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 11:25 am 
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i saw josh at the darrington shell later that night as we were returning from another trip. he looked tired  clown.gif

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Eek
still kind of a dork



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
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Location: Issaquah
Eek
still kind of a dork
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 11:50 am 
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Another great trip report. I've never tried riding my bike with a full pack, but there are a few places where a bike would be nice (like my recent trip to Big Snow via Hardscrabble). How difficult is it, especially the up hill parts?
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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 11:54 am 
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Riding a bike with a pack on flat terrain was actually pretty easy. The Suiattle River Road has a VERY gentle uphill grade going up and a very gentle downhill grade coming down. A soft saddle and a bike that fits you well will help immensely though.

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
SummitPost Profile
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http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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peltoms
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peltoms
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PostWed Sep 05, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Good shots illustrating the extent of snowcover.  the nice curves are the annual layers exposed by wind erosion due to a bit of an unusual wind event this winter.

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North Cascade Glacier Climate Project: http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/
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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Here are my photos from the trip...Thanks guys for a great trip!


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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
SummitPost Profile
See my website at:
http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Great trip and done well. No drama! One of my favorite summits.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
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Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Nice job and a great-looking trip!
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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rbuzby
Attention Surplus



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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rbuzby
Attention Surplus
PostThu Sep 06, 2012 12:47 pm 
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Nice outing and pics!  Dome is an important mountain.

The boulder placed on the summit by a "playful diety" (Beckey's description) fell off decades ago.  Bob Bolton has some shots of it on summitpost.

We were using the so called "detour" back in the 90's.  It's really "the route" now, not really a detour.  Unless you love deep brush.
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