Forum Index > Trip Reports > American Border Peak (7,994') - September 14-15, 2012
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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 2587 | TRs | Pics
Location: Right here.
Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday
PostSun Sep 16, 2012 12:24 am 
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Jeff H and I had a great trip up American Border Peak this weekend.

We left Seattle at 9:30AM on Friday and made our way to the rustic Twin Lakes road, where we were glad to have a high clearance vehicle.  Along the way, we passed dozens of cars lined up at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead.  The road beyond Yellow Aster Butte TH is rough, and high clearance is recommended, although we did see a few low clearance vehicles up there (Saturn Sedan, and Pontiac Vibe).

We saddled up and left the trailhead at 1PM.  The trail to High Pass is in great shape, and we were able to make pretty good time up to the 5960' pass.

From High Pass, the trail descends to Gargett Mine, then peters out.  From the mine, we descended about 200' to 5600' where we began a descending traverse to 5400'.  Here, we entered the timber and crossed the rib leading to the basin W of Mt. Larrabee.  This basin is primarily open huckleberry, wildflowers, grass, and scree.  Traversing this second basin, we aimed for a notch at ~6200' which led us into the third basin and camp (3 hours from the TH).  There is space for a couple of bivy sacks at camp, but not much more.  There is running water ~50' below camp.

The next morning we awoke at 6:30 and were moving by 7.  Tedious scree and steep grass slopes led up to a col on the S Ridge of American Border Peak.  From the col, we ascended the ridge crest for ~200' before splitting off to climber's right across red slabs littered with pebbles.  There is a good ledge here though which makes for easy travel.  We aimed for a weakness on climber's right where a short class 3 section was encountered.  Someone had apparently gotten their rope stuck while trying to retrieve it after rappelling the class 3 (or 4?) step.  On the way back down, I retrieved the rope (~25m of 8.3mm) and packed it back out.

Above the class 3 section, 100' of easy scrambling brought us to a notch.  From this notch, we traversed along the E face of ABP on exposed mud/gravel ledges, crossing several riblets along the way.  The final riblet was surmounted via a gully guarded by a snow patch, but we easily avoided the snow by staying in the moat on the right (class 3).

From the top of the snow patch gully, another short ledge traverse brought us to the base of the 50m roped pitch.  The climbing in here is fairly solid with good stemming and positive holds (5.4 max with a lot of class 3).  I clipped one fixed piton and two slings for pro, and didn't need to use the cams I lugged all the way up there.  At the top of the chimney, there is a pretty tight keyhole slot we had to squeeze through.  I brought some Crisco just in case Jeff had trouble, but thankfully I didn't need to use it.

From the top of the roped pitch we scrambled class 3 rock about 20 minutes to the true summit.  The views from the summit are impressive over to Tomyhoi and Slesse, and of course the rest of the Northern N Cascades.  I especially enjoyed seeing the international border swath stretching out in both directions.  It was apparent that the Canadians really pride themselves on their clearcuts as the U.S. side is all forest, and the Canadian side is all clearcuts and logging roads.  Oh, Canada.

The descent was straightforward, and we made two rappels to the base of the roped pitch.  An abundance of tedious scree slopes kept us entertained all the way back to High Pass, and a short trail walk led us back to the parking lot where nearly 100 campers greeted us.  Car camping.. it's the 'merican way!

Overall, this was a great trip with unique and excellent views into the northern reaches of the N Cascades.  The approach is pretty short and the climbing and scrambling is fun.  Thanks to Jeff for sacrificing his car for the journey up the Twin Lakes road, and especially for another fine adventure.

Traversing the first basin below High Pass.
Traversing the first basin below High Pass.
Canadian Border Peak from the approach.
Canadian Border Peak from the approach.
Scree!
Scree!
Camp Scree.
Camp Scree.
Views from the ascent.. Baker, Tomyhoi, and Tomyhoi Lake.
Views from the ascent.. Baker, Tomyhoi, and Tomyhoi Lake.
Shuksan.
Shuksan.
Jeff ascending to the col.
Jeff ascending to the col.
Jeff travelling above the col.
Jeff travelling above the col.
Jeff climbing the class 3 section where we found the rope.
Jeff climbing the class 3 section where we found the rope.
Looking down the E Face of American Border Peak.
Looking down the E Face of American Border Peak.
The summit block of American Border Peak.
The summit block of American Border Peak.
Jeff with Larrabee in the background.
Jeff with Larrabee in the background.
Mt. Baker in the distance.
Mt. Baker in the distance.
Mt. Slesse across the Silesia Creek Valley.
Mt. Slesse across the Silesia Creek Valley.
Snow patch gully.
Snow patch gully.
Jeff scrambling.
Jeff scrambling.
Traversing to the roped pitch.
Traversing to the roped pitch.
Looking up through the keyhole.
Looking up through the keyhole.
Looking down from the keyhole.
Looking down from the keyhole.
Crisco free!
Crisco free!
The border swath and Canadian clearcuts.
The border swath and Canadian clearcuts.
Closer.
Closer.
Views from just below the summit.
Views from just below the summit.
The summit.
The summit.
Mt. Slesse.
Mt. Slesse.
Canadian Border Peak from the summit of American Border Peak.
Canadian Border Peak from the summit of American Border Peak.
The international border swath.
The international border swath.
...and the other direction.
...and the other direction.
Mt. Slesse and Rexford.
Mt. Slesse and Rexford.
Summit register.
Summit register.
Canada.
Canada.
Jeff enjoys the summit views.
Jeff enjoys the summit views.
Headed back down.
Headed back down.
Traversing the ledges back to the notch.
Traversing the ledges back to the notch.
Wildflowers.
Wildflowers.
More.
More.
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RichP
sin rumbo



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 3299 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
RichP
sin rumbo
PostSun Sep 16, 2012 5:59 am 
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Tom_Sjolseth wrote:
Crisco free!
Crisco free!

Great photo and caption of Jeff.

Cartman and I were in the vicinity this weekend and it seemed to be one of the few relatively smoke-free areas around.
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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
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PostSun Sep 16, 2012 7:06 am 
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Nice one Tom up.gif  That's an interesting look at the Canadian border clearcut.  Like that view of Tomyhoi, too

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Eric Eames
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HitTheTrail
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Joined: 30 Oct 2007
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Location: Rescuing Shackleton
HitTheTrail
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PostSun Sep 16, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Tom_Sjolseth wrote:
Camp Scree.
Camp Scree.

Say...That campsite sure looks like a comfy place to bivy.  up.gif  up.gif
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Snowdog
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Location: on (& off) the beaten path
Snowdog
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PostSun Sep 16, 2012 4:37 pm 
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your buddy Jeff looks more like he's dressed for 'drinks at the country club' in his white button down, as opposed to climbing. huh.gif
I used to wear a white oxford on glaciers all the time until I replaced it with a high tech synthetic version. hockeygrin.gif
oxford cloth is tuff stuff!

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostSun Sep 16, 2012 7:36 pm 
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always a good trip when the crisco stays in the pack.

--------------
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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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13042 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSun Sep 16, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Niiiiiiiice.  up.gif
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2854 | TRs | Pics
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostTue Sep 18, 2012 11:47 am 
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iron wrote:
always a good trip when the crisco stays in the pack.

Yes!

up.gif

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Gimpilator
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Gimpilator
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PostTue Sep 18, 2012 10:03 pm 
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This peak is rarely climbed as you must have noticed from the register.  A friend and I turned around 950 feet below the summit a few weeks back but the other two in our group made it.  Considering the time of day and my slower speed due to lack of comfort, I decided to call it.

Spires On The Ridge Between American Border Peak And Mount Larrabee
Spires On The Ridge Between American Border Peak And Mount Larrabee
Above The Saddle
Above The Saddle
ABP SE Face
ABP SE Face
CBP And ABP - May 2007
CBP And ABP - May 2007

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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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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 2587 | TRs | Pics
Location: Right here.
Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday
PostWed Sep 19, 2012 6:57 am 
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Yeah I think we were the fourth group to summit since 2009.  A rarely climbed peak for sure.  The mountain will always be there, go back and climb it when you have more time.

RichP.. I liked this one better:

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Mike Collins
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Mike Collins
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PostWed Sep 19, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Is Jeff talking to you? I usually wait until I am off belay before dissing my partner.
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Yana
Hater



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
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Location: Out Hating
Yana
Hater
PostWed Sep 19, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Mike, he's probably not dissing, he's probably saying:

"Can you please pull harder? I think I'm stuck."

or

"Maybe we shouldn't have left the Crisco down at camp."

I'm surprised either of you fit through the keyhole, actually. I thought it was pretty darn small, and I'm tiny.  dizzy.gif

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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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Gabigabs
Trail Breaker



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 844 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
Gabigabs
Trail Breaker
PostWed Sep 19, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Great photos. Congrats!

--------------
Life is simple... Eat, Sleep, Hike!
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b00
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Joined: 29 Sep 2003
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b00
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PostThu Sep 20, 2012 3:48 pm 
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nice work guys!
i do wonder if handy's gesture was not meant for you, but for me
:>)
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 5528 | TRs | Pics
Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostThu Sep 20, 2012 3:48 pm 
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^ i think it's meant for all of us.  up.gif

--------------
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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Forum Index > Trip Reports > American Border Peak (7,994') - September 14-15, 2012
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