This peak has been an orphan for me for many years and the time came to finally deal with it. I'd seen recent reports of people heading up to this peak and I decided that I wanted to take a different route. After consulting a map the night before I thought I'd give the south ridge from the trailhead a try. It looked simple and straightforward on the map.
Route Map for Freedom Peak
The first few hundred feet of gain was through recent logging area but wasn't actually too bad. Fortunately they removed almost everything they cut. One of the things that I've always liked about the Teanaway is that there's typically a bit of space between the trees and that makes off trail travel much easier. Heading up this ridge didn't disappoint.
Beginnings of the ridge ascent
Early morning on the ridge
Heading up there were a few small spots to scramble up before Pt 5018.
The morning sun made the scenery beautiful and the views were great!
As I traversed the ridge to the north there were more sections of rock that were either easy to go around or go over. I opted to go over as much of it as I could.
Fun ridge ahead!
The nice part about this ridge traverse is that it trends up hill almost the whole way. Not a lot of ups and downs that seem to plague most long ridges.
Earl Peak in the middle
Knife edge ridge
Looking back at the knife edge section
The traverse was a lot of fun and offered a few good challenges along the way.
Another steep section to traverse
One part I ended up getting cliffed out and had to backtrack a few hundred yards and drop down and go around.
The section I opted to backtrack away from
Thanks to a hard freeze overnight, the snow along the route was very firm and crusty. Sometimes too firm though.
With the harder sections behind me, it was a simple traverse along the ridge to the summit.
Simple from here
Cornices were showing signs of wanting to let go and plunge down the side of the mountain and I gave them a wide berth.
Notice the stress cracks on the cornices? I stayed far below them
Nasty looking stuff
Almost four hours after I left the car I was on the summit and enjoying the views.
Navaho Peak in the distance
Me on Freedom with Navaho and Stuart beyond
Cornices, give 'em a lot of room
After some time on the summit I headed back down to the Stafford Creek Trail via an avalanche gully. Having had 2 spine surgeries I opted to not glissade some of the not-so steep sections even though I really wanted to and it would have saved some time and walking.
At the bottom of the avi gully there was total carnage from this years dumping of snow.
Avalanche debris path
It sure would have been awesome to have watched some of the avi's come down!!!
Finally back on the trail I enjoyed some new flowers along the way and made good time getting back to my car.
It was a great day to get out and I am happy to no longer have this orphan out there :-)
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