Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Cradle, Bassinet Peak,Nursery Peak,Tucquala Peak 6/12/16
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 11:37 am 
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After seeing the conditions on Davis and Goat a few days ago, it seemed like a good time to try The Cradle.  More extensive research revealed that this is another peak with more than one summit of nearly equal height.  USGS has labeled both the north and south peak as 7467 feet, but my GPS indicates 7459 feet and 7472 feet.  Apparently most parties only do the south peak which is much easier.  I found the 2010 report by Justus with an alternate approach that looked more direct.  That was the way for us.  All those switchbacks going up to Paddy Go Easy Pass looked pretty annoying.  Scatter Creek trail here we come.

Goat Mountain across the valley
Goat Mountain across the valley
The Cradle seen from the pass
The Cradle seen from the pass
meadows down at the lower pass
meadows down at the lower pass
looking back at Tucquala
looking back at Tucquala
Tucquala above meadows
Tucquala above meadows

Now for a note about the height of these two peaks.  From what I can tell, traditionally people do the south peak and call it good.  Yesterday I measured both summit rocks with my GPS.  As always, I let the device sit on the high point for at least 5 minutes until itís only wavering back and forth by a foot or two.  My findings indicate the north peak is 13 feet higher.  This peak is included on several important lists (WA P2k, Backcourt), so hopefully this isnít bad news for anyone.  Take it with a grain of salt, or perhaps youíve heard it all before.

Now for the report.

We hiked up the Scatter Creek trail to the pass southeast of Tucquala Peak.  We lost the trail a few times in the snow near the top.  Josh acquired a few ticks along the way and one started biting him in the neck before he discovered it.  From the pass we dropped off-trail directly down to the pass which separates Meadow Creek drainage from French Creek.

The Cradle south peak seen from the ridge crest
The Cradle south peak seen from the ridge crest
ridge to Nursery Peak
ridge to Nursery Peak
Andy and Justus
Andy and Justus
Fay Pullen and Don Goodman entries
Fay Pullen and Don Goodman entries
world's smallest pencil
world's smallest pencil
Ingalls peaks
Ingalls peaks
Nursery summit looking at The Cradle
Nursery summit looking at The Cradle
Daniel, Dip Top, Lynch
Daniel, Dip Top, Lynch
large bug
large bug

Going up the slope on the far side we had to push through some small dense trees to reach the more open slopes above.  When we came to the ridge between The Cradle and Nursery Peak we turned right and visited Nursery first.  Thereís a small film canister register there.

traversing snow bowl
traversing snow bowl
the east ridge above
the east ridge above
looking back at Nursery
looking back at Nursery

We backtracked along the ridge to the second low saddle and then dropped down the east side into the snowy basin for easier travel.  We traversed to a snow finger which went unbroken almost entirely to the east ridge of the south peak of The Cradle.  We followed the ridge crest westward.  The standard route follows this ridge almost to the peak and then traverses left onto the face of the peak near the end.  But the snow bowl to our right looked really nice.  We agreed to use this snow to reach the col between the two peaks.  I had an inkling that the south peak would be easier from the col than the standard scramble route.  This later turned out to be correct (class 2).

the gendarme and north peak
the gendarme and north peak
annotated east face route
annotated east face route
toward the col
toward the col
large gendarme
large gendarme
the south peak, class 2
the south peak, class 2

I suggested we try the harder north peak first.  After we climbed up the snow to the col we traversed around the west side of the big gendarme and then began searching around for a viable scramble route up the peak.  The ridge crest looked technical and the southwest face looked really steep, loose and dangerous.  There were some dirty gullies there I was tempted to try, but Josh said he didnít think it would go.  He started exploring exposed ledges on the east face which made me really nervous.  When he came back he told us he thought he had found the only way up.

west face traverse to the north peak
west face traverse to the north peak
southwest face not looking good
southwest face not looking good
Mike exploring the options
1 label
Mike exploring the options

I was skeptical since the east face is so steep and exposed but I followed him to see what he was talking about.  It looked terrible!  I watched him go up the route he found and I wasnít sure if I wanted to do that, but I told myself I would try it at least until it got unreasonable.

dirty ledge on the east face
dirty ledge on the east face
Josh showing us the route he found
Josh showing us the route he found
Josh above in the sideways notch
Josh above in the sideways notch

The route goes down a very dirty ledge and then across some grey rock below slabs to reach a clean flat upward slanting ramp.  High above is a sideways notch under an overhang which looks like this: <.  At the top of the flat ramp things got interesting.  Thereís a lot of downward slanting rock and loose rock and plenty of dirt.  The weird thing is it feels like class 3 but with small often loose holds and loose dirt all over the place and death exposure, Josh argues it could be considered class 4.  I donít know.

north peak summit
north peak summit
first ascent in 4 years
first ascent in 4 years
GPS north peak elevation
GPS north peak elevation

I was relieved to reach the sideways notch and noted a rappel sling.  It made me wish we had brought a rope along.  But sometimes that happens on peaks with very little available beta.  Above the notch we scrambled up loose dirt to the summit.

Chiwaukums
Chiwaukums
Bootjack, High Chair, Cashmere
Bootjack, High Chair, Cashmere
Cashmere
Cashmere

A register revealed that we were the first ascent in 4 years since Stefan and Greg in 2012.  They dubbed this north peak Bassinet.  The scramble back down was not much fun.  Loose falling rocks demonstrated what would happen to us if we made a mistake.  Iíll leave the rest to your imagination.

steep dirt
steep dirt
getting back to the sideways notch
getting back to the sideways notch
coming down above slabs
coming down above slabs
exaggerated camera angle to make it look more scary
exaggerated camera angle to make it look more scary
the true angle of the slabs
the true angle of the slabs
traversing back below slabs
traversing back below slabs

Back at the col, the south peak proved to be a walk up.  We signed the large Mountaineers register.  It took me awhile to settle down and filter out the excess adrenaline.  Josh seemed unfazed as usual.  Heís done a lot more of that kind of thing than I have.  I donít think Mike or I would have finished the north peak if he hadnít been with us.

back at the col
back at the col
taking candy from a baby
taking candy from a baby
John Roper
John Roper
Paul Klenke
Paul Klenke
Grant Meyers
Grant Meyers
Andy Boos
Andy Boos
GPS south peak elevation
GPS south peak elevation
big babies on the south summit of The Cradle
big babies on the south summit of The Cradle
South Granite, Granite, Trico
South Granite, Granite, Trico

We descended back to the pass between Meadow Creek and French Creek, but instead of heading back to the trail we circled around the south side of Tucquala Peak for one last hurrah.  The rock on Tucquala was orange and grippy.  Fun stuff!  No register was present however.  But the light was starting to get really nice, with evening tones on Stuart and itís surroundings, and I wished we could stay for the coming alpenglow.  Prudence prevailed for it was still a long drive back to Lynnwood and Edmonds.

walking down the south peak
walking down the south peak
returning from the col
returning from the col
a last look at The Cradle
a last look at The Cradle
Tucquala south slope
Tucquala south slope
one last hurrah
one last hurrah
Tucquala summit
Tucquala summit
nice light on Stuart and surroundings
nice light on Stuart and surroundings

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/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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Distel32
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 12:11 pm 
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up.gif The Cradle looked very prominent from the south yesterday (not sure I'd seen that view of it before).
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Michael Lewis
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 12:44 pm 
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15hrs+7k gain=sore

Some memorable peakbagging
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Brushbuffalo
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Looks like you guys had another fine outing. The weather turned out better this weekend than expected. Sorry we didn't go for Little T!

Gimpilator wrote:
He started exploring exposed ledges on the east face which made me really nervous.†

Yeah, the pics. make it look kinda scary.  But how is it that  watching others on exposed terrain tends to make one more nervous than when doing it oneself? (well, not always true...) eek.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Redwic
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PostMon Jun 13, 2016 4:51 pm 
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Whoa! Awesome trip, you guys!
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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ONELUV1
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PostTue Jun 14, 2016 12:42 am 
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It is great to see this TR.

I've wanted to do this peak for awhile and was looking at the Cradle on Sunday wondering if I would ever get the chance.  it's nice to know someone may have been up there.

bad moon.gif
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JimK
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PostTue Jun 14, 2016 8:52 am 
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Does the register predate my 1994 visit? I doubt there have been enough visits to fill it. The south summit is not a particularly hard scramble. The north summit looks to be another matter.

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Hiking Northwest
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Gimpilator
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PostTue Jun 14, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Brushbuffalo wrote:
But how is it that watching others on exposed terrain tends to make one more nervous than when doing it oneself? (well, not always true...) eek.gif

You feel that way too?  I'm actually more comfortable on sketchy terrain when I'm solo.  Sometimes, I can't even watch and I have to turn my head.  Of course with a rope, it's totally different.

ONELUV1 wrote:
bad moon.gif

Didn't understand this right away, but when I got it, I laughed.   lol.gif

JimK wrote:
Does the register predate my 1994 visit?

If I remember correctly, it goes back to 1983, so you must be in there too.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/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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puzzlr
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PostTue Jun 14, 2016 11:38 pm 
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Nice trip. I think those peaks are in my future. Thanks for the many register photos -- the pages are freed from their cage.

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Mid Fork Rocks ē flickr
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Matt
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PostWed Jun 15, 2016 12:04 am 
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That's a lot to cover in a single day.

You left out this page of the register, including the illustrious Stefan Feller & Greg Koenig, plus me:

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ďAs beacons mountains burned at evening.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Cradle, Bassinet Peak,Nursery Peak,Tucquala Peak 6/12/16
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