Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lincoln Peak ~ 5/6-7/19
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Fletcher
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PostWed May 08, 2019 10:20 am 
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When I finished the Bulger List last June I thought I had finally cured myself of the years long disease of climbing Washington's highest 100 mountains. Like many Bulger Finishers, I wasn't seriously considering finishing Washington's 100 highest X 400 ft of Prominence because Lincoln Peak was on that list. Lincoln is generally accepted to be one of the most difficult peaks to climb in the state and certainly the most difficult on the T100 X P400 list. Its the reason why volcanic sub summits weren't included on the original Bulger List.

Over the winter this year, I began to consider Lincoln as a potential objective for me. In January, on a very drunken night at a cabin in Glacier, Jake Aldrich agreed to do it with me. A couple weeks later we made a half-assed attempt on Lincoln car to car but bailed early on due to poor time management.  After another failed attempt on a different peak on Sunday of this week, I was feeling a pretty down on the mountains and wasn't sure what type of season I might have.  Monday morning rolled around, I had two more days off work, and I heard that someone had gotten Lincoln in good conditions over the weekend. I called Jake, who was on his way to work. It took very little convincing, and before I knew it we were on our way up the heinous Rankin Creek Road Monday afternoon. We were able to drive to 3400 ft and were hauling heavy packs towards camp at 4pm.

hiking up the secret Lincoln Peak trail
hiking up the secret Lincoln Peak trail
first look
first look
up through the forest
up through the forest

We made good time on the approach and reached 6000 ft camp at 6:30. We had dinner, sipped whiskey, and enjoyed our last evening as Lincoln Peak virgins.
nearing camp
nearing camp
Jake with the Twin Sister Range
Jake with the Twin Sister Range
the next mornings route from camp
the next mornings route from camp
home for the night
home for the night
sunset
sunset

Alarms went off at 2:30, we geared up, and began making our way towards Lincoln in the pitch black darkness. Traversing underneath a huge partially frozen waterfall was a haunting experience and I couldn't decide what sort of omen it was suggesting. It was still pitch black when we reached the large basin below Lincoln. The snow leading up towards the bergshrund was really punchy and we continued to posthole well above 6000ft which had me worrying about what conditions would be like once the route got serious. Was it too warm?
starting out
starting out

As we climbed the last few hundred feet to the shrund conditions began to improve. Thoughts of turning around were abandoned and we decided to channel our old friend and YouTube sensation, Larry the Enticer. Larry could send it and we could too.


We easily stepped right over the shrund at 5:30am and began front pointing up and to the left. The route on Lincoln gets serious immediately after crossing the shrund and remains so all the way to the summit. We soloed for a few hundred feet before deciding to break the rope out and simul-climb.
Jake at the shrund
Jake at the shrund
the route ahead
the route ahead
steep
steep

We traversed above cliffs on 50+ degree snow towards the lower of the two couloirs. Conditions were good for front-pointing and stoke was high. Once reaching the bottom of the couloir, we spotted a slung horn of rock mentioned in other reports. This couloir is the steepest part of the route and we decided to belay from here. Jake anchored in and I lead out up the 60+ degree chute. I found a lot of good pro in here instilling confidence. This included some bomber picket placements plus one decent purple C4 and a BOMBER ice screw near the top. We ran of the rope 3/4 of the way up the couloir but lacking a good belay for me and lots of good pro between the two of us, we just simuled the rest of the way to the base of the snow arete and airy traverse.
STEEP
STEEP
nearing the top of the first couloir
nearing the top of the first couloir
the route ahead
the route ahead

The airy traverse was indeed airy but the climbing conditions were good with solid tool placements everywhere. What wasn't so good were the picket placements, and we probably would have been safer soloing here.
the airy traverse
the airy traverse
not even scared
not even scared

The second couloir that passes by the "Leaning Tower of Pissa" is much less steep than the first and made for a nice chill finish to the climb.
Almost there
Almost there

I topped out at 8:58 am and Jake just 5 minutes later. Views were grand and temps were comfortable. I was able to call my girlfriend to let her know that we made it and conditions were good. I also called Adam Walker to ask him if he'd ever received a phone call from the summit of Lincoln Peak before  cool.gif
Colfax and Baker
Colfax and Baker
North Cascades
North Cascades
Twin Sisters
Twin Sisters
Summitshot (Jake compensating for something with that giant picket)
Summitshot (Jake compensating for something with that giant picket)

We did not linger on the summit for more than 15 minutes as we were worried about the sun creeping across parts of the route and the warming temps. We rapped off the summit on a deadman and then again down the upper couloir. The airy traverse was airy again, this is where debris began to come down on top of us, which would continue intermittently for the rest of the decent.
done with the airy traverse
done with the airy traverse

From the top of the lower couloir, we rapped twice more to the slung horn at the bottom. From there it was two more raps to the top of the famed waterfall gully.
rapping the lower couloir
rapping the lower couloir
still steep
still steep

Instead of traversing and downclimbing back over to the shrund, we decided to rap the waterfall gully. It was pretty heady peering off into the abyss, but we had more than enough rope. What a finish!! To top off the day, Jake was slammed with a barrage of grapefruit sized snice debris as he rapped the gully. When he got down he told me he thought my deadman was ripping out on him.
almost to relative safety
almost to relative safety

The slog back to camp was the real deal. We were idiots and left our snowshoes and poles back at camp, so we postholed in the blistering afternoon for what felt like forever to get back.
looking back
looking back

We melted some water, packed up, and hiked out, arriving back to the truck at 6pm, where cold beer awaited. I was dealing with some serious foot pain on the descent through the forest and was greeted with an alarming sight when I took the boots off at the truck. So worth it though, to have Lincoln in the bag  moon.gif
hiking out
hiking out
the price i paid for Lincoln
the price i paid for Lincoln
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed May 08, 2019 10:47 am 
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Ouch!  I predict you're going to lose that toenail, in addition to having an impressive blister.

Good job, congrats on a tough climb.  up.gif
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ONELUV1
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PostWed May 08, 2019 11:30 am 
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Way to send it Fletch!

You have been on an amazing journey and I cant wait to see what is next.  Looking forward to joining you this summer.
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RichP
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PostWed May 08, 2019 11:36 am 
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Awesome accomplishment.  up.gif

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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neek
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PostWed May 08, 2019 11:56 am 
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Looks like a viable alternative to Mailbox  smile.gif  Nice work!
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rocknclimb
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PostWed May 08, 2019 12:58 pm 
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Amazing!

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When asked "Why do you climb"?  Simply respond "Why don't you"?
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Jake Robinson
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PostWed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Wow guys. Well done! Fletcher, that's your best video yet.
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raising3hikers
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PostWed May 08, 2019 5:31 pm 
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awesome job you two!  glad you decided to go for it up.gif

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awilsondc
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PostWed May 08, 2019 7:45 pm 
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Nice job man!  Your video trip reports have become something to look forward to.  That's probably the closest I'll ever get to having the experience of climbing Lincoln Peak, so thanks for taking us along!   up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Gimpilator
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PostWed May 08, 2019 8:42 pm 
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You're both officially badass now, at least in my book.  Thanks for the call which I will never forget.  It's an honor and I'll count that as my summit, since I won't be climbing it.

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7tyvnbUagAxIxEuJE5Udw
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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Bob2005
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PostWed May 08, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Very enjoyable video, thanks! Did you get up so early so the snow was solid, or to have enough time to get back to your vehicle? (Or because the nitecap bourbon just spoke to you? wink.gif
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puzzlr
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PostWed May 08, 2019 10:45 pm 
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Congrats. The video is nice work -- thanks for taking the time to get those shots. And  up.gif on the perfect music choice as usual. I'm looking forward to your Cerro Torre video  wink.gif

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Fletcher
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PostThu May 09, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Thanks everyone! Definitely my proudest ascent to date. Just left the doctor. The condition of my toe worsened over the last day and a half. They lanced it, then decided to completely remove the toe nail. Was Lincoln Peak worth it? Absolutely  cool.gif
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu May 09, 2019 1:58 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
then decided to completely remove the toe nail

I figured it would fall off on its own, but I think my prediction still counts.  I've lost a big toe nail several times.  When it turns colors like that, pretty good indicator it's dead.
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Nancyann
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PostThu May 09, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Congratulations to both of you! I really enjoyed reading your well-written trip report and watching your compelling video and the hilarious Larry the Enticer video. Whatever works!
So sorry to see that picture of your toes. I can really empathize, since I dropped a rowboat on my big toe a couple of days ago. Its the same color as yours. bawl.gif
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