Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Buckner & Horseshoe Peak, 07/17/2020
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 9:20 am 
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Mount Buckner and Horseshoe Peak
07/17/2020
Mileage: 18.5 miles
Gain: 8,200'

Shoes at the end. La Sportiva Jackals. Love 'em! Substantial enough for rocky terrain and grippy on rock (surprisingly so). Not sponsored or whatever.. Just like the brand.
Shoes at the end. La Sportiva Jackals. Love 'em! Substantial enough for rocky terrain and grippy on rock (surprisingly so). Not sponsored or whatever.. Just like the brand.

I skipped the prior weekend to get some housework done, so I was amped up to get out and about. While I had ambitious plans for Friday through Monday, I figured that Friday and Saturday, if successful, would constitute enough and I'd forego the Sunday/Monday plan. Lo and behold, Friday and Saturday were great.

I set off from the Cascade Pass TH at 0345 and hit Cascade Pass at 0500. The entire time I was in clouds with drizzle on and off.

Sahale Arm beginnings. Maybe I'll get good weather? PSYCH!
Sahale Arm beginnings. Maybe I'll get good weather? PSYCH!
Beautiful camp. I've still yet to see the toilet there (though I haven't looked).
Beautiful camp. I've still yet to see the toilet there (though I haven't looked).

Once I hit the Sahale Glacier Camp, I changed course right (east) along the Glacier moraine (snow covered). This is where navigation become funky.
Being in the clouds, I couldn't see more than a hundred feet or so, but I didn't want to drop off too quickly left or right so I used GPS to guide me here and there. I also took my first snack break.

I dropped along the ridge above Horseshoe Basin to about 6,700' where I donned crampons and took out my ice tool (should have added traction a bit earlier. I also dropped below the cloud deck at 7,200'.

Droppong below the clouds, Horseshoe Basin came into view.
Droppong below the clouds, Horseshoe Basin came into view.
Stehekin River Valley beginnings. Most here probably know that Doubtful Creek, Pelton Creek, and Basin Creek give the Stehekin River a rip-roaring start.
Stehekin River Valley beginnings. Most here probably know that Doubtful Creek, Pelton Creek, and Basin Creek give the Stehekin River a rip-roaring start.
Ripsaw Ridge
Ripsaw Ridge
Section below Sahale Glacier Camp/Moraine.
Section below Sahale Glacier Camp/Moraine.
Horseshoe Basin.
Horseshoe Basin.
Top of the snow finger.
Top of the snow finger.

The snow finger (time 0730) was in excellent condition and the entirety of the traverse across the basin would be doable on snow. Yay, no scree!

The traverse was simple albeit lengthy. I began to ascend to Buckner just past the ridge (mine there) that juts into the basin, 0845.

Mine debris on a blasted/carved ledge.
Mine debris on a blasted/carved ledge.
Before sauntering back into the clouds.
Before sauntering back into the clouds.

Back in the clouds by 0945.
I forged my own route by hopping off the snow and onto rock since I move more quickly on rock than snow.

I hit the south ridge proper at 1015 and the summit at 1040.

Summit register.
Summit register.
NE Summit.
NE Summit.
View NE of Boston Glacier.
View NE of Boston Glacier.
Boston Peak, Sahale shrouded.
Boston Peak, Sahale shrouded.
This Pikachu's 42nd Bulger (the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything). My first Pikachu was lost somewhwre traversing back from Storm King to below Goode last July 4th.
This Pikachu's 42nd Bulger (the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything). My first Pikachu was lost somewhwre traversing back from Storm King to below Goode last July 4th.
Park Creek Valley. I rember descending Goode and Storm King last year and being enamored with Buckner's bulk at the time. Cool to look down in the vicinity of where I was then. I had hoped to see Goode up close from across the valley.
Park Creek Valley. I rember descending Goode and Storm King last year and being enamored with Buckner's bulk at the time. Cool to look down in the vicinity of where I was then. I had hoped to see Goode up close from across the valley.

The area east of Cascade Pass was holding clouds like a set of massive hands since Boston Basin and north was clear(ish) while on the summit. Boston Peak was barely uncovered and Forbidden was going in and out of the clouds.

Left the summit at 1115 and dropped down, making a right descending traverse, then a hardline traverse to the base of Horseshoe.

I approached Horseshoe from the NE once on the rock, almost making a question mark-shaped track. I scrambled ong a short ridge and then dropped to the base of the summit pyramid. I walked along the fault line Ledge and hoisted myself up the notch between the two summit shelves. There is a TON of slings wrapped on that rock.

Summit at 1220.

Ledge up to the summit.
Ledge up to the summit.
Final bit to Horseshoe's summit.
Final bit to Horseshoe's summit.
Looking back at the ridge traverse from the north.
Looking back at the ridge traverse from the north.
Soaked and tattered.
Soaked and tattered.

The log is soaked and I thought of taking it with me since it's unusable, but I left it since I'm not comfortable taking items from summits, regardless of their condition.

I reversed my steps back to the snow finger to clamor out of the basin and onto the ridge at 1415 where I took another snack break.

Snow finger during egress.
Snow finger during egress.
Clearest part of the whole trip, just before ascending the finger. The sun was incredibly hot, so I'm kind of glad it was hidden most of the day.
Clearest part of the whole trip, just before ascending the finger. The sun was incredibly hot, so I'm kind of glad it was hidden most of the day.
Toe of the Davenport Glacier.
Toe of the Davenport Glacier.
One last view of Ripsaw Ridge.
One last view of Ripsaw Ridge.

Now, the final climb back to Sahale Glacier Camp, which I botched due to no visibility. I didn't ascend quite enough and figured I would be fine skirting along the scree below the camp. What a pain! The worst and slowest part of the whole trip...

I actually walked most of the arm down since it was so peaceful. While in the clouds still, there were TONS of marmots that I stopped to observe.

View for most of the trip down the arms. Note the marmots on the left and right of the trail.
View for most of the trip down the arms. Note the marmots on the left and right of the trail.
Below clouds, once again, near the car.
Below clouds, once again, near the car.

Back to the pass around 1700 until 1720 and the car at 1815 (I did jog down from the pass).

0345-1815 (14.5 hours).
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Doug_B
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 1:32 pm 
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I just missed you on the Summit of Buckner by a couple hours!  We came up the North Face later in the day.  We waited for the weather to clear to ascend the face.  The weather was much better Saturday and Sunday when we climbed Booker and Horseshoe.  Too bad you missed those views.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 22, 2020 5:06 pm 
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I was up on Forbidden the next day, so I was grateful to have at least one clear day!

Congrats on a North face ascent!
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neek
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PostSat Jul 25, 2020 1:52 pm 
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Looks great. I'm glad you took it easy the next day with a stroll up Forbidden.  Friday was a good choice since the NPS page says "Beginning Monday, July 13, the Sahale Arm Trail will be closed Monday-Thursday weekly until further notice due to a trail reconstruction project. For your safety, avoid the area and trail until work is complete."
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Alden Ryno
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Location: Richland, WA
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PostSun Jul 26, 2020 8:11 pm 
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I had noticed a section of trail work (no personnel) that seemed to be focused on reinforcing/constructing a retaining wall between the pass and being on the arm. I didn't see any postings at the trailhead, at the pass, or beyond the pass about the closure, so I was surprised to see a post (not on HWHikers) about the closure either Saturday or Sunday.

I do find it interesting (and kind of nice) that the closure is Monday through Thursday.
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glenoid
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PostMon Jul 27, 2020 11:58 am 
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Your trip was a bit like one I tried in July 1976. Went up to Sahale Camp. (Not a camp back then) We traversed then under Ripsaw ridge to Mt Buckner. Attempted a west face ascent but was stopped short by a technical rock climb for which we didn't have the gear for. As we were so high up on Buckner's west flank, (75 feet or so from the summit) we didn't have the energy to go down and then go up the SW route.
After crawling back to camp, my partner Art, collapsed in the tent and slept. While I cooked dinner, Art in his sleep mumbled something about a chock that he was trying to lodge in my right nostril. (From the photos you can see Cascade pass in the clouds, but the route to Buckner was fine.)
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Buckner & Horseshoe Peak, 07/17/2020
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