Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Tenpeak Mountain Circuit ~ August 11-13, 2020
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Fletcher
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PostSat Aug 15, 2020 12:41 pm 
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Dustin and I headed into the Glacier Peak Wilderness this week and enjoyed an athletic sort of lollipop loop to bag some peaks in the Western Dakobed Range. We climbed these peaks in this order:

Day 1
~Kololo (repeat for me)
~Gorgeous Day
~Kopeetah Divide (summit bivy)

Day 2
~Hoof
~Neyah Point
~Tenpeak

Day 3
~West Tenpeak
~The Hive

We met up in Seattle at 6:30 on Tuesday morning and cruised out to the trailhead. We weren't hiking until 9:30. The temps were fairly pleasant. We were met by sunny skies and a nice breeze at White Pass where we took our first break. We were stoked for all the awesome terrain we were about to travel through.

hey bud
hey bud
Sloan
Sloan
first Glacier sighting
first Glacier sighting

We cruised through Foam Basin and White Chuck Basin after that. We hooked a right, diverging from the standard Glacier Peak approach, when we arrived at whats left of the dying White Chuck Glacier. Given our late start, we didnt reach the summit of Kololo until after 5pm. Our forecast was good, but ominous dark clouds were beginning to encroach upon us from the west.
nearing Kololo
nearing Kololo

We had to drop some steep, firm snow getting off Kololo and traversed a short section of the upper Suiattle Glacier to the Suiattle-Honeycomb saddle. From there, we made a quick side trip to the summit of Gorgeous Day Peak via a short class 4 step. It lacks sufficient prominence, but I wanted to tag it, as I never really have a reason to return to the Honeycomb Glacier for a third time. Sick views.
on the Suiattle
on the Suiattle
approaching Gorgeous Day
approaching Gorgeous Day
what lays ahead
what lays ahead
Kololo
Kololo
will the weather hold?
will the weather hold?

Next up was Kopeetah Divide. We stayed the night on the summit. All we brought for camping gear were sleeping bags and z-rests. It got socked in that night and there was a lot of moisture in the air. I managed to stay warm enough to get a good nights sleep, but barely. There was frost on our sleeping bags when got up in the morning. We planned for an earlier start, but the cold had us sleep in for an extra 90 minutes.
chilly
chilly
cold morning on Kopeetah Divide
cold morning on Kopeetah Divide

We got moving again around 8am and dropped the massive Honeycomb Glacier until roughly 6000 feet. We then traversed rough terrain for a few miles around the north side of Tenpeak to Moth Lake. This leg of our journey was familiar to me, as Id passed through here on a Dakobed Range traverse with Michael Lewis in 2017.
Moody morning on the Honeycomb
Moody morning on the Honeycomb
Honeycomb Lake
Honeycomb Lake
shit traverse
sh## traverse
The Hive and The Honeycomb
The Hive and The Honeycomb
rough terrain
rough terrain
and then some of this
and then some of this
Hoof Peak
Hoof Peak
a glimpse of last weeks peak
a glimpse of last weeks peak

Upon arrival at Moth Lake, we stashed some weight and set out for the seldom climbed Hoof Peak. Dustin couldnt stomach leaving 1000' of prominence all the way out there. A straightforward ascent up talus, heather, some larchy terrain, some pumice, and a short class 3 scramble took us less than an hour from the lake. This peak's position on the Suiattle-Napeequa Divide supports some stellar views, especially of the Dakobed Range.
our route up Hoof
our route up Hoof
standard terrain high on Hoof
standard terrain high on Hoof
the goats constructed a trail for us across the talus here
the goats constructed a trail for us across the talus here
Napeequa Peak and some others
Napeequa Peak and some others
Clark, Luahna, and Chalangin
Clark, Luahna, and Chalangin
The Moth Glacier, Neyah Pt, and Tenpeak
The Moth Glacier, Neyah Pt, and Tenpeak
flora
flora

We had ascended Hoof via the SW slopes, but decided to drop the south ridge to see a different side of the mountain. It did not take long to get back to our stashed gear at Moth Lake. We had lunch and some coffee, packed up, and ascended 1000' of fun polished slabs before gearing up for another 1000' up the Moth Glacier to Neyah Point.
nice find on the south ridge of Hoof Peak
nice find on the south ridge of Hoof Peak
Moth Lake
Moth Lake
Dustin with Hoof
Dustin with Hoof
fun terrain climbing towards the upper Moth
fun terrain climbing towards the upper Moth
nearing Neyah
nearing Neyah
final scramble to Neyah Pt
final scramble to Neyah Pt
Tenpeak and West Tenpeak from Neyah Pt
Tenpeak and West Tenpeak from Neyah Pt

From here, the terrain got harder. We harnessed up for what looked like a surprisingly technical descent off Neyah Point to upper Thunder Basin. We traversed back east along the ridge crest to access a wide but steep ramp that would get us 150' down the south side of the ridge. Some scary traversing along super exposed grass and heather ended in cliffed out terrain. 2 rappels off of detached large boulders got us safely to the snowfield below. Those were probably the 2 sketchiest rappels I have ever done, and back to back!
dont slip here
dont slip here
off
off
looking back up our descent off Neyah Pt
looking back up our descent off Neyah Pt

It was now late afternoon, and time for the big boy of the trip, Tenpeak! We traversed some moderate snow slopes and rounded a talusey corner to access the snow finger that would bring us up to the base of the summit tower. We had good cramponing conditions here. We dropped packs at the col and racked up for the technical pitches. Dustin is a much more confident rock climber and more efficient leader than me, so he gunned the rope up. The climb is mostly exposed 4th class with a few more technical sections that probably rate at about 5.4. We didnt summit until maybe 6pm. Dustin placed one nut on the entire climb, but I was happy to have a top rope on a lot of that terrain.
heading for Tenpeak
heading for Tenpeak
Dustin on lead
Dustin on lead
gettin it
gettin it
Tenpeak summitshot
Tenpeak summitshot
views
views
preparing our descent
preparing our descent
the rest of the Dakobed
the rest of the Dakobed

We had spent most of our webbing getting off of Neyah Point, and Tenpeak surprisingly did not have one rappel anchor on the entire mountain. This forced us to rap directly off of the most solid horns of rock that we could find. More sketchy rappels, whoop!
rapping Tenpeak
rapping Tenpeak

Back at the col, we grabbed our packs and headed down. Instead of downclimbed the snow finger, we traversed southerly up along some ledges and slabs and dropped off the ridge on rock to mellower snow below. From there, it was a ten minute walk along snow to a broad bench of pumice that we spotted from the summit. This would make a comfortable home for us for the night and leave us in good position to get our last 2 peaks and exit the next day. We had a more comfortable night here than our first, and enjoyed the last of our rye supply.
looking back at Tenpeak
looking back at Tenpeak
what a place
what a place
a moody evening from the bivy
a moody evening from the bivy

We got up earlier on Thursday morning and it looked to be a beautiful day. We were cramponing up firm morning snow towards the south ridge of West Tenpeak at 7am.
West Tenpeak from our bivy
West Tenpeak from our bivy
good morning
good morning
rolling out
rolling out
the cliffs of West Tenpeak
the cliffs of West Tenpeak
Bonanza
Bonanza

A little bit of steep snow and some class 3 scrambling got us onto the awesome south ridge of West Tenpeak. What a walk in the sky that is up there. We identified where we would later want to drop off the west side of the ridge and dropped our packs there, harnessed up once again, and headed towards the summit.
nice morning stroll
nice morning stroll
a nice morning in the GPW
a nice morning in the GPW
Kololo
Kololo
the Tenpeaks
the Tenpeaks

The technical terrain on West Tenpeak isnt as lengthy as it is on the main peak but man is it airy! We roped up for a class 4 spine on questionable rock with insane exposure on both sides. Super fun stretch of climbing there. After that, the terrain eases briefly, followed by a short pitch of low 5th, and West Tenpeak glory.
Dustin on lead again
Dustin on lead again
looking down on part of our route from the day before
looking down on part of our route from the day before
West Tenpeak summitshot
West Tenpeak summitshot
Tenpeak and Neyah Point
Tenpeak and Neyah Point
Eldorado and Dome
Eldorado and Dome
wet but signable
wet but signable
an elite crew
an elite crew
but we were third party in 2020
but we were third party in 2020

One short rappel and some belayed down climbing got us back to easier terrain and our packs. We then dropped the class 3 rib that took us to the West Tenpeak-Hive saddle. We traversed around The Hive's south slope, making a short detour to tag the summit. What position!
coming down West Tenpeak
coming down West Tenpeak
a cool register to be able to sign
a cool register to be able to sign
our green dots
our green dots
West Tenpeak
West Tenpeak

Some easy but firm snow slopes brought us back down to the Honeycomb Glacier, and we hauled up to the Honeycomb-White River saddle with beers on our minds. One last tiring ascent up to the White River-White Chuck saddle and it was mostly downhill for 13 or so more miles to the car.
Dustin and Kololo
Dustin and Kololo
our last bit of gain
our last bit of gain

Dustin is a talented mountaineer, and Im very thankful for his partnership and ridiculous pace setting for this trip. It instantly became one of my favorite trips ever.

~43 miles
~13,500 feet of gain
~3 days
~150/200
cool.gif
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostSat Aug 15, 2020 2:03 pm 
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Splendid trip! You are getting it done this season, just like you expressed you would back in, what, March, when the restrictions first began.
Fletcher wrote:
rough terrain
rough terrain


The extent of the retreat of the Honeycomb Glacier shown by this trimline particularly in the right background is astounding, rivaling for drama the smaller nearby but nearly-gone White Chuck Glacier.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Bosterson
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PostSat Aug 15, 2020 3:38 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
gettin it
gettin it

Great video as always (and thanks for introducing me to HVOB with one of your previous vids!). I love the trail runner foot jam, that looks like a blast. Out of curiosity, were you using a single rope doubled in twin mode? (That's how it looked in the vid.) How was pulling the rope for the raps where you had it looped directly around a rock??

Quote:
what a place
what a place

Epic!  up.gif

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Follow the river until it turns to ice. Follow the ice until it turns to rock. Follow the rock until it turns to sky. Then we will be there.
--Woodrow Wilson Sayre
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Fletcher
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PostSat Aug 15, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Bosterson wrote:
Out of curiosity, were you using a single rope doubled in twin mode? (That's how it looked in the vid.) How was pulling the rope for the raps where you had it looped directly around a rock?

Yep, we had a 7.9mm 60m rope that we doubled up. The idea behind that is that it strengthens the skinny rope used for climbing and you also have a backup in case something happens to one strand of rope.

No stuck ropes on this trip, thankfully!
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Dustin Trails
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PostSat Aug 15, 2020 5:07 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
Dustin placed one nut on the entire climb, but I was happy to have a top rope on a lot of that terrain.

The rack for Tenpeak is one DMM Wallnut size 11  smile.gif

Bosterson wrote:
How was pulling the rope for the raps where you had it looped directly around a rock??

It is never my favorite option to rap directly off of a horn with no sling, for a variety of reasons.  These routes at least had some good horns, but pay attention to which side you want to pull.

Great trip idea on Fletcher's part!  It was a pleasure to turn some red dots green with you.
Descending the Honeycomb
Descending the Honeycomb
Tenpeak Mountain from Neyah Point
Tenpeak Mountain from Neyah Point
White River Glacier
White River Glacier
Frosty boots on Kopeetah Divide
Frosty boots on Kopeetah Divide
Dakobed Range from Hoof Peak
Dakobed Range from Hoof Peak
Fletcher ascending the Moth Glacier
Fletcher ascending the Moth Glacier
Fletcher nearing the top of Neyah Point
Fletcher nearing the top of Neyah Point
West Tenpeak at sunrise
West Tenpeak at sunrise
A friendlier bivy and calmer morning
A friendlier bivy and calmer morning
West Tenpeak's West Ridge
West Tenpeak's West Ridge
Glacier Peak behind West Tenpeak
Glacier Peak behind West Tenpeak
Final moments of slogging the Honeycomb Glacier
Final moments of slogging the Honeycomb Glacier
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backpacker92out
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PostSun Aug 16, 2020 1:41 am 
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Excellent TR and route. I had something extremely similar in the pipe that was suppose to happen earlier this year but bad weather forecast pushed me toward the Wallowas.

Now that I've researched the honeycomb glacier a bit more I've realized that everyone who does that section doesn't rope up. Is the glacier pretty inactive? We were going to bring ropes for that section (never been there before).

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My Hiking Youtube Channel
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silence
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PostSun Aug 16, 2020 7:24 am 
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Stunning in so many ways!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Bob Dylan
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RichP
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PostSun Aug 16, 2020 12:09 pm 
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backpacker92out wrote:
Now that I've researched the honeycomb glacier a bit more I've realized that everyone who does that section doesn't rope up. Is the glacier pretty inactive?

In places it's so flat that there are no obvious crevasses. It's still a glacier though and could have hidden dangers. Here's a view from an Aug 2012 trip to illustrate how flat it is.

Honeycomb
Honeycomb

I stepped off the side onto some rocks to wait while my partner ascended the Hive and you can see that there are indeed some crevasses under a layer of snow.

Looking into the bowels of the Honeycomb Glacier
Looking into the bowels of the Honeycomb Glacier

Great trip and report, Fletcher and Dustin.
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backpacker92out
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PostSun Aug 16, 2020 1:11 pm 
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RichP wrote:
backpacker92out wrote:
Now that I've researched the honeycomb glacier a bit more I've realized that everyone who does that section doesn't rope up. Is the glacier pretty inactive?

In places it's so flat that there are no obvious crevasses. It's still a glacier though and could have hidden dangers. Here's a view from an Aug 2012 trip to illustrate how flat it is.


I stepped off the side onto some rocks to wait while my partner ascended the Hive and you can see that there are indeed some crevasses under a layer of snow.

Thank you for the response! Gives some insight to the glacier. That is a pretty paccked meaty layer of snow

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Dustin Trails
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PostWed Aug 19, 2020 6:18 pm 
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Bosterson wrote:
Out of curiosity, were you using a single rope doubled in twin mode?

For clarity, it is a twin rated rope doubled over.  It is not rated as a single rope.  I was adding some pictures to my previous reply and re-read this comment.  Just wanted to make sure it was all clear!
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Bosterson
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PostWed Aug 19, 2020 10:15 pm 
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Dustin Trails wrote:
Bosterson wrote:
Out of curiosity, were you using a single rope doubled in twin mode?

For clarity, it is a twin rated rope doubled over.  It is not rated as a single rope.  I was adding some pictures to my previous reply and re-read this comment.  Just wanted to make sure it was all clear!

Thanks. I figured that once Fletcher said it was a 7.9, and makes more sense for weight purposes. Single/double/twins are a thing (I have one in 9.2) and I at first assumed it must be one of those because who wanders around with just one full length twin rope?  wink.gif

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Follow the river until it turns to ice. Follow the ice until it turns to rock. Follow the rock until it turns to sky. Then we will be there.
--Woodrow Wilson Sayre
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Dustin Trails
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PostWed Aug 19, 2020 11:08 pm 
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Bosterson wrote:
Thanks. I figured that once Fletcher said it was a 7.9, and makes more sense for weight purposes. Single/double/twins are a thing (I have one in 9.2) and I at first assumed it must be one of those because who wanders around with just one full length twin rope? wink.gif

I have found it to be a really great tool for long distance objectives with easy, short sections of climbing.  You only get 30m pitches, but on the bright side also 30m rappels (vs. my old practice of bringing a 40m or 50m single).  So then the final game time decision is always red or purple???  It usually depends on my outfit  cool.gif
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Michael Lewis
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 10:51 am 
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I thought about heading up there but too much smoke
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Tenpeak Mountain Circuit ~ August 11-13, 2020
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