Forum Index > Trip Reports > Graybeard 6-26-10
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cartman
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cartman
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PostMon Jun 28, 2010 3:34 pm 
Lots of nwhikers ranging from Easy Pass to Washington Pass area this weekend for the great weather: Big Snagtooth: Magnum, twodogdad, and Mesahchie Mark 6/26 Cutthroat: loper 6/26 Arches: Dave Creeden 6/26 Graybeard: Matt, dicey, fwb2, and cartman 6/26 Early Morning, New Morning: fwb2 6/26 Wallaby: Matt 6/26-6/27 Repulse: Dave Creeden, dicey, fwb2, and cartman 6/27 Graybeard is the very symmetrical pyramid viewed directly ahead when driving east on Hwy 20 approaching Easy Pass. Often mistaken for Black Peak or some other mtn. Matt, Dave, dicey, fwb2 and I met at the Easy Pass TH Friday night to get an early start on Graybeard the next day. The moonrise was one of the brightest I've ever seen, and the night was clear and not too cold. Dave got up much earlier to do the farther Arches (Little Johannesburg). The rest of us hit the trail to Easy Pass, 3700' around 8am under clear and sunny skies. Continuous snow ~4700'. Snow was firm and easy going all the way to the pass.
Up to Easy Pass
Up to Easy Pass
Mare's tails
Mare's tails
We hung out here for a good hour, enjoying the scenery from Fisher all the way to the Inspiration Traverse in the far distance. From the pass we ascended slopes towards the false summit then traversed onto the SW slope at ~6800'. We dropped 200' into the bowl and had a choice: go up the long couloir to high on the ridge or gain the ridge much lower and to the right under a large hanging cornice.
Left or right?
Left or right?
As we had read that there was 4th class to get past on the other side of the couloir, we elected to traverse quickly under the cornice. fwb2 led out, and we all gained the snow ledge under the cornice and walked this 20' to the nose of the ridge. Spectacular!
Cornices
Cornices
Cornice route
Cornice route
Up to the snow ledge
Up to the snow ledge
Mesahchie, Cub, and Kitling
Mesahchie, Cub, and Kitling
Matt and Carla on the snow ledge
Matt and Carla on the snow ledge
Looking back from the ledge
Looking back from the ledge
We walked the South Ridge then Slope, staying on the major snow face higher up and away from the rocky areas to the right. Skirting under the rock band which was on the skyline when viewed from below, we traversed over to where the snow gave way to rock. Several parties reported anywhere from a 10' to 30' section of 4th class here that some used a rope for. This is probably a more difficult section when snow-free. Since there was still snow up against the nose, we encountered only a 10' section of 4th class on solid rock, and the rope and gear never left our packs. From here on it was a straightforward scramble to the 7965' summit. Views were unobstructed in all directions.
Repulse, Black Pk behind
Repulse, Black Pk behind
Logan, Inspiration, Mesahchie & Matt
Logan, Inspiration, Mesahchie & Matt
Logan, Arches, Eldorado
Logan, Arches, Eldorado
Golden Horn, Hardy, Tower
Golden Horn, Hardy, Tower
Summit shot
Summit shot
Interestingly, Graybeard has two summit registers: one from 1990 in a glass jar, and Fay's from 2006 in a plastic pipe which had gotten wet. We signed the earlier one and left Fay's out to dry. Coming back we checked out the couloir and found no 4th class, only good snow, so decided to drop down that way back to the bowl.
Our route down the couloir
Our route down the couloir
Snow conditions were still quite good and we made quick time to Easy Pass. Matt left first to go camp on the summit of Wallaby. fwb2 headed up to do Early Morning on the other side of the pass. dicey and I met Dave at the pass and we headed out together. Graybeard is a fun peak in a spectacular location. Highly recommended! 10 miles, 4500' gain Eric J. Johnson

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Layback
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007
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Layback
Mariner's Fanatic!!!
PostMon Jun 28, 2010 3:57 pm 
Nice work. Can't wait to see some pics. If you want to add to the list, I was out there on Friday scoping out conditions for Snagtooth but chose Maude instead. wink.gif clown.gif

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Huron
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Huron
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PostMon Jun 28, 2010 9:09 pm 
Exciting! Thanks for the pics & report.

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loper
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Location: seeking the sun
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PostMon Jun 28, 2010 10:06 pm 
ah so that is where everyone was this weekend! we saw Franklin and I think Matt's cars on the side of the road but that is it. Was a good weekend in the mountains! Lisa

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iron
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iron
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PostTue Jun 29, 2010 12:21 am 
pretty convenient ledge!

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Jun 29, 2010 12:27 am 
The crack bottoms out shortly above the edge to mid 5th, not hard but a challenge in mountaineering boots hockeygrin.gif

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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dicey
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Joined: 11 May 2004
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Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
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PostTue Jun 29, 2010 10:53 am 
And here are some more shots from a beautiful day in the North Cascades:
looking towards Easy Pass
looking towards Easy Pass
A false summit of Graybeard and Fisher from Easy Pass
A false summit of Graybeard and Fisher from Easy Pass
Basin below Graybeard showing our ascent and descent routes
Basin below Graybeard showing our ascent and descent routes
Matt and cool clouds
Matt and cool clouds
the tack and Fisher
the tack and Fisher
Eric and Matt below
Eric and Matt below
Matt and Eric and Fisher Cr. Valley
Matt and Eric and Fisher Cr. Valley
Franklin above the notch
Franklin above the notch
SR20 below
SR20 below
Oh my Goode!
Oh my Goode!
one of the Graybeard registers
one of the Graybeard registers
Franklin improves the summit cairn
Franklin improves the summit cairn
down the exit gully
down the exit gully
contrails and fisher cr. valley
contrails and fisher cr. valley

I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages. http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Matt
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Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostTue Jul 06, 2010 12:07 am 
Graybeard 7965. 6/26/10
We began with the usual hike up to Easy Pass, passing form dry trail to snow about halfway up. This would make my 6th trip to Easy Pass. It was the first trail I ever hiked in the Cascades, on a family vacation from Illinois in the 1970s. Then I returned for trips to Ragged Ridge (Kimtah, Cosho, Katsuk & Mesachie), Silent Lakes (Fisher, Arriva & Arches), Logan, & Kitling. If successful, Graybeard today would be the last of the significant peaks Ive wanted to reach from Easy Pass.
At Easy pass looking toward Graybeard & Little Tack
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At Easy pass looking toward Graybeard & Little Tack
From Easy Pass, the summit of Graybeard is hidden behind a sub-summit, but off to the right is a view of the route. A dark rock triangle is Little Tack. The route goes up the ridge of Graybeard to about 6800 feet, then traverses and drops 200 feet into the large basin (snow now, talus later) north of Graybeard. Snow was crampon hard descending to the basin. In the basin, we faced a route choice. The usual route crosses the basin to reach a ridge on the far side, but it was corniced. A gully led more directly toward the summit, but I wasnt sure if it actually connected to the summit.
Traversing into the basin (with Katsuk, Mesachie & Kitling in background)
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Traversing into the basin (with Katsuk, Mesachie & Kitling in background)
Route Options, ridge on right or gully in center (later photo)
Route Options, ridge on right or gully in center (later photo)
We chose the ridge, but it was steeper than it looked. At least the cornice was more of a wall than an overhang in this section.
Franklin coming up to under the cornice
Franklin coming up to under the cornice
The ledge under the cornice
The ledge under the cornice
Coming out of the cornice ledge.  Ridge we ascended is behind on right.  Gully we descended is behind in center.
Coming out of the cornice ledge. Ridge we ascended is behind on right. Gully we descended is behind in center.
The rest of the route went smoothly up the ridge and a wide gully left of the crest.
Traversing up the ridge onto the Little Tack  Graybeard col (looking back up Fisher Creek toward Logan)
Traversing up the ridge onto the Little Tack Graybeard col (looking back up Fisher Creek toward Logan)
Ascending the ridge (Arriva & Arches in background)
Ascending the ridge (Arriva & Arches in background)
Further ascending the ridge
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Further ascending the ridge
Puffy clouds over the summit
Puffy clouds over the summit
At the top was the famous notch with a junky ledge. It was actually fairly easy, but maybe because snow came right up to the notch. Then a brief scramble led to the summit.
The ledge by the notch (taken on return)
The ledge by the notch (taken on return)
Franklin on summit
Franklin on summit
Views were expansive:
Graybeard summit panorama from southeast to northwest
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Graybeard summit panorama from southeast to northwest
Icecap Traverse
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Icecap Traverse
Black with Repulse & Fisher in front of it
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Black with Repulse & Fisher in front of it
We hung around for an hour or so. Franklin entertained himself by building a cairn. Carla entertained herself by throwing rocks onto the cornice. I enjoyed my tea. Im not sure how Eric entertained himself.
Graybeard summit group
Graybeard summit group
Summit tea & Fisher Creek
Summit tea & Fisher Creek
Summit cairn
Summit cairn
Throwing rocks on the cornice
Throwing rocks on the cornice
Summit tea looking toward Silent Lakes Col
Summit tea looking toward Silent Lakes Col
For descent, it turned out that the notch was the top of the gully, so we could walk down snow all the way to the basin. The snow had warmed enough to plunge step without crampons.
Franklin descending the gully
Franklin descending the gully
Further down the gully
Further down the gully
Looking the rest of the way down the gully
Looking the rest of the way down the gully
Back in the basin (with one hiker still high in the gully)
Back in the basin (with one hiker still high in the gully)
The descent went so fast that I decided to also climb Wallaby that evening. Statistics: Granite Creek 3550, Easy Pass 6500, Graybeard 7965. Cumulative gain 4900, 9 hours.

As beacons mountains burned at evening. J.R.R. Tolkien
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fwb
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Location: Mukilteo, WA
fwb
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PostTue Jul 06, 2010 11:03 am 
Nice images Matt (as your usual). Thanks for adding to the TR. Had to look again and now I want to go back... smile.gif

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silence
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PostThu Jul 08, 2010 7:31 am 
as always ... great work, tr and pix you guys ..

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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