Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Spickard - June 5-7, 2015
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



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Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostSun Jun 07, 2015 10:35 pm 
Spickard Video Link

Our plan was an assault on Custer, Rahm and Spickard.  We hiked up the Depot Creek trail on Friday to the base of the slick waterfall slabs.  They were not as tricky or exposed as some descriptions had led us to believe.  Above the waterfall we ascended steep scree to reach an upper basin.  The creek kept us pinned against the left side of the valley.  Remnants of trail remained.  The lower ramparts of Redoubt loomed above us.  At the head of the valley we scrambled over loose boulders and moraine type rock piles until we reached Lake Ouzel.  Jacob and Fletcher set up their bivy sacks while Heather and I situated ourselves in her one pound single person tent.

lower falls
lower falls
Heather bushwhacking
Heather bushwhacking
waterfall slabs
waterfall slabs
Redoubt
Redoubt

Above the Lake an upper shelf supported a receding glacier and above that was "Easy Mox".  We could also see Spickard above and part of Custer Ridge.  A half hour after we reached camp, an entire snowfield high on Custer let go and came cascading down the face.  It was the second largest avalanche I have ever seen and it was directly above us.   eek.gif   Heather asked, "Is it going to reach us?".  It looked as though it might, but thankfully it slowed and then stopped.

"Solitude"
"Solitude"
"Lemolo and Hard Mox"
"Lemolo and Hard Mox"
Col of the Wild
Col of the Wild

The next morning I was dismayed to find that a mouse had chewed a big hole into the center of one of my sandwiches.   mad.gif   From camp we ascended half way to Silver Pass and then turned right and climbed snow up to the col between Spickard and "Solitude".  We passed through the col and traversed on the south face until we came to an easy spot to reach the upper southwest ridge.  Holy crap!  Look at the Moxs!!!  I had always wanted to get a closer view of these beasts.  And to the south we could see Jack.  We were slightly bummed to see that the Nohokomeen route was already out of shape.  There was some loose class 3 and a narrow section before we came to the summit.  According to peakbagger.com, this was my 700th peak.

Custer
Custer
Custer and Rahm
Custer and Rahm
Redoubt
Redoubt

We signed in and scoped out the route over to Rahm.  Silver Lake down below was still mostly frozen over.  I looked down at the Silver Glacier and it made me half-wish we had carried up a rope.  It would be so much quicker to descend directly to Silver Lake on the way to Rahm.  Instead we retraced our route back to the gulley below Silver Pass.  Then Jacob decided to return to camp.  The rest of us went up to the pass.  Wow!  Devils Tongue looks amazing...  At the Pass Fletcher also decided to return to camp because of chafing issues.

Devils Tongue and Silver Lake
Devils Tongue and Silver Lake
Rahm
Rahm

Heather and I continued down part way to Silver Lake before turning back up-slope to reach the upper bench below Custer.  We traversed half way to Rahm when Heather spotted what appeared to be a bear.  It turned out to be several goats.  4 Nanny goats with 4 new baby kids.  They were frantic to escape from us, the approaching predators.  I realized there might be a problem.  This bench turned into dead end below the gullies which allow access to the upper slopes of Rahm.  As they tried to flee they came to the gullies we were aiming for.  The new baby kids were not able to ascend the gullies.  They were trapped.

Spickard
Spickard

As we came closer, the goats displayed their fortitude.  We were several hundred yards below the class4/5 gully and one Nanny stood at the entrance, stamping her fore legs at us.  For a moment it looked like she might charge down on us.  Below the snow slope we were on was a large cliff and below that, Silver Lake.  We talked briefly about our options and decided not to continue further to the Class 3 Gully knowing that there were likely several defensive mothers trapped there with their young.  Heather was super bummed.  We were so close and how lame to be turned around by goats.   bawl.gif

strange creature in our camp
strange creature in our camp

We made the long traverse back toward the pass and discussed trying Custer, but my stoke was already lost and I pointed out several sections on the ridge above which appeared to be badly corniced.  There was nothing left to do but descend to camp.  We spent another night in the lovely alpine setting and then headed out the next morning.  The waterfall slabs were much more slippery in the morning shade and we all got soaked by the spray.  It was awesome.   tongue.gif

Redoubt
Redoubt
sketchy crossing
sketchy crossing
washed out road
washed out road

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Fletcher
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PostSun Jun 07, 2015 10:35 pm 
along the Canadian side of Depot Creek
along the Canadian side of Depot Creek
border swath
border swath
Depot Creek in NCNP
Depot Creek in NCNP
grizz?
grizz?
creek crossing below Depot Creek Falls
creek crossing below Depot Creek Falls
awww :wub:
awww wub.gif
awesome
awesome
The Moxes from above Lake Ouzel
The Moxes from above Lake Ouzel
nearing the summit
nearing the summit
Redoubt
Redoubt
Adam descending off Spickard
Adam descending off Spickard
back into Canada
back into Canada

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jun 07, 2015 10:49 pm 
Nice

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Jetlag
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PostSun Jun 07, 2015 11:12 pm 
Wonderful video and pictures!

Love the shots of Lemolo!

Brings back great memories . . . except for those Ouzel Lake mice and the handline descending the slippery, moss-covered rock below the waterfall.

Congratulations on Peak 700.

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Distel32
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 6:08 am 
up.gif

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iron
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iron
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 9:11 am 
looks nice up there.

we also noticed the nohokomeen route on jack is out - long out. it was probably a no-go this year by the 2nd week of may.

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mike
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 9:44 am 
Gimpilator wrote:
We hiked up the Depot Creek trail on Friday to the base of the slick waterfall slabs.  They were not as tricky or exposed as some descriptions had led us to believe.  Above the waterfall we ascended....... Remnants of trail remained.

This is a new trail that didn't exist that many years ago. See this recent thread. When we first attempted it it was an avalanche alder bash.

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Michael Lewis
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 11:33 am 
Great story! It's a bummer that Nohokomeen is out. Despite missing out on Custer and Rahm, that trip still looks cool. Actually, the way you missed out in of itself sounds like a good story. I thought I had an amazing time up Olympus with Matt Lemke but looking at your photos and video I can't help but be a little jealous. And way to go on  joining the 700 club!! cool.gif

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jboealps
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 11:40 am 
There has been a National Park Trail from the end of the Depot Creek road for a long time.  I first hiked this trail to the base of the fall in 1987.   The Depot Creek road has continued to deteriorate, but the trail register was there just a couple of years ago.

Great report and Photos

Jerry

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Goats Know
Gravity's Bitch



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Goats Know
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 2:18 pm 
Looks like a great trip.  up.gif  That area is a treasure and Silver lake the biggest gem in the treasure.

Hey, (FWIW) if you are interested in climbing Jack via the Nohokomeen,  I would suggest that you might want to take a look at the north ridge route.  I would guess it is still in shape and will be for a while yet.  It is an excellent alpine route with varied, interesting climbing.  Steep snow and good rock.  It is easily on my top ten list for classic alpine routes.

A quote from a Cascadeclimbers trip report says:

Quote:
“The North Ridge is an excellent line and could become the most popular route on the mountain, save for Beckey's overly-daunting description of the approach.”

I concur. (except I thought that the approach was daunting!  smile.gif)

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Here on this mountaintop...Woahoho...I got some wild, wild life  - Talking Heads
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puzzlr
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 2:36 pm 
Gimpilator wrote:
We were so close and how lame to be turned around by goats.

I don't know about that. I think it makes for a cool story, much nicer than Rahm is as a mountain (although I know you have goal that inevitably includes getting there).

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Mid Fork Rocks • flickr
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gb
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 4:54 pm 
The trail was in very good shape in October of 1978 (28th to 30th) when I climbed the N face of Redoubt. At the time it was said that it was cut clandestinely and against the wishes of the NPS. In May of 1979 Lowell and I went back in over Memorial day and climbed it again. The trail was still in very good shape.

On April 10th of 1983 a few of us went back in and skied the north face of Spickard in perfect powder snow. By that time the trail was badly obstructed by large piles of fallen trees, but still passable with significant detours.

I haven't been back since then.

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mattfirth
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 5:26 pm 
Sounds like a great trip! You and Heather definitely made the right call with the mountain goats. The mountains not going anywhere and you've got a great excuse to get back in there. Good on ya.

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MangyMarmot
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 6:56 pm 
Awesome trip. Great photos. Looks like an amazing area!

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raising3hikers
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PostMon Jun 08, 2015 7:15 pm 
mattfirth wrote:
you've got a great excuse to get back in there

yep, one of my favorite places that i've been to.  below custer, i saw some angry goats, i knew they didn't like me being there

as for descending spickard via the silver glacier, did you try going down the rock rib to the NE for a bit? maybe 400' ft verticle.  that's the way i made it down and it looked much better than going straight to the glacier

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Eric Eames
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