Forum Index > Trip Reports > Spickard, Rahm, Custer ~~ June 29 to July 1 2019
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
freddyfredpants
saucy



Joined: 08 Jul 2018
Posts: 40 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
freddyfredpants
saucy
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 1:18 pm 
Trans-border adventuring was had from Saturday to Monday ticking the easier Bulgers in the area. After picking up a NCNP permit in Sedro-Wooley around 9 I got to the hard stuff on Depot Creek Road around noon. Feeling overconfident with all the complaints about the road yet thinking "this isn't so bad" I passed a responsible parking spot located about 100 ft off a right-hand spur. I was soon faced with a couple of rocks on which I was not willing to risk destroying an Outback in order to (maybe) pass. By 1 pm I had ended up delicately turning the car around on a road with no turnaround spots and retreated to the parking spot, turns out only a mere 10 minute walk distant. I headed up the road and passed a Jeep that was parked at the last decent spot. I guess that's the trail head. Only later did I realize I should have made a hard left uphill near a clearing. The wrong road suckered me in and I passed a few people from the jeep with big packs. This filled me with confidence, safety of the herd. We followed flagging until reaching a clearing in open forest when they took a pause, saying something vague about this is as far as they've ever come and that the trail petered out ahead. Nonsense I thought, this goes all the way to the top. I pressed on as the trail petered out. Almost 2 hours after leaving the car I arrived at marker 65, with the added bonus of thrashing about 100 yards east along the boundary mow line. The trail past the NCNP sign was in occasionally good shape but with a few logjams and brushy patches. After half a mile I missed a turn, suckered in this time by an "obvious" straight section which faded after 50 feet or so. On my return I augmented the pile of sticks to "close" it. I think a lot of people miss this hard right turn. I went about a mile in mostly open mossy forest until picking up the trail again. Turns out the section I missed on the up track had at least half a dozen nasty logjams. It stays pretty close to the north bank of Depot Creek and features a huckleberry brush car wash. After reaching the delicious trail I found it pretty obvious to the waterfall, with the occasional brushy overgrown stretch to keep it honest. Above the waterfall was also obvious, and well-cairned where it needed to be. After passing a marsh it was tedious but steady progress to Ouzel Lake, arriving 7 hours after leaving the car.
NE face of Redoubt
NE face of Redoubt
Ouzel Lake and NW Mox
Ouzel Lake and NW Mox
From my bivy spot I headed up around 6 am, taking a direct snow finger from the lake to access the west bowl of Spickard. Above that was great cramponing to the saddle between Spickard and Solitude. The snow on the other side was beginning to soften in the sun, but I did find a little more shaded fun snow in a SSW chute which took me to the talus and snow on the left side of the SE face, then on to the summit.
Looking from Ouzel Lake towards Spickard - the direct snow finger is towards left of image.
Looking from Ouzel Lake towards Spickard - the direct snow finger is towards left of image.
Shaded and chilly side of Spickard
Shaded and chilly side of Spickard
South from top of Spickard
South from top of Spickard
From there I wanted to go directly to Rahm and was pleased to see the N facing Silver Glacier in good shape. I carefully downclimbed the snow from the summit and made my way the edge of the bergschrund on skiers left. After passing that it was more or less straight down to near the edge of Silver Lake. I made an ascending traverse to the bench on the S side of Custer Ridge and plodded towards the Rahm cliff band. An improbable looking gully visible on approach yielded a more probable hidden short gully to the left. A couple of loose heads up moves were made easier with some lazy dry tooling. Shortly after 2 I was on the top of Rahm.
Silver Glacier
Silver Glacier
Rahm and Devils Tongue looming over Silver Lake
Rahm and Devils Tongue looming over Silver Lake
The gully I took on Rahm.  Get in there and make a left.  Piece of cake.
The gully I took on Rahm. Get in there and make a left. Piece of cake.
Spickard and Silver Lake
Spickard and Silver Lake
Following a long break and a nap I planned to continue on to Devils Tongue. Tantalizingly close to Rahm, it is separated from by a huge cleft requiring an E Ridge approach for the gearless. The lack of straightforward access from the Silver Lake Basin makes for a circuitous trek to reach it. I decided to check out whether from the N ridge of Rahm it might be possible to drop down to McNaugh Creek and contour around 6000' to reach to gain the east ridge of DT. The trick is getting into that cirque without losing too much elevation. I had spotted a potentially usable gully on the S side, but from the perspective of Rahm's summit couldn't tell if it would go. I plunge-stepped down the N face of Rahm and exited the snow on a loose and sketchy prow to gain ledges leading to a talus-filled saddle at 7000'. I dropped down to the top of the gully at about 6700' to have a a look and weigh my options. While I didn't totally like look the gully, I really didn't like the look of the weather. Earlier I had seen rain to the south from the summit, and now I observed it was becoming quite dark towards the east. When I saw a lightning strike NE of Ross Lake around 4:30 I figured it wouldn't improve. I decided to set up a bivy site, thinking I could go after DT in the morning. As I was completing my preparations the first drops began to fall, and they did not stop for 4 hours. Once the rain stopped finally I could get something for dinner.
From summit, N face of Rahm
From summit, N face of Rahm
Looking NE from top of Rahm.  The broken snowy finger seemed like a possible route to access the upper reaches of McNaugh cirque.
Looking NE from top of Rahm. The broken snowy finger seemed like a possible route to access the upper reaches of McNaugh cirque.
Dammit
Dammit
Dammit
Dammit
Well rested after all the laying around I got up at 4 to wait for the sun to warm things up. When it was light enough I went over to have a look at the gully again from the knoll to its east. I thought about how long it might take to solve the route problem to DT, climb it, return, and how any delay might negatively affect the trip I had planned for later that week. After some deliberation I decided that DT would have to wait for another day so I packed up to head to Custer. I wasn't too keen on the ridge traverse so I opted to traverse the Maselpanik Glacier along its north side. After returning to the saddle I descended an easy talus and scree ramp to reach the snow. After a while I was at the ridge between Custer Ridge and Camp Peak. Custer Glacier reaches appealingly all the way to the west ridge. After a brief downscramble on looseness I reached the snow. I contoured to the main flow and headed up. I avoided a few large crevasses and eventually found myself at the top of the snow. Following a short ridge scramble I was at the summit.
Maselpanik Glacier from N of Rahm
Maselpanik Glacier from N of Rahm
Looking back towards N Ridge of Rahm
Looking back towards N Ridge of Rahm
Custer Glacier
Custer Glacier
Successful minimization of choss travel was had by using so much glacier.
Successful minimization of choss travel was had by using so much glacier.
My original plan was to descend the S ridge and return to Ouzel Lake, but then I had a look at the succession of bowls to the SW which got me thinking. The map showed "only" a few steep sections in between the outlet of those bowls and the top of the waterfall, so I decided to give it a go. I descended eons of talus and scree, then flew down the snow punctuated by a few breaks of talus. At the outlet I was happy to see fairly open terrain. I went down further on the scree and talus to reach a vegetated avy ramp where I knew I would be treated to my most favorite activity: descending an unknown ridge using animal trails. Aided by modern technological marvels I successfully reached the top of the waterfall 2 hours later.
Direct SW bowls from Custer
Direct SW bowls from Custer
Choss dawgin
Choss dawgin
Redoubt watching over final scree slopes returning me to heather and forest
Redoubt watching over final scree slopes returning me to heather and forest
After the previous night's rain the falls seemed quite a bit rowdier than a couple days prior. Those hand lines are awesome. Since reaching heather the mosquitos had been relentless. Below the falls I stopped in a stream's breeze for at least 30 minutes to enjoy their absence and switch to trail runners. The trail was a little more pleasant on the way out, back at the car about 7 hours after leaving the top of Custer.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
rbuzby
Attention Surplus



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 1011 | TRs | Pics
rbuzby
Attention Surplus
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 2:49 pm 
Nice pics! TRs like this are the only time I wish Canada did not exist. Not enough suffering on that approach. Back in my day, it was over 20 miles to get up there through Hannegan pass, and it was uphill both ways. And we used to call them "The North Cascades". Redoubt is such a great mountain. Very important. Beautiful.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
awilsondc
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2016
Posts: 1324 | TRs | Pics
awilsondc
Member
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 3:41 pm 
Good stuff Fred! I ran across your peakbagger page while researching the other day... You've been on a tear this year! Keep it up! up.gif up.gif rocker.gif

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Jake Robinson
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Aug 2016
Posts: 521 | TRs | Pics
Jake Robinson
Member
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 4:19 pm 
awilsondc wrote:
Good stuff Fred! I ran across your peakbagger page while researching the other day... You've been on a tear this year! Keep it up! up.gif up.gif rocker.gif
Right! I was gonna say...Fred has done more than his fair share of mountain suffering lately, it was probably nice to have a fairly easy approach for a change! Great pics and nice creative route to get back to the falls!

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
raising3hikers
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 2344 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
Member
PostTue Jul 02, 2019 6:08 pm 
I like your idea to try and get devil's tongue from that way, sorry it didn't happen. nice trip anyways getting 3 good pks

Eric Eames
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Spickard, Rahm, Custer ~~ June 29 to July 1 2019
  Happy Birthday treasureblue, CascadeSportsCarClub, PYB78, nut lady!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum