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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Huckleberry Mountain/East Face

Beautiful alpine climb!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Steep, hard snow in places along the PCT--use caution, ice axe and crampons if appropriate.

July 5-6, 2017 --Four of us departed Commonwealth Basin trailhead at approximately 3:15 p.m.. The trail was mostly clear with just a few trees and the creek had a log and big enough rocks to get across without getting wet.  Once across the Kendal Catwalk we encountered snow at regular intervals but nothing too steep.  We arrived at a mostly frozen Ridge Lake at 7:00 p.m.  Snow cover made it difficult to find flat bare spots; slightly sloping was the best we could do! Mosquitos and flies were annoying and left some welts.  Bring your bug juice!

Departed camp at 6:10 a.m.  Steep, hard snow along the trail and hazards in the runout slowed us down some.  The PCT, passing Joe Lake, takes you right to the east ridge of Huckleberry.  We overshot the ridge a bit and instead of backtracking just went up a hundred feet of steep snow (needed crampons here) to gain the base of the scramble.  It was 9:00 a.m.

Two full rope lengths following the ridge were used to establish a handline for everyone to prusik.  Friable rock was difficult to protect. 3rd-4th class. At the minor bench at the top of the second rope length we left the ridge, dropping to the left side and scrambled up (3rd class) to an intermediate north/south ridge in front of what was the summit. From the top here you can see the rightward down-sloping ramp.  At the center of this is a slight right-sloping crack that is your 5th class route to the summit. We down climbed into the notch.  Rock was solid going down into the notch and on the final pitch to the summit.  Used double slings to extend protection on slung trees on first two pitches (used a #1 cam on pitch 1 to protect a steeper face).  On pitch two used #1 lower and .5 cam and #6 nut on the 5th class section.  First arrived on the summit at 12:00 p.m. two people prusiked the rope; the fourth person was belayed.  Hung out on the summit until 1:15 p.m. 

Rappelled off the summit (slings on pile of boulder/rocks) to the notch and scrambled/down climbed to the rappel station at the top of the first rope length.  It doesn't quite take you all the way to the bottom with a 60 meter rope, but the last bit was easy down climbing.  It was close to 3 p.m. as I recall before we reached the bottom of the climb and were headed back to camp. 

Stopped to get water in the rock/heather/snow covered basin off the SE side.  Conditions on the hard snow along the trail did not improve in the heat of the day so slow and cautious travel was necessary.  We took a brief side trip to Alaska Mountain but only went to the false summit. We were back at camp around 7 or so and on the trail around 8.  We returned to the cars at about 11 p.m. 

The snow and setting handlines would make this a better 3-day trip.  We had one member in which this was his 20th Snoqualmie Peak--congratulations Peter!  An enjoyable climb into a beautiful area with a fun group!

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