Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Huckleberry Mountain/East Face

Lovely and easy approach on the PCT and the views from the summit are awesome, but the climb itself was mediocre.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Easy parking at the PCT TH.  Privy available.  NW Forest Parking Pass needed.

    We took the Commonwealth Basin shortcut which saved us about a mile.  Easy approach on the PCT and then easy open meadow hiking to the base of the climb.  Encountered a few patches of snow on the PCT which were easy to cross.

There is a lot of good beta on line for this climb and reading Carry and Julie's earlier reports helped also.

Participants arrived camp at Ridge & Gravel Lakes at various times.  It took most about 3.5hrs to reach camp.  We could see our destination once around Kendall Katwalk.29731538948_5592d91d2b_o.jpg
It was a nice evening with few other campers and few bugs.  After a couple treats for Rena's birthday, we called it a day at about 8pm.
The 7 of us started down the PCT for Huckleberry at 6am.  It was a lovely morning with perfect temperatures for hiking.  The views were beautiful and the hiking easy as we were mostly descending while passing Alaska and then Joe Lakes.  Around 2 miles after departing our campsite and not too far past Joe Lake, we arrived on the east side of Huckleberry.  Here we left the PCT after a break and hiked on mostly meadows of heather and alpine blueberry aiming for the grassy shoulder at 6000' where the scrambling/climbing would start.  (Shoulder is on climber's left in this photo.)42697905325_07b676ffd1_o.jpg
We scrambled the first 10' or so and then set up a fixed line.  It would have been nice to do a running belay, but the rock quality was too poor to set much protection.  I belayed Sonja and asked her to go as far as she could.  She used almost a full rope length, mostly slinging a couple trees and a rap ring.   Then all members prusiked up this easy climbing route except me. 41794362260_b0da746c94_o.jpg
We had 4 rope leads and 2-60meter ropes so we sent the rope leads up first so they could set the next fixed line.  Being last, I got belayed up.  (Rena belays me up.)28714693107_a5e93a973f_o.jpgBy the time I reached the anchor, I noticed the group had already scrambled maybe 40' up and Sergey was already leading off on the ridge.  Once the fixed line was set, I tried to pruisk this line but felt uncomfortable making the starting move with approach shoes so backed off.  (Sergey leading off on second pitch in this photo)29732174078_61e9923aa3_o.jpg
I found a ramp that would lead to the same place and decided to go that way.  The rest of the group followed me while 1 Basic was belayed up in order to clean the route.(Scrambling the ramp.  Photo courtesy of Danielle Graham)42884725294_f30915135b_o.jpg
From the ridge it looked like a steep 20' drop off to reach the notch where the last pitch started. But there is a ramp that can take one down easily. (Photo of us zigzagging down the ramp from the ridge.)29732172498_b86b8d1c1e_o.jpg
 Looking down at the notch where the last pitch starts.  (Photo courtesy of Danielle Graham)37676752_10156149437334821_8993498510930214912_n.jpg
I led the last pitch on pretty solid rock.  Up 20' to the slanting ledge (where I used a couple cams on the ledge)  and then traversed over about 30 feet, missing the  class 5 crack totally.  Before I knew it, I was on the south face and up the easy class 4 finish to the summit at around 10:30am.  (Leading off.  Photo courtesy of Danielle Graham)37671616_10156149437314821_8080470463316230144_n.jpg 
It took a while for everyone to prusik up one by one.  The last member was belayed up.  We spent at least a hour on the summit enjoying the stunning views and relaxing.   29732166518_a65dcfa3a6_o.jpg43555086452_598ae1bba3_o.jpgThe rappel anchor was kind of sketchy.  Basically runners around a rock with piles of rock on top.  We added a new sling  and I kept an eye on the anchor as each rappelled back to the notch. (Photo courtesy of Rena Chinn)29733002728_e435951e2f_o.jpgFrom the notch we scrambled back up the zigzag ramp to the ridge and then down again the ramp I found and cont'd down to where a last rappel was set to get us to where we started our climb. (Photo of people scrambling down to the last rappel anchor)41794530010_db7a5a833d_o.jpgFrom there it was back down to the PCT and camp.  I being one of the last to arrive at camp got there around 4:30pm where Sean M's group were waiting for our sites.  Broke down camp and back to our cars around 8:30pm.   Rena and I finished our Mountaineers Snoqualmie 20 on this trip.  Very special and a great group made it all that much better!Huckleberry 072118.jpg