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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Sloan Peak/Corkscrew Route

Great beginner climb, interesting mix of terrain, nothing too hard.

  • Road rough but passable
  • The road was not as bad as feared. It is certainly rough and brushy, but any vehicle with decent clearance and AWD should be fine. For example, a Suburu Outback will have no problems.

    The Bedal Creek approach is great. Brushy and some blowdowns on the Bedal Creek trail proper, but no problems, no water crossings. Once you turn up hill on the climbers trail, there is frequent flagging and the trail is well-beaten - easy to follow with a little care.

    The slabs between tree-line and the glacier are the trickiest part of the route. I recommend staying low until you get to obvious large snow patch, then ascend the slabs to climbers left of the snow to reach a notch in the ridge, marked with several cairns. No need to rope up on the slabs, but wear helmets and be mindful of slips and rock fall hazards.

    The Sloan glacier was in good shape, straightforward route (straight up at first then traversing relatively high). Some very easy crevasse crossings, nothing remotely sketchy.

    The traverse and then rock scrambling to the summit is pleasant. Mostly very easy, just several moves that you might pause to consider, but still easy 3rd/4th class. Leave your rope  behind at the glacier.

The time estimates in the route description are fairly generous. Our party was not particularly fast, I would describe our pace as measured but steady. We did the Bedal Creek approach from car to camp (5350') in just under 3 hours. From camp to summit in 3:40. From summit to camp in 3 hours. From camp to cars in 2 hours.

Good water sources near camp and up higher, just below the glacier.

I am not sure why anyone would choose the Cougar Creek approach.