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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Snowfield Peak/Neve Glacier

Happy to have taken this trip as a 3 day. Allowed us to really enjoy the area and take our time for this special area

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Line at the Marblemount ranger station was long but well managed on Friday morning. We arrived 6:50AM and they used a 'take a number' system -- we were 26th in line. Everyone was spread out and wore masks. They gave a LNT talk to everyone at 7AM and applied stickers to our number indicating we heard the talk, which sped up the line significantly. It took us ~1 hour to get our permit

    Pullout to the Pyramid lake TH is small but had just one other car when we arrived. Trail to Pyramid lake goes fast and is well maintained. Afterwards, it was scrambly, brushy, very hot w/no breeze, and buggy so was slow going.

    Camping area at 5900 was extremely windy. We initially tried to setup tents with the best views, but it was taking 3 people while setting up a single tent to keep everything from blowing away and even then it would have been a trying night. We found another site in a hidden alcove for better wind protection, but even still we used a lot of rocks to batten down our sleeping arrangements. Thankfully winds died down in the middle of the night and were never as bad for the rest of the trip

    Snow conditions for the route itself was hard late season snow with a lot of sun cups. Some crevasses are opening up but easily navigable. Getting up to the final summit ridge on the glacier was very mellow, stepping over and weaving around many obvious crevasses. The scramble portion near the summit was easily found and this description we found online is spot on:

    "We managed to find a quick and relatively simple route to the top. Join the west ridge of the summit block at it's first dry area. Follow the climbers trail until about 8,100 feet. Drop into the gully on climbers left which has an obvious notch at the top of the gully. Scramble the gully all the way to the top. Do not leave the gully. Go through the notch and down climb a couple of class 4 moves. Then from there, there is a class 3 scramble to the summit which can also easily be down climbed."

    On the way back, we tagged Neve from the col that led back down to Colonial Glacier. Easy class 2 scramble and well worth the detour if you have the time.

    Next day, a couple of us got up to go to Colonial in the morning. Route included some easy rock scrambling to the Colonial glacier. We then followed the colonial glacier skirting around a cliff and ascending close to a large snow filled gully. Then we ascended a 3rd class notch of about 40-50 feet on climbers left ahead of the gully which led to the plateau above. This led to a hard snow section featuring a steep dropoff. We carefully traversed the steep snow to a col that led to a ridge with a 3rd class ascent. It took us about 2 hours from camp to ascend, and a little under 2 hours to descend to camp. Very enjoyable scramble if you have the time and are in the area.

    After we arrived back at camp, we packed up and headed home!

    Day 1:

    TH to Camp 7.5 hours

    Day 2:

    Camp to Snowfield summit 5 hours

    Snowfield Summit to Neve Summit 4 hours

    Neve summit to camp 1.5 hours (w/detour to see if we could find a way down on other side of Neve)

    Day 3:

    Camp to Colonial summit 2 hours

    Colonial summit to camp 1.75 hours

    Camp to TH 5.5 hours

    Total mileage: 18 miles

    Total elevation gain (w/all summits):  10,800