Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Mount Temple/West Side

Beautiful views and great company! But a scary steep snow approach and heinous mosquitoes. Still worth it!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

It was an honor to have the opportunity to lead two amazing and very experienced leaders, Andy and Sue. Andy was completing his hundredth peak of the Back Court Top 100 list.

We pushed the date of the climb back to Sunday due to doing The Mole on Friday and Prusik Peak on Saturday.

The Approach

We scrambled from where we had camped in an unofficial site about a mile northwest of the climb (a link to the GPS track is below). We had to climb up next to a waterfall. There are two ways to do it: one is next to climber’s left of the waterfall, which is steeper and more exposed, or you can go further left on the other side of some slabs. Then we arrived at a nice meadow. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were bananas. Please, if you do this route in July, bring bug nets! I wished I’d had one.

At boulders in front of the gully we put on crampons. The snow was still hard and icy, and the slope steepened to be about 45 degrees. I was very grateful to Andy, who went first and kicked very nice steps for us.



The Climb

The climb itself was fun and easy. The short slab section had two pitons for protection, one at the bottom and one at the very top. I completed the route in one pitch of a 60-meter rope. The rap anchor was climbers right of the route. I belayed Andy from that anchor and that was a mistake. The rope drag was heinous. I should have built an anchor at the top of the crack on the route. Please save yourself some pro to build an anchor at the top (the crack is about the width of a #1 red cam) and avoid repeating my mistake! Luckily, Sue and Andy are pros and we made it work.


Sue coming up the route 

The views from top of the route were absolutely beautiful!


We reached the bottom of the route with one double rope rappel including a thrilling drop over an overhang. The rap station was set back from the edge, so there was friction pulling the rope. Consider extending the rappel rings or plan on using some muscle to pull the rope.


Andy built an anchor out of cams to provide the option of rapping the snow gully with a double rope rappel. We should have used saddle bags, as the ropes tangled in the snow. I ended up down climbing (facing inwards, using the front point of my crampons, I cannot emphasize enough how steep this snow was) to free the ropes and allow Sue to rappel. About 60 meters down the snow gully there was a sling with rap rings on skier’s left to set another double rope rappel.


On the way back, we took a slightly different route, and found the remains of what looked like a plane crash.


We returned to camp 8 hours after we’d set out, matching Andy’s prediction exactly.

Congratulations on completing the Back Court Top 100 list, Andy! Sue, thank you for inviting me on this wonderful adventure!



I made a track named Track (7/5/20, 8:16:18AM) in Gaia GPS. You can view a map of it on

To use this track in Gaia GPS:

  1. Open the link above on your computer.
  2. Make sure you are logged in, and click "Add to My Tracks" in the top left corner of the track page.
  3. Open Gaia GPS on your mobile device, and the track will sync to your app if you are logged in.