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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Hubba Hubba

We climbed the left flow of Hubba Hubba in what felt like late season conditions.

  • Sat, Feb 18, 2023
  • Hubba Hubba
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trail up to Hubba Hubba is in good shape, there's a bootpack the whole way. Plenty of opportunities for postholing both going up and coming back down and hitting some slide alder, trees, etc. so be mindful of your footing. The last 600-800ft of ascent was very firm, doable without crampons, but wearing crampons is advised for those who don't want to worry about sliding back downhill. There is avalanche debris and evidence of recent avalanches on the open slopes going up to the base of the climb. Do not climb this route in elevated avalanche conditions, be aware of the NWAC forecast for the area.

I see why it's called Hubba Hubba, because *Hubba Hubba*, WA ICE!!!

2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Far.jpg

Easy drive to the end of plowing and accessibility for Icicle Creek, past that point it is all snowmobiling access or hiking. It took about 120 minutes to get to the base of the climb as a couple of people had to turn back to their car about a half mile into the hike and retrieve some items. Without that, would take 80 or less minutes to ascend the 1,200ft to the base of the flows. Trail is largely an easy hike, once you hit the open slopes it get very firm and icy. Was doable with no crampons and using a hiking pole, but not very secure feeling.

There was already a group of four on the main flow, so we checked out the right and left flows and ultimately climbed the left flow. Both of these options are thin and are on their way out. The main flow is still in really good condition, the horizontal break on P1 is more of a nice ledge than anything else.

Photos: Left, Main, Right flows

2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Left.jpg2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Main.jpg2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Right.jpg

We used twin ropes, various ice tools, and leaders had 8-9 screws each, 10cm were actually useful, 13cm were most useful, could get a few spots for 17cm. 21cm...not so much but bring it anyway in case you need to make a V-thread. P1 was easy WI2 climbing, thin ice in spots, hollow against the rock, and a short rock step before hitting more ice. The pitch ended at a rock outcropping with two really rusty pitons and a nut, we constructed our anchor there and belayed 2nds up.

2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Left P1.jpg

The second pitch became interesting! It looked great from below, but turned into some wandering as there were plenty of sections of a couple of inches of ice over slabby rock, traversing around rockbands to stay on better ice and protection, some shorter WI3- steps, and finishing with runout mixed climbing that probably went at M3. Definitely PG13 on the 2nd pitch, and I'd guess earlier in the season there was much more ice up on that section. We placed one nut in that stretch, and finished with a tree anchor.

2023Feb22 Hubba Hubba Left P2.jpg

We did traverse to the NE from there until gaining the top of the main flow, 200 vertical feet up that gully, and further NE and then dropping SW down the open snow slope you see to the right of the flows to regain the base of the climb. Honestly, rapping the left flow would have been just as fast. If you're on the main flow and there's multiple parties I'd recommend the walk-off, but if you have it to yourself, rapping is probably a faster option.