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Trip Report    

Huckleberry Mountain/East Face

Easy, breezy ascent of the east ridge (not following the route described by Becky).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We ate our weight in huckleberries, blueberries, and salmon berries all along the approach. Not a hazard per se, unless  stopping often to indulge puts you behind schedule.

Our party of two left the cars at 5:20 on Friday night, hiked past the Kendall Katwalk at sunset, and made it to Ridge Lake just as darkness enveloped us. Started hiking just before 7 am the next morning. Instead of going up the "alp slope" on the S. side of Huckleberry as Becky suggests, we hiked around to the east slope of the mountain and ascended the more moderate heather/blueberry slope to the 6000' shoulder. From here, Becky would have you traverse left onto the south face, across a chossy slope and up a loose, messy gully. We opted instead to just go straight up the ridge, which is mostly exposed 3rd class with a few 4th class moves for fun. (We did a running belay for this, using almost exclusively slings around trees. In retrospect, we could have done this without a rope.) This put us just above the notch east of the final summit block. 

To finish the climb, we down climbed into the notch. I belayed my partner up the final pitch. She climbed up to the obvious sloping ledge just below the summit and then went right up a 5th class crack. (Alternately, we could have traversed left 30 ft to finish the climb on loose 4th class rock with significant exposure over the south face.)

Although it had been sunny and warm all morning, we arrived on the summit to wind and increasingly thicker clouds. Within 45 minutes we were enveloped in a white out. We made use of a good boulder to rap to the notch. From there, we down climbed back to the 6000' shoulder without using the rope (except to belay me on a particularly loose/exposed section at the very end).

TH to camp: 3.5 hours
Camp to base of climb: 3 hours
Climb: 1.75 hours
Descent to base of climb: 1 hour
Base of climb to camp: 2.5 hours
camp to TH: 3 hours

As you can see, a strong party could do this in a long day. Hiking in the night before, however, made for a lovely trip. Slower parties might want to plan a second night out.

 

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Diana Yuen
Diana Yuen says:
Sun, Aug 28, 2016 9:08 PM

Carry's covered the big points, so I'll add some finer details.

The rock quality is not particularly great, so it doesn't take pro well. Plan on slinging trees if you climb the ridge.

The approach to the base of the rock either is all heather or a mix of heather and rock, depending how you do it. Watch out if it gets wet as you'll go sliding down.

Ian Dickson
Ian Dickson says:
Mon, Aug 29, 2016 8:00 AM

Nice, thanks for the TR!