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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Black Peak/Northeast Ridge

Great climb of a Cascade Classics peak with perfect weather, gorgeous route and adequate company.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Early August means the snow is largely gone on the approach.  We took the summer trail around Lewis Lake and had only short sections of snow up to the notch.  This also meant the  descent was melted out, which makes for some nasty scrambling on scree coming down from the South Ridge.

We left Seattle Friday morning early and took our time on the approach.   We established camp at Wing Lake about 3pm and settled in to rest.

Up at 4am and hiking by 5am.  Because of patchy, very hard snow, we were obliged to take our crampons on/off 4 times as we approached the ridge notch.  We pieced together snow patches and rock fields trending to the right side of the ridge where we climbed a short steep snow field and then rock to gain the ridge.  We roped up at 7am and climbed the ridge.  The first pitch is indeed loose, be careful of your pro and your belayer.  The route finding is easy -- climb the ridge!  We simul-climbed the whole thing using double racks (no piece larger than a #2 Camelot) and 30 meter ropes.  We were on the summit just after 11am.  After regrouping and lunching, we descended the hot and dusty S. Ridge, then steep and nasty scree to some short glissading sections on snow remnants.  We were back at the tents before 2pm and at the cars before 6pm.

Stopped in Marblemount at Mondo's on the way back --- the place for après in Marblemount IMHO.  

This was a much more aesthetic and interesting route than I had expected.  It has a strait-forward approach, very moderate climbing, fantastic position, ridge-flavor-for-days and views. 

 

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Jerry Logan
Jerry Logan says:
Mon, Aug 8, 2016 3:31 PM

Thanks for the report and the specifics on protection required. And especially the Mondo's recommendation!

Jerry Logan
Jerry Logan says:
Mon, Aug 8, 2016 3:31 PM

Thanks for the report and the specifics on protection required. And especially the Mondo's recommendation!

Krista Baum
Krista Baum says:
Wed, Aug 17, 2016 4:25 PM

Very cool, thanks for the report!