Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Snoqualmie Mountain/New York Gully (winter)

We met in Issaquah at 4:00, drove up, and parked in the main Alpental parking lot. The three of us started at 5:00 hiking up the Snow Lake trail in the dark with headlamps on snow shoes and quickly turned North up the South facing snow covered talus slope towards the Alpental waterfalls. Once at the base of the waterfalls, we went left into the woods and then up through the cliff bands. We were fortunate to find a ski track to follow up. The route follows the edge of the Phantom Slide (be wary of avalanche conditions) and continued up to about 4900′. Then gradually trend leftward and up into a lower angled clearing that leads to a notch in the West Ridge at about 5250′. We stashed our snow shoes and turned off our headlamps just below the notch at 7:00. We continued from the notch a couple hundred feet down a 45-degree slope into the large North facing Thunder Creek cirque. Once in the large bowl we traversed around the base of the North flank of a sub peak of Snoqualmie Mt. into the first couloir (Snot) and pushed up to about 5700' to the base of the climb through about 2 feet of soft snow (lots of work trading leads about every 100'). We geared up and were ready to start climbing at about 8:45. The first two pitches were simul-climbed on one rope while setting occasional rock protection. The route begins going up and to the left following a snow gully/bench just below a rocky budge with a steep drop below. The route traverses up and left across the face (mostly thin snow over rock) and eventually up a short snow/rock gulley to reach a dead snag at the bottom of the box gully. We reached the tree anchor at 10:15. The next pitch goes right up the box gully to the fixed piton beyond the 3 sided box cave (35m). This pitch was snow covered with little ice and goes straight up through the cave with pins and cams for protection on the wall. The next pitch continued traversing up the face, then up a gully to a short ice step which accepted a 10 cm screw (the 13 cm screw bottomed out). From the top of the ice step the route continues to traverse up to the snow ledge where we found a fixed anchor built from a couple of slings around a couple of boulders and a nut. Next we faced the 5.8/aid crack and all of us ended up using the top piece of fixed gear one way or another. It was challenging to communicate with the belayer when following this pitch. This was a short pitch and it marked the end of the harder climbing. We reached the top of this pitch at 2:25. From here we down climbed easy snow to the right and traversed up to a col between two gendarmes to a rappel station on a tree. We rappelled down into the Enigma gully (Slot couloir) that provides an exit route to the summit ridge, climbed on snow up to the top of the Sot couloir to the summit ridge at about 6200', dropped our packs and scrambled up to the summit at 6278' by 3:18, 10:18 after leaving the car. We had a bite to eat, removed our crampons and then plunge stepped down the southwest ridge slope back to the notch and our snowshoes. Back at our gear, we put our snow shoes back on (needed them as the snow was softening due to warming temps) and retraced our route back down Phantom slide past Alpental Falls back down to the car. We reached the car at 5:40, 12:40 after leaving the car.

 

Add a comment

Log in to add comments.
Barton Place
Barton Place says:
Mon, May 23, 2016 11:51 AM

<p>We met in Issaquah at 4:00, drove up, and parked in the main Alpental parking lot. The three of us started at 5:00 hiking up the Snow Lake trail in the dark with headlamps on snow shoes and quickly turned North up the South facing snow covered talus slope towards the Alpental waterfalls. Once at the base of the waterfalls, we went left into the woods and then up through the cliff bands. We were fortunate to find a ski track to follow up. The route follows the edge of the Phantom Slide (be wary of avalanche conditions) and continued up to about 4900′. Then gradually trend leftward and up into a lower angled clearing that leads to a notch in the West Ridge at about 5250′. We stashed our snow shoes and turned off our headlamps just below the notch at 7:00. We continued from the notch a couple hundred feet down a 45-degree slope into the large North facing Thunder Creek cirque. Once in the large bowl we traversed around the base of the North flank of a sub peak of Snoqualmie Mt. into the first couloir (Snot) and pushed up to about 5700' to the base of the climb through about 2 feet of soft snow (lots of work trading leads about every 100'). We geared up and were ready to start climbing at about 8:45. The first two pitches were simul-climbed on one rope while setting occasional rock protection. The route begins going up and to the left following a snow gully/bench just below a rocky budge with a steep drop below. The route traverses up and left across the face (mostly thin snow over rock) and eventually up a short snow/rock gulley to reach a dead snag at the bottom of the box gully. We reached the tree anchor at 10:15. The next pitch goes right up the box gully to the fixed piton beyond the 3 sided box cave (35m). This pitch was snow covered with little ice and goes straight up through the cave with pins and cams for protection on the wall. The next pitch continued traversing up the face, then up a gully to a short ice step which accepted a 10 cm screw (the 13 cm screw bottomed out). From the top of the ice step the route continues to traverse up to the snow ledge where we found a fixed anchor built from a couple of slings around a couple of boulders and a nut. Next we faced the 5.8/aid crack and all of us ended up using the top piece of fixed gear one way or another. It was challenging to communicate with the belayer when following this pitch. This was a short pitch and it marked the end of the harder climbing. We reached the top of this pitch at 2:25. From here we down climbed easy snow to the right and traversed up to a col between two gendarmes to a rappel station on a tree. We rappelled down into the Enigma gully (Slot couloir) that provides an exit route to the summit ridge, climbed on snow up to the top of the Sot couloir to the summit ridge at about 6200', dropped our packs and scrambled up to the summit at 6278' by 3:18, 10:18 after leaving the car. We had a bite to eat, removed our crampons and then plunge stepped down the southwest ridge slope back to the notch and our snowshoes. Back at our gear, we put our snow shoes back on (needed them as the snow was softening due to warming temps) and retraced our route back down Phantom slide past Alpental Falls back down to the car. We reached the car at 5:40, 12:40 after leaving the car.</p>