Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mt. Rumble - Lettssss get ready to RUMBLEE!!

Mt. Rumble 7530'
22.6 miles/11900 ft/11.5 hours
Descending toward Mt. Rumble.
   This was an absolute WHOPPER of a day - the most elevation gain I've ever done! Weather was nothing short of breathtaking the entire time. I even nailed the route dead on, except for some fumbling around on the rock glacier/Bombardment pass.

   Traveling over Bombardment Pass on the way in, I thought it would be a good idea to get onto the ice/snow right under Korohusk. Well, yes, that would've been a good idea... With spikes! I had nothing, so I went full caveman and used a sharp rock to chop steps for myself.

   It took me just over two hours from the Peter's Creek crossing to the summit of Rumble. The gully was an absolute slog, and the 4th class step out of it would have been far more interesting in wet weather. There's algae on them rocks!

   Coming back over Bombardment was the real test. I was totally worked by the second time I came over! And this time I opted to descend the scree further toward Pleasant instead of chop more steps. Good idea. I now know that most people use a far easier and sneakier way around the rock glacier... Next time!

Morning in Ram Valley.  Rock glacier/Korohusk/Cumulus on the right.

Coming down Bombardment toward Rumble.

Rumble, Bellicose, and Peter's Creek.

Crossing Peter's Creek.

High in the Rumble Gully.




Back over Bombardment.  Look back toward Korohusk.

Me with Korohusk in the background

Fall sunset


Summit 360 Video

Friday, September 7, 2018

Goat Rock Redux - East Ridge Freesolo

Goat Rock Redux - East Ridge Freesolo

   After summiting via the west ridge of Goat Rock this spring, I wanted to check out the east ridge. Brought my rock shoes cause I've never donned rock shoes in the Chugach before, and this seemed like a good place to start! 

   It was mellow, if exposed going until the crux near the top. 5.6ish with big, yet suspect holds, OR 5.7/.8 with much smaller holds and a crack on climbers left. Rock seemed fairly stable throughout, but I was extremely cautious all the same without rope! It was all very Zen and I never felt afraid. Walked off west ridge. 

Goat Rock and West Twin (left) in the morning sun.  Eklutna on the right.

Grassy ridge goodness to Goat!

Goat Rock East Ridge

Cheat sheet.  

Me @ summit.  Trying out the wide angle selfie!



West ridge walkoff route

Beautiful day

Beautiful day

Fiery tundra colors

Fiery tundra colors

Looking back @ Goat and West Twin in the afternoon sun.  A very pleasant day indeed!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sunny FRange love!

Sunny FRange  love!  10 Miles/6500ft/8.5 hours on foot

   Yesterday's sun created a dilemma for me - stay close to Anchorage and link up some peaks, or head further afield and bag a single, large peak.  Well, I've done my share of big peak bushwacking this summer, and I'm getting a bit sick of being soaking wet before even being ON the mountain.  Easy choice.  Front range, here I come!

   I parked at Glen Alps, and was on my bike heading toward the Powerline pass by 8AM.  It seems that nature has a cruel sense of humor, 'cause I only made it a few miles before I ran into several bull moose sleeping on the edge of the trail.  Bushwack time!  Goodbye, dry feet!  (they remained moist for the rest of the day).

   After passing Ptarmigan Peak and crossing the creek west of Green Lake, I ditched the bike and began hiking up the north ridge/side of Hope Mountain.  This ridge was fairly easygoing, with a few mossy 3rd class cruxes, made more difficult by previous days of saturating rain.  The sun broke out, but was again hidden by passing clouds as I reached the summit of Hope.

Sun coming out!  Ptarmigan peak on left, Avalanche mtn on right.
Looking down the ridge.  Ptarmigan is off screen to left, Wedge is middle, and Powerline Pass/Avalanche on the right

Traveling along the ridge to South Powerline.  Rabbit lake with Suicide Peaks in the clouds
   The clouds hung around as a traveled east to South Powerline peak.  They finally dissipated soon after, giving me a good view of my next goal - North Suicide north ridge.

Homicide peak on the left, North Suicide center right, and South Powerline right

North ridge to North Suicide
   The ridge descended and went by easily for a while, until finally forcing me into a choke point with 4th class exposure and rock.  I scrambled past, thankful that the sun was out and beginning to dry the terrain.

4th class choke point!
Testing holds on 4th class choke point

Testing holds on 4th class choke point

Looking back at the exposed choke
   It stayed flat and 4th classy for a while - sometimes coming to choke points and sometimes forcing me into mossy-ness to the east side.  The moss was fairly unpleasant - it was still wet and quite suspect about letting go at any given moment.  UGH!

More 4th classiness with moss

   When the going got steep again, the exposure and rock once again backed off to 3rd class and I made the summit without incident.

Summit to the left, Rabbit Lake below on the middle right.  Exposure had eased off a good bit.    

Summit.  Notice the notch in Homicide peak on the right.  I'm a few hours from traversing that notch!

   I decided to avoid the mossy traverse back on the north ridge by dropping down to Rabbit Lake via one of the more traveled routes on this mountain.  Additionally, I wanted to time this go around vs the north ridge traverse (front range 5000er linkup beta!)

Heading down North Suicide the pedestrian way ;)

Scree sure is nice for descending!
I found some snow!  North Suicide North Ridge above to my right.
What a day!!
   Scrambling back to the summit of South Powerline Peak, I saw my final goal - Homicide Peak Northwest ridge!

The initial NW ridge of Homicide.  You will eventually be forced into a mossy manky gully.
   This NW ridge proved mild at first - there is an obvious gully with a few steep 4th classy overhangs (kind of like a mini, mossy version of Chickenshit gully on Bashful).  The next part gets interesting though...

   Once you reach the top of this "false summit", you are greeted with a view of the true summit and the nasty notch you have to traverse to get there.  The notch options include a downclimb on the knife edge of the ridgecrest, or dropping south and piecing together some mossy steps/chutes.  Either one is 4th class, but the moss is more comforting because you'll only MAYBE fall all the way down the mountain ;)  I chose moss!

Summit ahead, with nasty notch inbetween.  This is me trying the ridgecrest and deciding against it.

Past the notch, looking back and pointing out where I descended.

Past the notch, looking back and pointing out where I descended.
OK fine, one more photo of the notch...
   After you pass this notch, it is a fairly uneventful scramble to the summit of Homicide.  I spent a few minutes up here, then went back down the NW ridge.  As I reached the Powerline pass, it was an easy walk back on the trail to my stashed bike.

Homicide peak as seen from the return trip over Powerline Pass.  
   Overall - totally the right idea to hit up the front range!!  The wetness was minimal, and the traverses were fun.  If you plan to ascend either Homicide or North Suicide by their north ridges, be prepared for exposure and some decision making.  I'd suggest extra caution on either one after recent rain - there's plenty of mossy rock, and moss tends to slide off.  Watch out, and have fun! 

Route - with labels

Garmin 360 Video