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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  April 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Black Peak, april 26th
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Author Topic: Black Peak, april 26th  (Read 2627 times)
Kyle Miller
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Black Peak, april 26th
« on: 04/29/09, 11:50 AM »

Black Peaks South Face
http://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/41761986
photo by John Scurlock

Its funny how after a while you body seems to get an internal alarm. Snow bell and I had set an alarm to go off at 6:00 am but it didn’t go off. Instead I check my watch and its 6:05; I have always believed that getting out of the sleeping bag in the morning is the hardest part of touring and today was no exception”. I open the tents door to discover a cloud layer above us, this makes sense were at an area called rainy pass. Within the distance the faint silhouette of Massive spires were looming 3000 feet over our heads, “is it possible could it be sunny in the alpine”. We got our gear packed up in record time and started skinning towards our first destination Heather Pass. Skinning was fast on the still frozen surface as we glided out of the clouds and into the brilliant sunshine.


Accessing Heather pass from Lake Ann was an easy 600 vert gain on still frozen hard pack. After gaining the ridge we got our first view of our objective Black Peak. Our ascent was going to be a long traverse through glacier carved alpine to a small col on the eastern side of Black then an ascent up a small snow finger on the South side, it was going to be a long day. While skinning up to the base of black we checked the different drainages to try to find a good fall through the cliffed out cirques that would allow us to access the road with minimal traversing, the drainage to the North of black was the answer to our prayers. Skinning up to the col was uneventful until the last hundred feet where it steepened to a 50 degree pitch, after trying to skin it and failing multiple times we switched over to boot packing.


Once gaining the col it was time to put the board/skis on the back and switch over to crampons and Ice axes. While I prefer skinning its amazing how fast you gain vert when you are climbing straight up. The snow was still firm which made for great climbing conditions on the semi exposed ridge, we placed our feet in our steps carefully as falling out here was not a option. The weather was constantly changing from sunshine to snowing and as we hit the summit we had them both, sunshine and snow. After taking in the breath taking views of the endless possibilities deep in the range we packed up our gear and prepared for our decent down the southern face.


After checking our options we decided on the one in the middle which was the only one we could guarantee went through. With the cold air circulating it didn’t allow the snow to soften much so we played it somewhat conservative in the crux and opened up on the lower slopes. After hitting the steep finger we hiked back up to the col and ripped down the lower slopes in perfect corn conditions all the way down to the flat valley. The hike back to the road was an interesting bush whack through dense forest and crossing creek after creek until we made it to highway 20 4 miles down road from rainy pass luckily we got a ride back to our car after skinning a mile or so.


Sorry I tried to put in thumbnails but I kept having problem

sameTR with way more pics
« Last Edit: 04/29/09, 12:43 PM by Kyle Miller » Logged

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
danhelmstadter
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Re: Black Peak, april 26th
« Reply #1 on: 04/29/09, 12:46 PM »

great looking line, nice work!
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niko
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Re: Black Peak, april 26th
« Reply #2 on: 04/29/09, 07:38 PM »

Fantastic! How long did it take, camp to car (highway)? I take it that you camped near the highway. N
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Kyle Miller
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Re: Black Peak, april 26th
« Reply #3 on: 04/29/09, 07:58 PM »

I would say alittle under 9 hours at a semi relaxed pace.
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
Marcus
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Re: Black Peak, april 26th
« Reply #4 on: 04/30/09, 11:04 AM »

I didn't know you went at a semi-relaxed pace Wink

Nice work -- great to get a sunny day when you weren't expecting it.
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