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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  May 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
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Author Topic: May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success  (Read 6135 times)

Posts: 246

May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
« on: 05/16/14, 08:46 AM »

With the forecast looking great, I dropped everything (which admittedly wasn't anything), loaded up the cooler and headed to the park.

At 1am on Tuesday morning, Jesse, Joe and I left Seattle. Moving as quickly as possible we climbed Gib Ledges and headed up towards the summit. The Nisqually Cleaver was very actively sending down big rockfall all morning, lending an intimidating soundtrack to our climb. We brewed up once past the ledges and continued on. Occasional cloud cap on the summit and high winds had us wondering if we'd summit at all, but after long hours on the upper mountain we finally made it, finding no cloud and mild wind due to our late arrival. For Jesse it was his first summit in a push, for Joe it was his first ever. We had hoped to descend the Finger but were very behind schedule, and concerned with warming on the S side we elected to descend the DC instead. Skiing was challenging on the upper mountain with crusts and sastrugi, but Cadaver Gap and Muir skied quite well.

Back at the car we met up with Noah, a friend of mine up from Utah. The four of us crashed in the cars, set the alarms and were hiking again at around 6am the next day. We crossed the Nisqually valley where Noah and I dropped gear for a camp, and skinned to nearly Camp Hazard above the Turtle. Found very good skiing down the Turtle until the final slope where it turned sticky. Joe and Jesse headed home, Noah and I installed camp low on the Wapowty cleaver where we napped and cooked quesadillas on a shovel blade.

We got moving at around 3am the next day. We climbed a short variation on the left side of the Kautz Headwall, gaining the Kautz Cleaver/E Success Couloir at around 11,700'. From here we followed an established track, finding passage through the crux rock step to be a short pitch of steep snow (probably not for much longer), arriving at Point Success at 1015am. We dropped in around 1030am. Some of the upper pitches above the Kautz Headwall were still icy but held gripy, uniform snow. Steeper bits and slopes facing further E began to transition, and once we reached E Success Couloir proper it was harvest time. A+ skiing to the glacier below before returning via a traverse beginning at 8,800'. Recovered camp and headed out, finding terribly hot and sticky travel for the exit to the car.

Of note: Glacier travel was quite serious all three days -- everywhere we went there were big holes well hidden by thin, unstable bridges. Did not witness any new slide activity, but there were several substantial (~3' deep) wet slabs visible between 7k' and 9k' on S - SE aspects, apparently from last Sunday, possibly Monday.

Joe on the DC.


Dropping in off Point Success.

Posts: 582

Re: May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
« Reply #1 on: 05/16/14, 11:42 AM »

Sounds like a tiring couple of days, Drew. Good motivation for my PT schedule.
May the harvest continue a couple more weeks.

Posts: 537

Re: May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
« Reply #2 on: 05/16/14, 04:13 PM »

Bummer--can't see any picts....

Posts: 216

Re: May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
« Reply #3 on: 05/17/14, 09:22 AM »

Strong effort, man! Thanks for the report.

Posts: 403

Re: May 13-15, 2014, MRNP -- DC + Turtle + Success
« Reply #4 on: 05/17/14, 03:12 PM »

Can see pics. Looks great!
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