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Author Topic: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour  (Read 3067 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« on: 05/30/17, 11:04 AM »

In short, Susan and I think the Tour, as generally conceived, is done for the season.

A big thank-you to Chris Simmons, whom we met in the 30+ party permit line in Marblemount, for the information and advice. (1. Moraine Lake had a big transverse crack, 2. The descent to Moraine Lake was thin, at best, 3. He was diverting to go elsewhere.)  A second big thank-you to the party(ies?) who had traveled ahead of us -- your bootpacks were helpful and your routefinding informative, especially when crossing the Boston Glacier.

Snow ascending Sharkfin Col for the lower two-thirds, ending in thin ice, looseness above. Don't drop your whippet as you escape the crux, or you'll have to go back down to get it.

30m rappel off Sharkfin Col easily reaches snow, but does not reach below the schrund. Schrund crossing was strong, but the bridge may not last. 60m would easily reach.

Crossing the Boston was smooth. Ascent to Forbidden's N. Ridge was solid but schrundy-enough that we belayed the ascent . Camped on Forbidden's N ridge.

Skied the "tree" option down to Moraine Lake.  3 rappels (one 40m) got us to the lake, 7 hours after skiing out of camp. I hope that's an unpleasant record. Volken's advice, "Do not trend too far right as it leads into cliffy terrain," interpreted with the experience of having been there, now makes more sense. The mellowest line on the topo map contains cliff bands (there are bigger cliffs to skier's right, too). The "snow ramps" of clean skiing Volken recommends are presently melted-out talus and alder in their lower half; a key fact which we did not know. The "glacier" option is presently melted out at its crux, which also contains a waterfall. I've appended a photo to make this all more clear. It's far easier to routefind from this far-away perspective than when looking over rolling-away terrain. I'm uncertain as to the location of the top (avoidable) rap, which may have been in the more-central cliff band.

This is a committing tour. Almost every way forward from Moraine Lake involves crossing either the Lake or the West Fork of Thunder Creek. Poor lake condition or no, crossing the lake seemed like the best way forward if we could make it go, so we decided to make a recon trip onto the evening ice, hoping to get a look at the ascent to the Inspiration Glacier to help us decide whether to go that way or thrash up the "Alternative 1" route up the eastern slopes of an outrigger of Klawatti Peak

Moraine Lake is cracked everywhere at the perimeter, and has one large transverse crack across the center, as Chris had advertised. We roped up for the crossing, at far ends of one 30m rope. The crossing was surprisingly uneventful, and beautiful in evening light. The feeling that we were getting away with something added to the experience. While covered in pools, rocks, debris, and cracks, the ice/snow was thick and confidence-inspiring.

Looking up from the bottom of the Inspiration Basin, ascending to the Inspiration immediately became our unanimous choice. One narrow snow finger connected the basin to the upper Inspiration. We selected the place least-likely to be hit from above and dug in a very fine camp. (Note in response to an email: We could have re-crossed the lake and returned to the traditional Moraine Lake camp. Based on the activity we had seen in the previous two days and the visible pattern of debris deposits, we felt that the risk of getting hit was acceptably low. Not, however, recommended. If we had known the Inspiration route would go, we would not have first crossed the lake until the morning.)

In the morning, we cramponed up the snow finger and into the glaciers above. That snow finger will not last. A party ahead of us appeared to have ascended rock, as we joined their booter above the snow finger.

From there on up, the tour was just awesome. We elected not to ski Eldorado, and instead save energy for the trip home. Soft sloppy turns took us to the Roush Creek divide, and a fading, but straightforward, ascent on snow got us into the Eldorado drainage.  Thin but continuous skiing reaches the "second boulder field" of the climber's trail.  The Cascade River was splashing over part of the crossing log when we crossed.

Thoughts: After leaving Sharkfin Col, the route is fully-committed. We spent a lot of time dwelling on the question of what to do if the Lake wasn't at least crossable enough to get us to "Alternative 1". Thrashing down Thunder Creek would carry its own risk. One alternative, which we thought of after we'd crossed the Lake, was that one might be able to circumnavigate Boston and cross to the Quien Sabe, or, failing that, go *over* Buckner.

Bring your A-game on this tour. It might not be necessary, but you may need it. We were deep into, but did not exhaust, our bag of tricks.



* MoraineLakesAccessAnnoTAYted.jpg (193.28 KB, 800x800 - viewed 1048 times.)

* EldoradoAndTheMoonTAY.jpg (155.66 KB, 800x481 - viewed 950 times.)

* InspirationBasinTAY.jpg (188.64 KB, 800x561 - viewed 881 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/30/17, 02:26 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

toddball
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #1 on: 05/30/17, 12:28 PM »

Thanks for the report.  We were originally planning to do the Forbidden Tour the same time you two did, but instead opted to wander around the Eldorado/Klawatti area.  On the way in (around 1pm on the 27th) we met two guys coming out of the Forbidden Tour down the boulder field, who I believe said the crux of the tour was the approach.  I wonder how much melt there was since they started.

We were the three sitting on the ground in the Eldorado parking lot eating Cheez-Its and drinking La Croix Monday afternoon, maybe you saw us?

Moraine Lake/Forbidden from Eldorado south ridge, May 29
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ski_photomatt
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #2 on: 05/30/17, 12:49 PM »

Nice report and good info about conditions in the area.  FWIW, we were able to easy skit around the south side of Moraine Lake during our 2008 trip.  It was a mix of boulder hoping and traversing across low angle snow slopes.  Tedious but easy.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=10555
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ski_photomatt
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #3 on: 05/30/17, 12:56 PM »

Also, regarding the descent to Moraine Lake: we took the route down the green snow finger in your photo and were then able to walk/scramble down to the lake without a rappel and careful route finding (the snow finger above the lake in this photo -- some of the photos in the old TR aren't displaying, but they are available by clicking):

http://www.one-times-one.com/misc/trip_reports/forbidden/moraine_lake_valley_skin.jpg
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tabski
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #4 on: 05/30/17, 02:45 PM »

Thanks for sharing, sounds like a real adventure.

Any opinions out there on reversing Sharkfin col to return to the Boston Basin side, from the Boston Glacier? From the Boston Glacier side I remember seeing a gully potentially easier to ascend just east of the Sharkfin col, leading to ridge and ramps downclimb-able back onto the Quien Sabe... Quite the barrier for sure.
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jeremyallyn
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #5 on: 05/30/17, 04:15 PM »

Great beta photo, Charlie. That'll be helpful for future parties!

Drew...Years ago I reversed Sharkfin Col from the Boston after a failed attempt on the NW side of Forbidden. Haven't met anyone else who has done that...so not really recommended. It was mid summer and felt like 5.8 with mtn boots and crampons on. It took OK rock gear, but was loose and bulgey and was way more serious than the other side of Sharkfin. I've gone up and over the alternate col you mention, but never in reverse. I think it's a great ski option with either little or no rappel when the snowpack is deep. The Boston kind of ramps up high in that spot...crevasses, but no moat typicaly. If you can climb on snow to the ridgecrest from the Quien Sabe side, you'll be golden using that way.
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hedonaut
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #6 on: 05/30/17, 04:51 PM »

yeah nice -- and timely -- report Charlie!

like Jeremy, I've also descended to the Boston Gl via the higher col/notch a bit east of the typical Sharkfin rap.  No raps when we skied it three years ago tomorrow.  So, if there's enough snow to ski it, expect that climbing it wouldn't be too bad when carrying the gear one would carry for this traverse.  It was pretty steep, and wove through some minor cracks.  Our ascent from the Q Sabe side was mellow on snow.  I think Jeremy's diagnostic is probably correct

and more data: when we descended to Moraine Lake later that same day, we were able to ski down the gut suggested by the broken white strip in the far right of Charlie's first pic -- some avy debris to negotiate, but no raps or shenanigans.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #7 on: 05/30/17, 06:06 PM »

Any opinions out there on reversing Sharkfin col to return to the Boston Basin side, from the Boston Glacier? From the Boston Glacier side I remember seeing a gully potentially easier to ascend just east of the Sharkfin col, leading to ridge and ramps downclimb-able back onto the Quien Sabe... Quite the barrier for sure.

I vaguely remember traversing Sharkfin col from east to west once, but I can't remember which trip it was on. Jeremy's description is consistent with my vague memory.

If I wanted to get from the Boston Glacier to Boston Basin, I would probably aim for the ridgeline between Boston Peak and Sahale. More climbing but not really technical as I recall.  We went up there for the view when we skied the Thunder High Route in 1987 (which included most of what today is called the Forbidden Tour). When snow free, the ridge crossing next to Boston Peak doesn't require ropes, as I recall.

Glacier wasting could have changed this. I haven't been on this part of the Boston Glacier for many years.

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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #8 on: 05/30/17, 06:44 PM »

The one time we climbed Boston from Sahale in ~September, getting onto the uppermost reaches of the Boston was easy. I just don't have any insight into how broken-up it might be to wrap around to that saddle from Sharkfin Col. It looks possible from maps/satellite images.

On the other hand, when we were on Sahale two weeks ago, the east side of the Sahale/Boston ridge had some amazing cornices hanging above the Davenport Glacier, which might complicate any escape to the Quien Sabe.
« Last Edit: 05/30/17, 10:08 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #9 on: 05/31/17, 03:31 PM »

Susan borrowed a "360 camera" for the trip, and has uploaded a few images to Google Maps. They're pretty cool, and provide a little more beta.

Ascending Sharkfin: https://goo.gl/jcU83w
Boston/Forbidden Col: https://goo.gl/z1k54Q
Moraine Lake: https://goo.gl/sNidLC
Lower Inspiration Basin: https://goo.gl/uOBiUy


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goleary
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #10 on: 05/31/17, 04:04 PM »

Susan borrowed a "360 camera" for the trip

For a second when I read that I envisioned her doing the tour with this attached to her back:


Cool pics!
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #11 on: 05/31/17, 04:16 PM »

I think she'd jump at the chance if they let her take one of those for a walk.

I'm pretty impressed with the images she got.  The Ricoh camera she had might have been a 'Theta S' ?
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Susan Ashlock
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Re: May 27-29, 2017, Forbidden Tour
« Reply #12 on: 07/09/17, 12:39 AM »

I'm pretty impressed with the images she got.  The Ricoh camera she had might have been a 'Theta S' ?

Yup, the Ricoh Theta S was the one.  Fits in your pocket (unlike the Samsung Gear 360) and survived the trip, so it's at least moderately durable.

If I get a chance I'll upload a few more 360 photos soon.
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