2014/8/17 – Big Snagtooth III / 大斷牙之三

Snagtooth Ridge
Snagtooth Ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Our Chilliwacks trip curtailed due to poor weather conditions. And with two more days left to spare, I turned to North Cascade for Bulger peaks doable in one long day. After two failed attempts, one of which nearly ended in tragedy, this time I tackled Big Snagtooth solo to spare anyone from unforeseen type 2 fun.

Third time on the same approach so route finding wasn’t an issue. In the upper basin I stayed away from the big pool of talus below Snagtooth’s southwest ridge due to potential rockfall. No snow coverage on scree to attain southwest ridge at 7,400, so I traversed southeastward on rock and scree, and got onto the ridge at 7,600′.

On southwest ridge
On southwest ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Previously partner and I turned around at the base of the rappel route, which we had mistaken for the standard approach. This time I followed cairns around south side of summit block and entered into a steep and narrow gully. After squeezing through chockstones and couple of class 4 moves, I exited the gully onto an open area full of scree.

Due to the perspective looking up from below, I accidentally got on top of what appeared to be the summit on climbers left. A higher point on the opposite end marked the true summit, of which I had read about the summit boulder crux in several reports. Without the help of a partner, I slowly friction climbed just as an annoying horse fly repeatedly tested my concentration.

East view
East view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Finally made it to this summit on the third try! While I enjoy having the company of climbing partners, on this particular occasion solo climbing provided much greater efficiency. Views were overall decent, despite low clouds in the horizon obscured some of the peaks I had hoped to see from this angle. A new weather system slowly crept in from northwest as the afternoon drew near.

By the time I got back down to the upper basin it began to drizzle a bit. Fortunately, sky cleared up and the sun came back out before rain clouds could fully manifest. Got back to the car to a blue sky a few hours before sunset.

Storm's a-coming
Storm’s a-coming

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: Highway 20 MP 166 at Willow Creek
Gear: rope, helmet


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