2014/8/17 – Big Snagtooth III / 大斷牙之三

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

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 perspective from below, I accidentally got on top of what appeared to 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 help of a partner, I slowly friction climbed as an annoying horse fly repeatedly tested my concentration.

IMG_4352

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Finally made it to this summit on the third try! While I enjoy having climbing partners on peaks like this, solo climbing provided better efficiency and absolute solitude. Views were overall decent, despite low clouds in the horizon obscured some of the peaks I had hoping to see from this angle. A new weather system slowly crept in from northwest as the afternoon was drawing near.

On the way down it drizzled a little below the upper basin, glad the overhead rain clouds never fully manifested. Few hours left until sunset after I got back onto Hwy 20.

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