Mount Formidable the Indomitable / 不屈不撓的畏懼山

Mount Formidable and Middle Cascade Glacier from Cache Col
Mount Formidable and Middle Cascade Glacier from Cache Col

See more trip photos here.

I was pretty excited about the rest of this summer’s climbs after last week’s season-opening outing. Although, the trip up to Mount Formidable would have been much enjoyable in late season. The mountain was beyond aesthetic. It’s even more so when clothed in snow from the previous season.

The Lowdown on Mount Formidable

Access: Cascade Pass Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3480′-8325′
Gear: rock, snow, overnight
GPS Track: available

Cascade Pass Trailhead to Cache Col

Snow conditions were less than ideal, and it was wet and knee-deep by the late morning. Not sure why we never put our snowshoes to use.

Upon arriving at Cache Col, suddenly it became clear why so many have made the Ptarmigan Traverse. Everywhere I looked was picturesque and I simply couldn’t take my eyes off the view. It was so scenic that I had a hard time putting down my camera.

Middle Fork Cascade River Valley
Middle Fork Cascade River Valley

See more trip photos here.

Red Ledges to Spider-Formidable Col

We somehow got off route while trying to locate Red Ledges by going up too high. Glad we caught the mistake early and managed to retrace our steps to avoid getting cliffed out. Climbing up middle Glacier was physically taxing in poor snow conditions. We postholed and dug up more wet snow with every step.

Our campsite by Spider-Formidable col was pretty sweet, with water trickling from nearby slabs after some searching. We attempted to summit in the evening but got off route and short on daylight. We enjoyed evening colors in the sky and got a good (cold) night sleep.

Morning light
Morning light

See more trip photos here.

Mount Formidable Climb

Next day we set off at 6 AM to make use of longer daylight. Plus we needed to trek back to the car at the end of the day. Crux was the countless number of steep snow fingers in steep gullies. I personally managed to bypass most of them, if not all, from base of the mountain all the way to the summit. Overcast sky, clouds were high up and views reached for miles.

Glad the three of us all made it up and back down in one piece. It seemed to have taken much longer to get down because of steep terrain. There weren’t many good places to build anchors for rappel. We took brief break back at camp before the long trek back to Cascade Pass trailhead.

Below Mount Formidable Summit
Below Mount Formidable Summit

See more trip photos here.

Back to Cascade Pass Trailhead

Methinks this would have been a much more enjoyable trip with an extra day. Perhaps one day I’ll go back and try the Ptarmigan Traverse.

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