Mount Redoubt + Mount Spickard + Mox Peaks – Chilliwack Slam / 多面堡山

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Mount Redoubt and Mount Spickard are two of the six Bulger List peaks, Chilliwack Slam, perching above Depot Creek. They nestle deep in remote Washington State by the Canadian border. In turn, Chilliwack Lake provides a direct way to these summits.

Southeast Mox Peak summit towers
Southeast Mox Peak summit towers

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks at a Glance

Chilliwack Slam = Mount Spickard + Mount Rahm + Mount Custer + Mount Redoubt + Northwest Mox Peaks (Northwest Spire) + Southeast Mox Peaks (Southeast Spire)
奇利瓦克滿貫=斯皮卡德山+拉姆山+卡斯特山+多面堡山+西北馬克斯峯 (西北尖塔)+東南馬克斯峯 (東南尖塔)

Access: Depot Creek Road
Round Trip: 41.1 miles
Elevation Range: 2200′-8979′
Gear: helmet, multi-night, rock & rope
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no pets

June 30 – July 5, 2015

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4 > Day 5 > Day 6

Day 1 – Tuesday, June 30
Ouzel Lake + Mount Spickard
Night 1 – Ouzel Lake

Day 2 – Wednesday, July 1
Mount Rahm + Mount Custer
Night 2 – Ouzel Lake

Day 3 – Thursday, July 2
Mount Redoubt
Night 3 – Redoubt Glacier

Day 4 – Friday, July 3
Northwest Mox Peak (Easy Mox)
Night 4 – Redoubt Glacier

Day 5 – Saturday, July 4
Southeast Mox Peak (Hard Mox)
Night 5 – Redoubt Glacier

Day 6 – Sunday, July 5
Exit


Day 1

Ouzel Lake + Mount Spickard

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4 > Day 5 > Day 6

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks

I have looked forward to this trip away from the city for a few days. Kenny, Patrick, and I first met in 2014 to climb Chickamin Slam and Bonanza Slam. And this time, we teamed up to tackle the two infamous Mox Peaks of the Bulger List.

Last year, Kenny and I came into the area to climb Mox Peaks. But the weather was lousy, with visibility reaching as far out as Ouzel Lake, so we left the following day. Later I decided to return and climb all six peaks in one trip.

Chilliwack Road at mile .5
Chilliwack Road at mile .5

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Depot Creek Trail

I slept by Chilliwack Lake Road and drove up Depot Creek Road the following day. Soon, a down tree over the road kept me from going farther. But glad that I was only half a mile before the end of the drivable section.

The trail was largely brush-free but muddy in places on the Canadian side. Afterward, I stopped by the international crop line and marveled at the border. But I could only imagine the effort to carve out the invisible barrier.

Best of both worlds
Best of both worlds

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Depot Creek Falls

Afterward, I entered the North Cascades National Park, where the trail turned brushy fast. There were also many down trees and short shrubs to get me off the route altogether.

Compared to last year, more water was coming down Depot Creek Falls this time. It was tough to see clearly with the water constantly going into my eyes. My clothes also were soaking wet in the process.

Depot Creek Falls
Depot Creek Falls

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Missing GPS Device

Later, with the help of the fixed rope, I went above the slick slabs safely. Just past the waterfalls, I realized my GPS device was missing. So I went back to the other side of the water and surprisingly found it in the dense brush.

Terrain steepened above the waterfalls. But with a defined path, I was able to move more quickly. Views later expanded the minute I stepped into the upper basin. Then it was only another mile to Ouzel Lake through moraine and boulders.

Ouzel Lake camp
Ouzel Lake camp

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Spickard Climb

Later I set up my camp by the shore, where the water looked doubled in size. After rest, I started walking northeast up the talus and a scree gully. Soon, I reached the 7000′ flat area below Mount Spickard’s southwest face.

I moved east through steep, icy slopes to the 8000′ notch on the southwest ridge. During this, I bypassed the ice through the shallow moat. As I moved up the ridgeline, I looked over my shoulder at the impressive Mount Redoubt and Mox Peaks.

Mount Spickard's southwest slope
Mount Spickard’s southwest slope

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Mount Spickard Summit Views

The first things I wanted to see from the top were Mount Rahm and Mount Custer. Wow, they looked farther apart in person. I also noted the size of the joining ridge I needed to traverse from one to the other. Only a tiny part of Silver Lake was visible.

The golden hour lighting through thick clouds was incredible. And the sun setting over the Canadian peaks was beyond words! I enjoyed an extended visit to savor this rare occasion. Then I made my way down and reached camp before dark.

Mount Custer (left) and Mount Rahm above Silver Lake
Mount Custer (left) and Mount Rahm above Silver Lake

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Day 2

Mount Rahm + Mount Custer

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Silver Lake

My day two’s goals were Mount Rahm and Mount Custer, the northernmost peaks on this trip. So I had to go through the same scree gully from the evening before. Then I continued along Depot Creek’s headwaters to reach Spickard-Custer col at 7350′.

The suspense in seeing Silver Lake had been simmering. And when I saw it on the pass, it was exactly how I had pictured it. Soon, I traversed northeast at the same altitude below Custer Ridge to the north of Silver Lake by Devils Tongue.

Silver Lake below Mount Rahm and Devils Tongue
Silver Lake below Mount Rahm and Devils Tongue

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Rahm Climb

I went up the exposed class 3 gully at 7800′ on the far right of the meadow. There was still a lingering snowfield south of the mountain. But the south ridge was free of snow for a smooth and satisfying finish.

Mount Rahm was the second closest I’d ever been to the border (.5 mile). The nearest was .25 mile on Cathedral Peak. The making of the crop line continued to captivate me. Silver Lake looked even bluer from here, and it stole the show.

Class 3 gully below Mount Rahm
Class 3 gully below Mount Rahm

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Mount Rahm Summit Views

Hozomeen Mountain and Jack Mountain looked incredible from up here. It was hard to leave the stunning views behind after a long rest. But I still needed to go to Mount Custer on the other side of the ridge.

The ridge traverse to Mount Custer wasn’t as awful as I had read in the reports. It could be that the snow-free terrain had kept things under control. But the rocks slowly worsened the closer I was to the mountain.

Next stop, Mount Custer
Next stop, Mount Custer

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Custer Climb

For me, the crux was reaching the upper northeast ridge from Custer Ridge. But after some scouting, I found an exposed ramp that provided access. Then I worked up the east face and scrambled to the top.

Mount Custer was also a vantage point to see Silver Lake as the evening colors gleamed the water. Staring back at Mount Rahm, I had a surreal moment of “Did I just come from there?”. The sun was slowly dipping lower over the Canadian sky.

Looking back at Mount Rahm
Looking back at Mount Rahm

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Back to Ouzel Lake

Later I dropped onto Mount Custer’s south ridge through worse rocks and slipperier slopes. Past Point 8385, the only crux was getting down Custer Ridge to rejoin my tracks. A moderate snowfield over the ridge had allowed me to do just that.

The few weather towers on the east were a surprise find before returning to the col. It was still light out even after a long day climbing two peaks. Then tonight, the mosquitoes were out in full force.

Dreaming of Mount Redoubt
Dreaming of Mount Redoubt

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Day 3

Mount Redoubt

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En Route to Redoubt Glacier Camp

I packed up on day three before it grew too warm to go to the top of Redoubt Glacier. It’d be my home for the next three nights. But trying to cross the raging Depot Creek had eaten up a big chunk of time.

I later made up for the lost time by hurrying through the granite slabs to the end of the snow. Then I carefully weaved around the gaps on steep terrain that soon flattened at 7000′. En route were many photo ops of the fantastic views.

En route to the top of Redoubt Glacier
En route to the top of Redoubt Glacier

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Redoubt Glacier Camp Below Mount Redoubt

At last, one mile over 1500′ altitude gain later, I was at the top of Redoubt Glacier. Several excellent places had views on both sides of the crest. But my spot was one of the best sites I’ve ever stayed, hands down.

It grew warm very quickly in mid-morning. So after pitching the tent, I took a break inside and went over the route descriptions on Mount Redoubt. Meanwhile, the sight of the massive Flying Buttress outside kept distracting me.

Mox Peaks from Camp Redoubt
Mox Peaks from Camp Redoubt

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Redoubt Climb

Later I walked higher up the glacier and climbed over the south notch to the west. Soon, I had reached the bottom of the gullies. They all merged below the upper snowfield. But of course, I picked the nearest one with a big most to continue.

I had lost the route below the upper gullies even with reports and photos. So I picked the one with a faint trail and worked through the steep area. It felt a little more technical, but it worked.

Upper gullies
Upper gullies

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Mount Redoubt Summit Views

Soon, it became clear that I had gone off route by one gully. So I moved east into the next one to be back on track for the final bit. Then I went around a steep snow ramp from the top and reached the windy summit shortly.

It was pretty until a couple of ravens came by to check on their dinner. The immense views were ineffable as everything looked gorgeous. Of my six goals, Mount Redoubt was the only one to see the rest of them together.

Five out of six
Five out of six

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Back to Redoubt Glacier Camp

Two more peaks to go! The plan was to join my partners on Northwest Mox Peak tomorrow and Southeast Mox Peak in two days. But for now, I needed to go back to camp in one piece. Glad that I brought a rope with me just in case.

Two new tents had shown up at camp, so I thought Kenny and Patrick had come in earlier. But I didn’t bother to say hello since it was late in the day. I later enjoyed the lovely golden hour light on the northern peaks.

Evening light on Chilliwack peaks
Evening light on Chilliwack peaks

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Day 4

Northwest Mox Peak

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4 > Day 5 > Day 6

Kenny and Patrick

I checked the two new tents but didn’t see anyone. So for a second, I thought the two had left and needed to rethink my plans. But the next time I poked my head outside, I saw two people on the glacier.

As it turned out, the two lower tents belonged to another group of four. The two people now coming in were Kenny and Patrick, and I was beyond ecstatic! They had stayed at Ouzel Lake after making the long way in from the car.

En route to Northwest Mox Peak
En route to Northwest Mox Peak

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Northwest Mox Peak (Easy Mox)

Shortly after the guys arrived, we made our way down the glacier. It was tough to move fast in the late morning’s warm temperatures. Soon, we bypassed the first buttress off Northwest Mox Peak’s west ridge at 7300′.

The second buttress extended farther down the glacier. So without going below 7000′ to bypass it, we looked for another way. With some scouting, we came upon a ledge by a small moat at 7200′ and took a giant leap.

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Northwest Mox Peak crux
Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Northwest Mox Peak crux

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Northwest Mox Peak Northeast Ridge

We soon reached the east end at 7400′ with receding snow below the rock wall. Many groups turned around here in the late season because of the gap. But glad we could go onto the ledges via a dwindling snow bridge.

We climbed two pitches to the 7600′ saddle and traversed the sharp northeast ridge. It felt like straddling a horse as we moved up the ridgeline. The impressive Southeast Mox Peak was next to us the entire time.

Northwest Mox Peak ridge traverse
Northwest Mox Peak ridge traverse

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Route Finding on Northwest Mox Peak

The higher we went, the more we heard the rockfalls from Southeast Mox Peak. Then we dropped onto the southeast side too soon and dead-ended by a scree ramp. It was a pure adrenaline rush but nerve-wracking altogether.

We went back to the crest and up 200′. Then we dropped onto the east via a chimney and used a ramp to the bottom of another one. Then one more pitch put us back on the ridgetop, where we finished the climb.

Northwest Mox Peak summit up ahead
Northwest Mox Peak summit up ahead

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Northwest Mox Peak Summit Views Plus Outro

It was hot and breezy with breathtaking views. Rocks continued to tumble off Southeast Mox Peak‘s north face into the northeast couloir. But glad that wouldn’t be our route tomorrow! We enjoyed an extended break on top before leaving.

Back on the snow, a slow traverse took us back to camp well before sunset. A couple more climbing parties have arrived since this morning. Glad to have met other climbers in this beautiful area over the holiday weekend.

Southeast Mox Peak summit above Col of the Wild
Southeast Mox Peak summit above Col of the Wild

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Day 5

Southeast Mox Peak

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Final Peak in Chilliwacks

Our final day in the area and my sixth and final peak to check off the list. What I had initially thought would be the longest six days went by in a flash. The air felt exceptionally crisp on yet another bluebird day.

The infamous Southeast Mox Peak (Hard Mox) was reportedly the most challenging peak on the Bulger List. It also looked pretty gnarly from the day before. But we would soon find out the hype for ourselves.

Happy Fourth of July
Happy Fourth of July

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Southeast Mox Peak (Hard Mox)

We left camp right after breakfast to have plenty of daylight at our disposal. The mile-long traverse to Col of the Wild consisted of many taluses, including scree and snow. There was also massive choss on the way to the pass.

Later we regrouped on the saddle and checked out the route to our next stop, Ridge of the Gendarmes. Today the awe-inspiring Northwest Mox Peak dominated the view of our climb. Hard to believe we were on it the day before.

En route to Col of the Wild
En route to Col of the Wild

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En Route to Southeast Mox Peak

At last, we saw the top of Southeast Mox Peak from the ridge, where it was full of scree. Ledges and steps were barely wide enough to downclimb. We couldn’t protect through here, so we took extra caution.

It was tough to dig the ice ax into the permanent snow ramp in the first gully. But just above the snow, we spotted a fixed anchor. So we backed it up with more webbing and rappelled on double ropes to a safe stopping point.

Col of the Wild
Col of the Wild

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Party of Two by the Key Gully

Later we bypassed the snow ramp from the bottom and reached a roomy platform east of the gully. From there, we peeked into the route below the summit block. A group of two started a few hours ahead was now returning.

It’s tough to describe, but rocks were flying everywhere as they descended. It was for sure not the place to meet those fast-flying rocks head-on! So we waited for them to come to the platform before moving again.

Southeast Mox Peak south gully
Southeast Mox Peak south gully

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Final Stretch on Southeast Mox Peak

Unlike the other gullies, this one felt more vertical. Soon, nearby rocks began to shift around us as we made our way up to the notch. We made sure no one was moving directly above anybody else in the group during this.

Patrick had offered to lead the final two pitches while I stayed back to take photos. Despite loose rocks on the first pitch, there were solid holds along the wall. Not sure if the protection made much difference, but it calmed the nerves a bit.

The final stretch on Southeast Mox Peak
The final stretch on Southeast Mox Peak

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Fourth of July Celebration on Southeast Mox Peak

We later skipped the second pitch and scrambled to the top of the exposed ramp. It’s not the place to lose footing for sure! Alas, we were on the summit after fighting the good fight. Because of the national holiday, I brought mini flags to celebrate.

For me, the arduous climb was more mental. I looked around at the stunning views and couldn’t think to capture the true essence of the Chilliwack peaks. But it was hard to leave it all behind after putting in all the effort to come up here.

Soaking up the views
Soaking up the views

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Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: The Exit

Later we retraced our steps down to a tee. It involved several rappels, more downclimbing, and more griping until camp. We met another team of two at the top of the deadly gully on the way down.

A couple more climbing groups showed up back at camp. Everyone was either part of a Mountaineers group or an acquaintance. What a place to see other peak enthusiasts and celebrate the holiday?

En route back to Redoubt Glacier Camp
En route back to Redoubt Glacier Camp

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Day 6

Exit

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4 > Day 5 > Day 6

Exiting Chilliwacks

Alas! Time to make the long exit after the fun we’ve had. The men went back through Ouzel Lake as I made a beeline for the forest above Depot Creek Falls. But I wasn’t crazy about downclimbing in steep gullies of raging water.

The guys showed up 20 minutes later to join me for our final group photo in the meadow. Then we continued down through Depot Creek Falls for the free shower. Soon, we made our way out of the wilderness to civilization. Ugh, my toes!

Final group photo above Depot Creek Falls
Final group photo above Depot Creek Falls

See more trip photos here.

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4 > Day 5 > Day 6

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