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

  • Reading time:17 mins read

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

Southeast Mox Peak summit towers
Southeast Mox Peak summit towers

See more trip photos here.

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks at a Glance

Chilliwack Slam = Mount Spickard + Mount Rahm + Mount Custer + Mount Redoubt + Mox Peaks (Northwest Spire) + 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+馬克斯峯 (西北尖塔)+馬克斯峯 (東南尖塔)

Access: Depot Creek Road
Round Trip: 45 miles
Elevation Range: 2200′-8979′
Gear: multi-night, rock & rope
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no pets

Logistics Overview

June 30 – July 5, 2015

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

Day 1 – Tuesday, June 30
Approach to 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
Night 4 – Redoubt Glacier

Day 5 – Saturday, July 4
SE Mox Peak
Night 5 – Redoubt Glacier

Day 6 – Sunday, July 5
Exit


Day 1

Approach to Ouzel Lake + Mount Spickard

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

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks

Last year, Kenny and I came into the area to climb Mox Peaks. But the weather was terrible. And the visibility reached as far out as Ouzel Lake. So we left the following day. Afterward, I decided to return and climb all sox peaks in one trip.

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

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

See more trip photos here.

Depot Creek Trail

I slept by Chilliwack Lake Road. Then in the morning, I drove up Depot Creek Road. Soon, a down tree over the road kept me from going farther. But I was only half a mile to the end of the drivable part.

The trail on the Canadian side was largely brush-free. But it was muddy in places. The international crop line was a sight to see. And I could only imagine the work put into carving out the border.

Best of both worlds
Best of both worlds

See more trip photos here.

Depot Creek Falls

We later entered the North Cascades National Park, where the trail became brushy fast. There were many down trees and short shrubs to get off the route quickly.

Compared to last year, more water came down Depot Creek Falls this time. With the water constantly going into my eyes, it was tough to see clearly. Plus, my clothes also were soaking wet.

Depot Creek Falls
Depot Creek Falls

See more trip photos here.

A Missing GPS Device

With the help of the same fixed rope, I went above the slippery slabs safely. But just past the waterfalls, I realized I’d lost my GPS device. So I went back to the other side of the water and found it in the dense brush.

Terrain steepened past the waterfalls. But with a more defined path, I moved more quickly. Once in the upper basin, the views opened instantly. Then it was only another mile to reach Ouzel Lake through moraine and lots of boulders.

Ouzel Lake camp
Ouzel Lake camp

See more trip photos here.

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 some 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.

From there, I moved east through steep and icy slopes. Meanwhile, I aimed for the 8000′ notch on the southwest ridge. Later I bypassed the hard snow on the southwest face in the shallow moat. Views improved with elevation gain. At times, I looked over my shoulder at the impressive Mount Redoubt and Mox Peaks.

Mount Spickard southwest slope
Mount Spickard southwest slope

See more trip photos here.

Mount Spickard Summit Views

The first things I wanted to see from the top were Mount Rahm and Mount Custer. They sure looked much farther apart in person! I also noted the length of the joining ridge I needed to traverse the following day. Only a tiny part of Silver Lake was visible from here.

The golden hour lighting through thick clouds was incredible. Then the sun setting over the Canadian mountains was just beyond words! I enjoyed an extended visit to soak in the views and photograph as much as possible on this rare occasion. Then I made my way back down and reached camp just before dark.

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

See more trip photos here.

Day 2

Mount Rahm + Mount Custer

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

Silver Lake

My two goals for the day were Mount Rahm and Mount Custer, the two northernmost peaks on this trip. But I had to go through the same scree gully I went up the evening before. Then I continued along Depot Creek’s headwaters to reach Spickard-Custer col at 7400′.

The anticipation to see the entire Silver Lake had been building up until this moment. And when I saw the water from the saddle, it was just how I had imagined. Then I kept the same altitude and moved northeast below Custer Ridge to the north of Silver Lake.

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

See more trip photos here.

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Rahm Climb

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

Mount Rahm was the second closest I’d been to the Canadian border (.5 mile). The nearest was Cathedral Peak at .25 mile from the boundary. The making of the crop line continued to fascinate 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

See more trip photos here.

Mount Rahm Summit Views

Hozomeen Mountain and Jack Mountain looked incredible from here. So hard to leave the views behind. But I still needed to get to Mount Custer on the other side of the ridge.

The traverse to Mount Custer wasn’t as bad as I had read in some reports. But perhaps it was the snow-free terrain that had made things more manageable. Though, the rocks slowly worsened the nearer I was to the mountain.

Next stop, Mount Custer
Next stop, Mount Custer

See more trip photos here.

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 let me go onto the ridge rest. Then I worked my way up the east face and scrambled to the top.

Mount Custer was another excellent vantage point to see Silver Lake. The evening colors had also made the water even more vibrant. Staring back at Mount Rahm, I had a “Did I just come from there?” moment. The solemn Canadian mountains stood as the sun dipped lower in the northern skyline.

Looking back at Mount Rahm
Looking back at Mount Rahm

See more trip photos here.

Back to Ouzel Lake

Dropping onto Mount Custer’s south ridge through worse rocks and slipperier slopes was laborious. Beyond Point 8385, the only crux was getting off Custer Ridge to rejoin my tracks and return to the pass. Glad that a moderate snowfield over the ridgeline had lessened the pain.

While dropping down the east side, I spotted a few weather towers. Then I found my tracks at 7400′ and side traversed down to the col. Even after climbing both peaks, there was still lots of daylight back at camp. Though, mosquitoes were out in full force tonight.

Dreaming of Mount Redoubt
Dreaming of Mount Redoubt

See more trip photos here.

Day 3

Mount Redoubt

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

En Route to Redoubt Glacier Camp

On the morning of day 3, I packed up before it became too warm. Then I made my way up toward Redoubt Glacier, where I’d call home for the next two nights. Crossing the raging Depot Creek by the camp ended up eating up quite a bit of time.

I made up for the lost time by quickly going through granite slabs up to the edge of the snow. Then I carefully moved through gaps on steep terrain that later flattened at 7000′. Spectacular views en route kept me turning back for photos.

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

See more trip photos here.

Redoubt Glacier Camp

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

It grew warm very fast during the day. So after setting up the tent, I took a break inside as I studied the route to climb Mount Redoubt. But dang, the Flying Buttress was a sight to see from here.

Mox Peaks from Camp Redoubt
Mox Peaks from Camp Redoubt

See more trip photos here.

Mount Redoubt to Mox Peaks: Mount Redoubt Climb

Later I walked higher up on the glacier. Then I climbed through the south notch over to the west and reached the bottom of the gullies soon after. Of course, I had to pick the closest one with a giant moat. But the paths all merged below the upper snowfield.

Even with reports and photos in hand, I still couldn’t find the route by the upper gullies. So, I picked the one with a faint path and worked my way up the steep area. Even though it was a little more technical, it worked out for me.

From Mount Redoubt's shadow to Chilliwack Slam
From Mount Redoubt’s shadow to Chilliwack Slam

See more trip photos here.

Mount Redoubt Summit Views

It soon became apparent that I had gone off route as I went higher on the mountain. So I moved one gully east and went back on track for the final bit. The crux here was bypassing a steep snow ramp from above. Soon, I was up on the windy summit.

Up until a couple of ravens came by to “check” on me, it was pretty quiet. But words couldn’t describe the incredible views, with everything looking beyond gorgeous. Of my six goals, Mount Redoubt was the only one to see the other five together.

Five out of six
Five out of six

See more trip photos here.

Back to Camp Redoubt

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

Back at camp, I saw two new tents not far below mine. So I thought Kenny and Patrick had come in while I was out. It’s late in the day, so I didn’t bother to say hello if they were asleep. I enjoyed some lovely golden hour light on northern peaks before turning in.

Evening light on Chilliwack peaks
Evening light on Chilliwack peaks

See more trip photos here.

Day 4

Northwest Mox Peak

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

Kenny and Patrick

I woke up to an eerily quiet morning. Then I checked on the two tents but didn’t see anyone. For a minute, I thought Kenny and Patrick had taken off. So I went back inside the tent to rethink my plans. The next time I poked my head outside the tent, two figures had appeared on Redoubt Glacier.

The two people ended up being Kenny and Patrick, so I was beyond ecstatic! They had decided to stay the night at Ouzel Lake after making the long way in from the car. As it turned out, the two tents below me belonged to a group of four climbers.

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

See more trip photos here.

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

Shortly after Kenny and Patrick arrived, we geared up and made our way down the glacier. We tried moving fast, as it was becoming warm in the late morning. Later at 7300′, we kept the same altitude and bypassed the first buttress off Northwest Mox Peak’s west ridge.

The second buttress extended farther down the glacier. So without dropping below 7000′ to bypass it, we went onto the buttress and looked for a different way. With some scouting, at 7200′, we came upon a ledge by a small moat. Then we all took a giant leap to reach the snow.

Ridge run on Northwest Mox Peak
Ridge run on Northwest Mox Peak

See more trip photos here.

Northwest Mox Peak Northeast Ridge

Soon, we crossed the glacier to the east end at 7400′. But the snow below the rock wall had receded quite a bit. Many groups have turned around here later in the season. Luckily, we were able to get ourselves onto the ledges via a dwindling snow bridge.

From there, we climbed two pitches up to the 7600′ saddle. Then we traversed the beautiful northeast ridge. At times, going up on the narrow ridgeline felt like straddling a horse. The impressive Southeast Mox Peak was the main attraction. It was hard not to keep gazing at it in awe.

See more trip photos here.

Off Route on Northwest Mox Peak

The higher we went, the sounds of rockfalls from the other Mox Peak became more noticeable. It was a pure adrenaline rush and nerve-wracking at the same time. But we dropped onto the southeast side too early found ourselves at the dead-end of a scree ramp.

After some scouting, we went back to the crest and climbed another 200′. Soon, we dropped through a chimney onto the southeast face. We moved up a ramp to the bottom of another chimney. Then one more pitch put us back on the ridge, where we finished the climb.

Sixth and final destination
Sixth and final destination

See more trip photos here.

Northwest Mox Peak Summit Views

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.

Vanishing behind the Flying Buttress
Vanishing behind the Flying Buttress

See more trip photos here.

Day 5

Southeast Mox Peak

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

Happy Fourth of July
Happy Fourth of July

See more trip photos here.

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

It was our last day and my sixth and final peak to check off the list. The infamous Southeast Mox Peak was reportedly the most technical of the Bulger List. I had looked forward to the challenges so we’d soon find out for ourselves.

Shortly after breakfast, we left camp early to have plenty of daylight at our disposal. The mile-long side traverse to Col of the Wild consisted of crossing talus, scree, and snow. There was lots of choss as we made our way up to the saddle.

We regrouped on the col and then checked out the route toward our next stop–Ridge of the Gendarmes. Today the awe-inspiring Northwest Mox Peak dominated the view of our climb. So hard to believe we had just climbed it the day before.

Col of the Wild
Col of the Wild

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Southeast Mox Peak

From the ridge, we finally got our first look at the Southeast Mox Peak summit. The east face looked to be full of nothing but more scree and loose rocks. There were ledges and steps wide enough to downclimb but nowhere to protect and belay. So we took extra caution through here.

It was tough to dig our ice axes into the permanent snow fingers in the first gully. We immediately spotted a fixed anchor above the snow. After backing it up with more webbing, we rappelled on double ropes down to a safe stopping point. Then we got around the bottom of the snow and onto a platform east of the gully.

From there, we finally were able to peek into the access gully below the summit block. A party of two who started hours before us were descending. So hard to put it into words, but rocks were virtually flying everywhere as they came down. The gully was not the place to meet those fast-flying rocks! So we waited for the climbers to come down to the platform before we started moving.

Southeast Mox Peak spire
Southeast Mox Peak spire

See more trip photos here.

Keeping Focused on Wild Terrain

Unlike other steep gullies, this one was steeper and rockier. Before we knew it, rocks began to move all around us. We took our time getting up to the notch above the gully. In the process, we also made sure no one was climbing directly above anyone else in the group. We were only a couple more pitches below the top.

Patrick had graciously offered to lead while I stayed behind to take photos of the climb. Although many loose rocks on the first pitch, there were still good holds along the cliff wall. And though I wasn’t sure if the protection did the job, it was better to have something than nothing.

See more trip photos here.

Fourth of July Celebration on Southeast Mox Peak

We decided to forego the second pitch. So instead, we scrambled up to the top of the exposed ramp. Not the place to lose our footing for sure! Alas. We finally stood atop the summit after hearing the good and the bad about this peak. Because today was our national holiday, I prepared mini flags for our summit celebration.

Man, what an exhausting climb this was. It was more mental than physical. Spectacular views all around us, but the photos couldn’t capture the true essence of the Chilliwack peaks. We spent a long time on the summit while soaking in the views. But it was hard to leave it all behind after putting in all that effort to get up here.

Soaking up the views
Soaking up the views

See more trip photos here.

Back to Redoubt Glacier Camp

The descent was just going through everything but in reverse. It involved several rappels, more downclimbing, and more griping until we reached camp. On the way down, we met another team of two at the top of the deadly gully.

A couple more climbing groups showed up back at camp. Everyone was either part of a Mountaineers group or an acquaintance. What a great place to see other like-minded folks and to celebrate the holiday!

Day 6

Exit

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

See more trip photos here.

Exiting the Chilliwack Slam

Alas. Now that we’ve had our fun, today we made the long exit back to the cars. While Kenny and Patrick went back through Ouzel Lake, I bypassed it and moraine by keeping north on Redoubt Glacier. The shortcut worked out okay, and I made it down to the forest above Depot Creek Falls. Though, I wasn’t crazy about downclimbing in steep gullies of raging water.

The guys showed up 20 minutes later to join me. Then we took one last group photo in the meadow before going back down through Depot Creek Falls. Then we hiked and bushwhacked our way out. My poor toes!

See more trip photos here.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.