Colfax Peak + Sherman Peak / 科爾法克斯峯+雪曼峯

After some talks, Lindsay, Duncan, and I teamed up for Colfax Peak and Sherman Peak. By climbing these two peaks early in the season, we made use of snow over the cruxes. I went to Teanaway for a conditioner last week.

Colfax Peak summit up ahead
Colfax Peak summit up ahead

See more trip photos here.

For Sherman Peak in the Pasayten Wilderness, see this post.

Colfax Peak and Sherman Peak at a Glance

Access: Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3680′-10160′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, crampons, snow, rock
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

Heliotrope Ridge Trail

We left our snowshoes in the car for this trip. Since many skiers had been up the mountain recently, they had laid out many trails. Snow in the lower part of Coleman Glacier was excellent. So the tracks were easy to follow.

Snow conditions up high were sometimes a miss. So that made going up to the Grant-Colfax saddle feel like forever. Though, it was a relief to find that postholing wasn’t much of an issue. Soon, we made it up to the pass at a decent time.

Now let's get into formation
Now let’s get into formation

See more trip photos here.

Colfax Peak Climb

On the saddle, the wind blew in all directions. But we had no choice but to camp there. Once we settled in, we then roped up and went for Colfax Peak. The bergshrund below the east peak was visible from below. But we found a section with decent snow cover and climbed over it.

Shortly, we went above the crux. Then we bypassed the east peak on steep slopes. From there, we dropped onto the saddle. Then we did the final climb via the east face. At the same time, we placed pickets on the steep terrain.

Going up to Colfax Peak
Going up to Colfax Peak

See more trip photos here.

Colfax Peak Summit

The wind continued on the summit. So it was colder than usual. But the fantastic views took our minds off of the gusts. Lincoln Peak on the west looked gnarly. Meanwhile, Grant Peak stared us down from the top.

We stayed just long enough to take in the immense landscape. Alas! It was hard to leave the summit. But we needed to make it back down to our campsite before dark. So we would have enough time to get ready for the next day.

Lincoln Peak from Colfax Peak
Lincoln Peak from Colfax Peak

See more trip photos here.

A Windy Night

The wind was relentless. The noise grew even louder as the evening slowly turned into night. So the three of us tried not to go outside of our tents unless it was necessary. Then we all ate inside the tents.

It was a night of clear night sky. But the constant wind gusts could not get me out to photography star trails. So I was happy to go back to sleep.

Twin Sisters Mountain
Twin Sisters Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Sherman Peak Climb

The next morning, we wanted to move by 8. So we could go up Sherman Peak early. But we decided to wait for the sun to light up the southern slopes first. Afterward, we traveled to the base of the Sherman Crater Rim. We crossed both Deming and Easton Glaciers without issues.

Sufficient snow on the steep Squak Glacier allowed us to go straight onto Sherman Peak west ridge. Then from there, it was just a steep climb up to the top. We placed one picket 30 feet below the summit to avoid sliding down the icy south face.

Sherman Peak up ahead
Sherman Peak up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Sherman Peak Summit

Stunning views were everywhere, but especially of the North Cascades mountains on the east. Mount Baker was right in our faces since we were now much closer to it than Colfax Peak.

The summit wasn’t very roomy. Because of the constant wind gusts, we didn’t stay very long. Soon, we made our way back down to the saddle. Then we followed our route back onto the glaciers and to camp.

Lincoln Peak and Colfax Peak
Lincoln Peak and Colfax Peak

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Breaking camp didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped. We had to keep fighting the wind gusts. It was early afternoon already. So it was pretty warm when we began to move.

By now, Coleman Glacier was way more slushy than the day before. So it was hard to glissade. The wind later stopped at the bottom of the glacier. So we were able to make it down to the trail more comfortably.

Group Kodak moment on Sherman Peak
Group Kodak moment on Sherman Peak

See more trip photos here.

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