2016/6/12 – Spring Mountain / 春山

Spring Mountain summit ahead
Spring Mountain summit ahead

All photos from this trip can be found here.

Last time I was in the area, my partner and I climbed Breccia Peak just east of Spring Mountain. Road 49 was muddy with lots of potholes in the beginning but it wasn’t a big concern. Three cars were parked at the trailhead when we arrived in late morning. Lost Creek Ridge Trail was free of snow with some down trees, and it didn’t take very long to get to Bingley Gap where we took a snack break.

At the gap the pup and I made a left and followed what seemed like a faint climbers path up the steep east ridge of the mountain. Mostly class 3 or exposed class 3 depending on the part of the ridge we were on. For the most part we were able to stay on the ridge crest except until we encountered a few class 4 outcrops, which we got around from the north side.

The second group of outcrops forced us into a steep, narrow gully with wet moss growing on slabs. Luckily there were a group of small, sturdy trees I used to belay and squeeze myself back out onto the ridge. The exposure and the wet slabs didn’t seem to matter much to the pup, hmm…

Once back on the ridge we were able to stay on the crest while making our way through three small talus fields. Snow showed up just past the last talus field and about 200 feet below where the ridge flattened out. Glad I brought my ax for the steep snow sections since snowshoes and crampons weren’t necessary. On the way up we bypassed the south ridge crest before the summit and made our way to the base of the summit block where it became completely snow free. With a short 150′ scramble we were on top of the mountain.

The main attractions in the area–Mount Pugh, Breccia Peak, Glacier Peak, Bedal Peak, and Sloan Peak–were all capped in clouds. I was thankful that it never rained despite the weather forecast. We spent an hour and half hoping clouds on those mountains would go away to get some good photos but it never happened.

Getting back down to the gap didn’t take very much time, and even getting around the outcrops felt much easier than the other way around.

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