2016/6/12 – Spring Mountain / 春山

Spring Mountain summit ahead
Spring Mountain summit ahead

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. Mostly class 3 or exposed class 3 depending on the part of the ridge we were on. Mostly we were able to stay on the ridge crest except at the outcrops, which we negotiated from the north.

The second group of outcrops forced us into a steep, narrow gully with wet moss on slabs. Luckily I was able to use a group of small trees to belay myself up and squeeze back out onto the ridge. Exposure and wet slabs didn’t seem to faze the pup, hmm…

Back on the ridge stayed on the crest while making our way through three small talus fields separated by trees. Snow appeared just past the last talus field, about 200′ below where the ridge flattened out. Glad I brought my ice axe for the steep snow sections. We bypassed the south ridge crest just before the summit block and made our way to the base where it became completely snow free. With a short 150′ scramble and we were atop 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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