2017/5/19 – Devils Peak / 魔鬼峯

Objective poking out on left
Objective poking out on left

Photos from this trip can be found here.

NOTE: Devils Peak off Mountain Loop Highway.

Another late morning start, Road 4052/4054 junction was empty but decorated with some beer cans. Snow appeared at the first switchback on Road 4054, where I left the road and shortcut up to the third switchback. From there I continued heading upslope while staying close to south side of the creek coming off Devils Basin.

At 3,000′ I put on snowshoes on soft snow and arrived in Devils Basin at 3,800′ where I got a first glimpse of my destination. By now snow had been in direct sunlight all morning and had gotten slushy. I continued to traverse northwestward upslope to 4,400′, then headed westward and up Devils steep east face. Marshmallow snow was weighing down the snowshoes with every step.

At the notch south side of summit block, I stashed my snow gear by a big boulder and proceeded to scramble up the south face. The 20-25 feet of class 4, exposed rock scramble with good holds put me on the narrow ledge. I walked to the end of the ledge, turned left by the set of rappel bolts, and finished rest of the climb with an short class 2 scramble to summit.

Views up here were incredible, but of course I’d say that to about just any summit on a nice weather day. Many notable peaks could be seen from up here, and all of the Mountain Loop Highway high points were fully visible.

After getting back down onto the ledge, I set up my rappel off a live tree with lots of webbing, but backed up with my own to be safe. My 60m rope was enough to get me back onto the snow 200 feet below, I made a stop partway down to retrieve my snow gear on the notch.

I plunge stepped off the east face and put snowshoes back on near the trees. It was immediately followed by nonstop sliding and falling forward action on wet afternoon snow. Clouds began to roll in as I snowshoed my way out of Devils Basin. Back at the car I picked up the nine empty Bud Light cans left by the junction.

Gear: snowshoes, ice axe, rock gear

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