2017/7/1-2 – Shelokum Slam / 雪洛庫姆滿貫

Shelokum Mountain
Shelokum Mountain from Lamont Mountain

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Shelokum Slam = Shelokum Mountain + Lamont Mountain (aka Wolfhead)
雪洛庫姆滿貫 = 雪洛庫姆山+拉蒙特山 (綽號狼頭)

Coincidentally, the late afternoon start time was the same as our first trip six years ago when pups and I climbed Gardner Mountains. I specifically remembered the mostly uneventful approach, until a couple of miles before Gardner Meadows where views began to open up. A short section of the trail higher up had been rutted, but overall nicely maintained.

Meadows felt a little busy with more than a handful of tents pitched among trees or off the main trail. We stopped just long enough to find the owner of a snow basket I picked up on the way in, then we left the trail and continued past the meadows. Staying on climbers right of Wolf Creek, we scrambled up to a flat area at 6,400′. After spending some time finding a good enough spot amid down trees, we made dinner and turned in shortly after.

Wolf Creek sky
Wolf Creek sky

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Next day we started hiking at 6 AM to take advantage of cooler morning temperatures. We traveled northwestward aiming for the 7,700′ saddle between Lamont Mountain and Point 8784. From the saddle we got our first glimpse of Shelokum Mountain, quite an impressive pile of rocks. Descending north slopes on talus, scree, and snowfields, we traversed nearly westward toward the 7,300′ saddle between Shelokum and Lamont Mountains.

In Shelokum Creek Basin, rather than maintaining an elevation of 7,200′, we should have dropped lower to 7,000′ to be on less steep terrain, and bypass the northeast-trending buttress with more ease. We did just that on the way back.

Negotiating buttress
Negotiating buttress

Photos from this trip can be found here.

From the 7,300′ saddle, we got our first glimpse into South Fork Cedar Creek Basin, where we turned around couple weekends ago due to weather. Several of the highest summits of Washington, including Silver Star Mountain, could be seen from the saddle. After ditching snow gear, we scrambled northward on the long-running south ridge of Shelokum staying either on or west of the ridge crest. Several knobs along the way, that we either climbed over or negotiated on the west. Rock quality worsened the closer we got to the summit block.

Final scramble to the top involved going up a steep, loose gully on west face to bypass cliffs higher on the ridge. To access the gully, we descended 100′ or so from a notch marked by the only cairn we saw during the entire trip. A largely flat and elongated summit, with steep east face dropping into Shelokum Creek Basin and steep gullies on the west. Gorgeous views all around, with North Gardner Mountain towering above by nearly 900′.

Next stop, Lamont Mountain
Next stop, Lamont Mountain

 

Photos from this trip can be found here.

After a 45-minute lunch break, we retraced our route back into the basin at 7,000′, and then made a rising traverse to Lamont Mountain’s east saddle at 7,700. At 400′ below the saddle, we veered off to climbers right and aimed for the higher saddle at 7,920′. By doing so we had shaved off some time negotiating the high point directly east of the summit. Another 150′ climb from the saddle put us on top of our second destination of the day.

Views on Lamont Mountain were just as good as those of Shelokum but at a slightly different angle. Since we still needed to go back to camp to pack up and hike out, we spent just long enough time to get a bite and photos before leaving the summit.

Thanks for another safe weekend
Thanks for another safe weekend

Photos from this trip can be found here.

On our way out meandering through Gardner Meadows, we stopped and chatted for a bit with folks who climbed Gardner Mountain earlier, and then went on our merry way.

Access: Wolf Creek Trail
Gear: helmet, crampons

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