Monday, July 9, 2012

Island Peak - 88 Days to Departure - The Brothers

Gorgeous weekend to head out for a more challenging trip. We left Seattle early Saturday morning, and after a short detour (oops, how many times were we in the area before?) got to the Lena Lake trailhead and started hiking around 11:30 ish. 

The first part of the trip took us to Lena Lake, the trail was well maintained, not as busy as I expected it to be, but then we were starting at a time many locals were already enjoying the lake where we arrived around 14:00 p.m. and found many campsites occupied and people enjoying the hot sunny day.  

After the lake, the trail took us up the Valley of the Silent Man towards the climbers base camp.We found it full, and still having energy left, we proceeded higher up first on a well defined path, later navigating our way through a long blown down area, until we found a great camping spot higher up. We moved in and spent the evening by a fire, enjoying some good chocolate wine.

The morning came quickly. Soon after our departure from camp we reached the snow which at first was firm and not too steep; however we had to cross several snow bridges here, most of which did not look in a good shape, and we made a note to be extra careful on our way down.

The route soon got steeper; the snow was still firm, and with crampons easy going. We had to cross a stream and little bit of rock scrambling followed. We turned left little too soon and things got steep fast, so we retracted and followed a lower path that got us around the cliffs to another snow covered slope. 

This one was long and steep, and led us to the last rocky area where we scrambled to what we thought was the summit; however soon we found out we were mistaken. The summit was further on and between it and us lay a 30 foot drop. It was possible to downclimb the section and connect to the summit path but not being much of a rock scrambler, and being tired already, false summit did just fine for me for this trip.

The way down, with snow still firm and slippery at the steep part, was nearly as challenging as the way up but we made it down in one piece, exhausted but glad we had a great trip.

No comments: