Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Success Cleaver: June 26, 2017

This trip report is from Jason Griffith of Skagit Mountain Rescue
"Current conditions on Success Cleaver:
Snow starts below Indian Henry's, it's about 3-4' deep at patrol cabin.  Camped first night on rock slabs below Pyramid Peak ~6.3k, running water all around.   Deep snow most of the way up the Cleaver, good travel generally.

Knife edge portion melted out and can scramble the crest.  Sunday night, stomped out platform at the 10.7k small col on crest of success cleaver.  Left camp at 0230 and found generally good step kicking snow up and right in gullies merging onto Kautz Cleaver ~12.2k (no rockfall, small bits of ice falling on us). 
Above this, we encountered icy sections of snow where we were on front points for long sections (to about 45 degrees).  Second tool helpful since we were moving unroped on the climb to Point Success.  Found weakness to sneak past final cliff below Point Success that only required a short bit of 55 degree snow/ice (~15'). 

We arrived at Point Success around 0700 and wandered across to Columbia Crest.  Quiet morning on the mountain: saw one party topping out on the Emmons, another coming up the Kautz, one entering crater from DC and another ascending the DC as we were descending around 0900. 

The DC itself was amazingly sloppy at 1000, glad to have been down relatively early.  As we approached Ingraham Flats, convection started rapidly building and we watched as lightning hit ridges south of the Tatoosh.  A dramatic backdrop as we arrived at Muir and checked in with Peter! 
Rain and wind as we descended the snowfield to Paradise with the summit obscured.  Good timing, I guess."