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Ascent of Tomyhoi Peak on 2010-10-17

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Ken Russell
Greg Slayden
Adam Walker
Maria
Date:Sunday, October 17, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Tomyhoi Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7435 ft / 2266 m

Ascent Trip Report

Our party headed out and made reasonably quick work of the trail up to the Gold Run Pass junction. We continued on the new unmapped trail that contours all along the S slopes of Yellow Aster Butte. After topping out here at perhaps 5800' the trail dropped steeply down to the beautiful tarn basin which was crowded with backpackers. Here we found the paths were braided and faded by traffic near the tarns but after contouring along the E side of the tarns in cupcake terrain we picked up the trail again as it made the steep ascent from 5600' to 5800'. From here to near the edge of the glacier the path is well established and easy to follow. It does go up and down steeply over several bumps.

As you near the summit complex the glacier starts to appear below and to the right of you. Here we had trouble finding the right route. My beta indicated traversing glacier and then ascending a ramp up to the ridge. However, the others had found that this snow did not connect this late in season and the glacier/snow was rock hard. We went up what was basically the furthest L ramp to gain the ridge. This involved some hard snow traverse, then a little easy rockwork and then working through a moat and up a slippery rock slope with fresh snow-cover. One we hit the notch we did not find a good rock route through to the other side side even though we knew that Greg had made it work and was exploring ahead. Finally I decided to probe a route by dropping down a loose gully for 20' vertical and then turning hard to the right and going up a narrow chimney/gully. This worked out OK even though there was one narrow and awkward spot in the gully. From there we found easier terrain and were able to scramble over to the false summit. Greg gave us beta and from here a drop of about 150 feet is necessary but this has nice bite sized steps of easy class 3 down to the notch and that part was not bad. The final summit scramble looked very steep and was in a way. First you go up a gully indentation of sorts and angle slightly L towards a rock that is sticking out. Then we worked back to the ridgeline and from here a knife-edge required an unpleasant butt scoot. Fresh snow did not help. Getting down off of the knife edge was sketchy but accomplished. Then an easier ledge traverse left got us to a bit of ground with less exposure. From here we worked directly up 8' vertical onto a big flat rock and then did some exposed traversing left. Semblences of bootpath were found here and there. Finally we worked past the first lower rock and onto the second higher rock where you can get on the L side between two rocks and reach up and tag it. The moves above the knife edge were easier but still quite exposed in some places.

We descended the way we came. I thought the downclimbing would be horrid but actually I found it no worse than the ascent. Mostly I was able to go facing out. The moves themselves were probably not too tough but there is no margin for error. Scary, at least to me. It was great to be back at the notch. From here we easily scrambled back to the false summit. Then traversed over and down our narrow chimney gully one at a time. We gained the moat and geared back up in the cold. Getting out of the moat was tough. Maria needed a push upwards onto the rock rib and I bailed on it and just continued down the moat to where we had hit the rock rib lower down. fter some easy but icy traversing we were back off of the snow and safe. The rest was just the usual slog out with some annoying bits of uphill. But the scenery helped to keep our minds off of that. Eventually it got dark but we made it back to the car in due course. Nice peak, great views, scary scramble.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5135 ft / 1565 m
    Extra Gain:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Route:Icy Moat Morass
    Trailhead:Twin Lakes Road  3700 ft / 1127 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3+
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Crisp Autumn Weather



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