Ascent of Mount Deception on 2013-06-07

Climber: Paul Michelson

Others in Party:Mike Collins
David Diehl
Date:Friday, June 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Deception
    Elevation:7788 ft / 2373 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mike C and I climbed Mt Deception Friday in less than ideal conditions. We hit the first patches of snow at 4500ft but found a dry camp site at Royal Lake so decided to stop here rather than push to the upper basin which was still fully snowed in. While Thursday was sunny we awoke Friday morning to a low overcast and threatening skies. It was misting when we made it to the upper basin but we could still see part way up our intended route (we had seen the upper part of the route from the lake the night before). We ascended directly up the face and into the 45 degree gully merging with Route 4 (Honeymoon Route) in the Climber’s Guide to the Olympic Mountains. The route went fine as we climbed into the mist. Visibility was only a couple hundred of feet so we inched our way from feature to feature that we remembered from earlier views. We had some rock fall and crossed several opening moats and sections of thinning snow. I am not sure how much longer this route will be in shape this year. We exited the snow gully around 7300ft and worked up some rock to the ridge crest at 7400ft where we were met with the full force of the wind and horizontal precipitation. A little while later we were on the summit where we stayed just long enough to take a few pictures and start down. Both Mike and I did not like the prospects of reversing the upper part of our route so we started down the standard route, crossing over the cornice saddle and the upper Deception Glacier and back to the Deception – Martin saddle. In the lousy visibility we hit the latter saddle a bit to the right of the standard deproach slope and were blocked from getting there by ridge pinnacles but we found a way down to the right by linking rock and snow until meeting back with our ascent gully part way down the face. We backed down the steep snow a few hundred more feet until the angle lessened enough to plunge step and continued down to the basin, relieved to be off this pile of a mountain. Almost on cue the weather started to improve and it was clear and sunny by the time we were back in camp. The hike out was uneventful. 4 hrs to summit from camp at Royal lake.

Pictures and more info here:

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5500 ft / 1676 m
    Distance:17 mi / 27.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Windy, Low Clouds
poor on climb
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:5500 ft / 1676 m
    Extra Loss:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:8.5 mi / 13.7 km
    Trailhead:2588 ft / 788 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:8.5 mi / 13.7 km

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