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Ascent of The Brothers on 2013-07-27

Climber: Jeffrey Wright

Date:Saturday, July 27, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:The Brothers
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6842 ft / 2085 m

Ascent Trip Report

Nice trail all the way to Climber's Camp. Pretty well defined boot path all the way from camp to the top of the NW gully. The only catch was at Lunch Rock where you have squirrel your way around the rock to find the trail again. At the top of the gully stay to the left of the snowfield. Too packed to kick steps but not really icy. Potentially microspikes would help (saw a few fast/light dayhikers with the microspikes). But really, no need to get on any snow right now. Leave the crampons, ice axe, gaiters at home. At the top of the snowfield, scramble up and right to the ridge which takes you to the the Hourglass. To enter the Hourglass, stay high and then traverse left. The Hourglass is absolutely PERILOUS and is infamous for a reason. Rockfall is prevalent and dangerous. Highly recommend not going through when anybody else is making their way through. At the top of the Hourglass is a fork defined by a large ridge which separates the 2 variations on Route 1 as defined by the Olympic Climbing guide. The right fork has another snowfield and the left is dry. Recommend taking the right fork (snowfield). Ascend to the left of the snowfield (right fork)...no need to get on the snow. It is easy to waste an hour thinking you found the summit only to find one of the 2 false summits. The right fork snowfield (east route 1 variation) takes you right up to the saddle between the middle false peak and the true summit mound..and is therefore the receommended route. At the saddle, you get your first look at the North Peak and stunning Traverse. To make it more confusing there are 3-ish distinct "pinacles" on the true summit "mound". The true peak is the eastern-most of the three. When you get to the saddle, take a sharp right through a flake marked by a large cairn just south of and below the saddle. Once through the flake, the summit will be obvious and it is a leisurely stroll to the top. If you feel like you are rock climbing, you are going the wrong way! :)

On descent we were heralded by a fallen climber below who had broken their leg going through the Hourglass 45-min prior to our arrival due to rockfall and was incapacitated half-way down the Hourglass. We splinted his leg and moved him to a flat-ish spot where he and his buddy spent the night in a bivy. We called for help and Search and Rescue were at them by 10:00AM the next day and airlifted out by 3:00PM. PLEASE be careful in the Hourglass. It is so easy to break your ankle/leg here.

The descent was harder to route-find on the boot path down the gully (especially in the dark!) so leave plenty of time for the descent. Lots of cairns/flags mark the way.

A Note on the Traverse: It has no snow and looks impossible. Even as a rock climber, it does not look smart to attempt because the rock is junk and the angle is too steep.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp, Bivouac
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Route 1
Descent Statistics



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