Ascent of Spindle Peak on 2018-07-28

Climber: Serguei Okountsev

Others in Party:Weiwei Yin
Date:Saturday, July 28, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spindle Peak
    Elevation:4915 ft / 1498 m

Ascent Trip Report

Went to recover the four snow pickets that two of us left in Spindle Couloir back in February 2018. Climbed the peak via short South Ridge from Crown - three fixed, super old ropes, none to be trusted, specifically the third one - its sheath already gone and the rock edge started eating into threads. Exposed. Carrying 30lb packs we chose to lower on rappel and pendulum rather than to climb this section. After topping the peak we descended along our winter ascent route, Spindle Couloir, collecting all our (4) snow pickets and hoping to catch the last 10 p.m. gondola. Such an optimism! At midnight we were still there, fighting with the alder in the darkness, "just" 500 meters away from the tourist trail. Then we had to accept the defeat and stopped for overnight bivy. It was 01:00 a.m. Although we packed 6L of water (I thought it was too much!), it was already gone and so gone was what we refilled on the way down from the last stream (Spindle?). Still very thirsty, shared last crispy rice bar for dinner, and no water, when partner yelled "Water!" - she discovered a 500ml bottle in her pack still filled. Shared that but left few sips for the morning. We threw our climbing ropes on the ground to make bed, emergency tarp for cover, slept through warm clear night. It was presumably starry skies, yet we don't remember seeing any stars because we were so tired and dropped to sleep immediately. We woke up at dawn, shared remaining sips of water, back on the trail through alder, boulders and alder-boulders together (devil's club as bonus), +30C, sunny blue skies. We had wild berries for breakfast, together with a few candies that refused to melt in dry mouth - I claimed to the partner that I could feel my blood was getting very thick because of lack of water. Eventually emerged in the "resort area" of Grouse, curious tourists looking at our snow pickets and ice tools. Just for the record, we carried and used ice tool hammers for placing rappel pitons. Incidentally, these ice tools got extemely useful for crossing very long still remaining snow filled gully (we had no crampons) together with just recovered snow pickets for running belay. Eventually, dehydrated, almost hallucinating, (the partner started seriously considering eating leaves to mitigate her thirst), we dropped by Bear shed and got to drink "some" tap water. After that the partner mixed our "Denali Drink" that we invented for Alaska expedition - and with resumed sanity, enjoyed the world around us.

Some footage here (in Chinese) :
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Rope, Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Route:South Ridge
Descent Statistics
    Route:Spindle Couloir
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Serguei Okountsev
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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