Ascent of Snowfield Peak on 2018-09-07

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Friday, September 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Snowfield Peak
    Elevation:8347 ft / 2544 m

Ascent Trip Report

September 6-7, 2018

Eric and Aaron

After getting back to the trailhead from Glacier Peak in the afternoon September 5, I pulled into the IGA in Darrington to load up on some junk food. I was trying to reclimb a bunch of Bulger peaks to tighten my finishing time window, and there were a handful left on my redo list that I didn’t feel comfortable soloing and would need a partner for. It looked like the next few days would still be dry, and it turned out Aaron was interested in climbing Snowfield Peak. We’d both already climbed Snowfield back in April 2017, so the routefinding would be straightforward.

I slept in my car at a trailhead near Darrington, and met Aaron in town the next morning. We carpooled to the Marblemount Ranger Station, picked up a permit, and continued to the Pyramid Lake trailhead.

Over the next few hours we hiked up to Pyramid Lake, then followed the well-established climbers trail up to the shoulder northeast of Pyramid Peak. From there we traversed across the talus field, then scrambled around the left side of the lake at the base of the Colonial Glacier.

At the head of the lake we put on crampons and hiked up the Colonial Glacier to the Neve-Colonial Col. It was close to sunset by then, and we found a sheltered place to pitch the tent. Luckily there was running water at the col, so we didn’t need to melt snow.

In the morning we started at sunrise and scrambled down to the Neve Glacier. The glacier was very cracked up, and I was happy to be travelling roped up. Aaron led the way, finding a good route through the crevasse maze. At one critical juncture I left a hiking pole to mark the route for the return.

We ditched the glacier gear on the west ridge of Snowfield and continued scrambling up. There were multiple third class routes that seemed feasible, and we eventually passed through a notch, downclimbed a bit, then scrambled up the final 3rd class section to the summit.

There was a lot of smoke to the east, and that made for colorful pictures. On the descent we scrambled back to our glacier gear and managed to follow our faint bootprints back to our tent. We cramponed down the Colonial Glacier and made it to the northeast ridge of Pyramid Peak just as a light rain set in. We managed to get back to the car without getting too wet, and drove back to Darrington.

Link to full trip report and pictures.
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