Ascent of Mount Terror on 2019-07-06

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Matt Hartman
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 6, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Terror
    Elevation:8151 ft / 2484 m

Ascent Trip Report

Guided with Matt Hartman Northwest Mountain School. He also guided me up Mt Baker's north ridge, complete with some fun ice climbing, in 2014, another climb above my lead ability, but within my follow ability. Original plan was to approach as we did and climb the north face (hence the guide). That north face climb is a bit above my ability level to lead, but I can follow it. As we set out, the weather was not too cooperative and it looked like a north face ascent would be an epic, or worse, dangerous. So, we scaled back and settled on the west ridge, a decision that was made over the course of the 2 approach days and then confirmed at 2am on summit day with the sounds of rain on the tent.

Going in early season is highly advisable as we had a very easy time crossing from our camp below the Chopping Block all the way to the base of the south-facing gully that leads to the west ridge on snow nearly the entire way. The gully was also really easy as it was snow covered to within 20 feet of the top and we just walked right up it. The part that was exposed looked like it would be total shit later in the season: loose rock and lots of solid dirt. Once you are at the notch and facing the west ridge (facing east from the notch), you can either walk left on snow and hop right on to the rock, or traverse right on some loose crap into a gully that will put you back at the top of the snowfield above the notch between the first little tower and the west ridge proper. The first pitch is low 5th class, we both climbed it in boots; our rock shoes would remain in our packs today as the north face was out for us. The hardest move was leaving the moat and getting on to the rock, so it had a nice safety cushion of only worrying about slipping less than 10 feet back into the moat between snow and rock. We pitched it out for 2 pitches out of the moat, then the terrain eases up a lot and is mostly class 2 strolling to the false summit.

From the false summit, we descended a short distance back, keeping our eyes peeled to the south side of the ridge. About 30 vertical feet below the false summit, there is a loose gully leading down and south in a "V" that puts it on an intercept course with another gully leading back up that puts you in the notch (with a chockstone) between the false and real summits. Matt belayed me as I went down this loose gully first. The re-ascent to the notch is trivial. From the notch, we pitched it out again most of the way to the true summit. There is a nice spot to rest just below the real summit where we were both down in a bit of a bowl and could relax and feel safe. The summit is a single rock that can be scrambled up and has room for one person at a time. We both touched it and retreated to the bowl to eat, take pictures, etc. The weather was very threatening the entire time we were out of camp; it felt like the rain would start any minute. Thankfully it held just long enough for us to get the peak even if we did the easier west ridge and had to scrap the north face objective. We were back in camp around 2pm and the weather held until 7pm, when it proceeded to rain all night until our wake-up time of 5am. We saw mountain goats in camp, which I quite enjoyed.

Thankfully the rain stopped by our secondary wake-up time of 6am, so we could pack without being rained on, and we made our wet retreat to the Goodell Creek "trailhead." Of note, on the descent, we got pulled just a little off-route to skier's right on the main ridge from 5000 to 4600. It was wet and not fun brush-bashing. Never miserable footing, just definitely off route and no way back through cliffs to the correct ridge-top route until it flattened out at 4600. Once you are on the ridge, STAY ON THE RIDGE! If you lose the trail, which you will do multiple times, aim for the center of the ridge and you will eventually find it.

If you nail the approach, you can definitely do the west ridge in 3 days. The problem is nailing the approach if you haven't been there. It definitely requires some creative route finding. Our 4 day trip was for a hopeful north face climb which would have required a better camp placement, but the weather did that in. I am certainly glad that we had enough of a window to climb the west ridge!

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7531 ft / 2295 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Guide, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7531 ft / 2295 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Start Trailhead:Goodell Creek   620 ft / 188 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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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.

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