Ascent of Sacajawea Peak on 2020-08-08

Climber: Jason Vogler

Others in Party:Paul Sarvela
Justin Vogler
Kanta Nakamura
Date:Saturday, August 8, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sacajawea Peak
    Elevation:9838 ft / 2998 m

Ascent Trip Report

We lined up our ascent of Sacajawea Peak after we finished our climb to the top of Matterhorn (See Matterhorn ascent for that portion). We had thought that the worst part of our trip was going to be going to the top of Matterhorn but we were wrong. Some of this was the due to the challenge of navigating from Matterhorn to Sacajawea and some of this was due to our own stupidity. In any case it appeared to be a pretty straightforward process. Walk north along the ridge of Matterhorn down to the saddle between Matterhorn and the unnamed peak. Follow the trail that goes across to the saddle between the unnamed peak and Sacajawea(which we could see from Matterhorn). Cross the ridge line and then Climb Sacajawea.

Well the problem is that there is no trail that cuts across the no name mountain...It was a goat trail that took us into a super exposed scree field. DO NOT TAKE THE OBVIOUS TRAIL SHORT CUT! hike your butt up the unnamed peak and then back down the other side of the ridge line it is safer, faster, and doesn't scare the crap out of you. STUPIDEST thing I have ever done on a mountain and that is saying something!

Once you get down to the saddle of the unnamed peak you now face the dragon's back along the ridge with 2000 foot drops on either side as you go over several Class 3 Gendarmes. The climbs are nothing after the scree field but all the data we had read was to keep west of the gendarmes as there were some bypasses that were not to bad. There were always good handholds and only the largest Gendarme early on was really difficult, as they got easier the further North we got along the dragon's back. eventually the last 1/4 mile is an easy walk along the ridge line to the summit of Sacajawea. Took us almost 2 hours from top of Matterhorn to Sacajawea but that scree field cost us at least 30 minutes to cross than going along the ridge.

Going back was more of the same except we went up the unnamed peak this time and found it much faster and very doable until we ended up on the summit of this peak and hung out here to rest as we prepared for the final climb down the Unnamed peak and back up Matterhorn. We could see where we went wrong on the scree trail as we went below the huge hole on the unnamed peak that had obvious drop lines. Never go west of the hole.

As we crossed the saddle we tried to stay as close to the ridge of Matterhorn until we got near the top where we began our decent back down to Ice lake at the first Cairn we saw. the descent was straight forward as we could see the trail from above and followed it off the granite top of Matterhorn.

Once on the red rock on the east side of Matterhorn we could not lose the trail and the two miles down to Ice lake. It was steep and our toes were jammed into the front of our boots the entire time but other than that we were glad to be coming down for a nap and dinner and swim and the order of that varied depending on what everyone needed first. Mine started with the nap.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Loss:3100 ft / 944 m
    Grade/Class:class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Perfect Day
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Matterhorn trailhead  
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3100 ft / 944 m
    End Trailhead:Matterhorn trailhead  6738 ft / 2053 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Sacagawea High point trip (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
2Sacajawea Peak2020-08-08 
    Total Trip Loss: 3100 ft / 945 m

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