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Ascent of Floating Rock on 2021-09-03

Climber: Outside & Stuff

Others in Party:Nick B
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, September 3, 2021
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Floating Rock
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5000 ft / 1524 m

Ascent Trip Report

There is a surprising amount of loose rock on this peak; bring a helmet and test all hand and footholds very carefully.

We attempted the shoulder that runs north of Hi-Low lake. The first couple hundred feet were a less than pleasant bushwack through head-high berry bushes that eventually gave way to a more open ridge scramble to the high point around 4800'. Stick to climbers left to avoid the worst of the brush and scrambling. We turned north at the high point and dropped down to an indistinct saddle just below the south ridge of Floating Rock. Past here the ridge becomes steeper and more heavily forested. At around 4900' there is what looks like a 15-20' class 3-4 rock step with some exposure to the right. From what I've read this may be the crux, but we didn't get to attempt it. I was starting to scramble up to the base of it when I pulled a large rock down onto my hand, crushing my palm and slicing a deep gash in my finger. Fortunately, nothing was obviously broken, but there was no way we were making the summit after that, so we turned around. Spent the night camped at green ridge lake and packed out in the morning.

In hindsight we probably shouldn't have attempted it that day as there were a number of signs that my head wasn't in it. I was tired after climbing galleon and had already taken a minor fall on that descent, the bushwhacking on the ridge was tedious and morale-sapping, and I was nervous about having only vague beta on a peak that was turning out to be more of a challenge than we had anticipated. I got caught up in just wanting the climb to be over and got careless 200 feet from the summit. It was a learning experience for both of us and we were very fortunate that it didn't turn out worse.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp



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