Ascent of Black Peak on 2014-08-20
|Others in Party:||Max Tepfer|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 20, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||8970 ft / 2734 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI met Max at Buffalo Run restaurant in Marblemount on Tuesday night where we consolidated into one vehicle for the drive up to Rainy Pass after dinner. We slept at the trailhead at Rainy Pass and it was a pretty warm night. We were up and hiking before 7am, making our way up to Lewis Lake then Wing Lake. Past Wing Lake, we took a break where I realized that my GPS had stopped working due to dead batteries. Typical, alkaline batteries are wearing on my last nerve... I replaced the batteries and we made our way on to the snowfield below the notch between Black Peak's NE Ridge and Pt 8,395. Sadly, the snowfield on the topo map is much larger than the real snowfield, which is on its last leg thanks to global climate change.
Once we reached the notch, we pulled out the rope to begin the climbing. Max led the first 3 or 4 pitches, which included the crux pitch, which we would rate as 5.6-5.7. It can be bypassed on the left should you choose. We switched leads and I did the next 4 pitches or so. Following that, Max led 2 pitches or so. After that, I led the final 3-4 pitches before we simul-climbed to the summit. Since we only had a 30 meter rope, our pitches were shorter than average. Additionally, with a mix of vertical and flat sections, it was tougher to run it out over the flat sections because of rope drag. We would recommend that future parties use a 30 meter rope and do the same. With 60 meters out, the rope drag would be pretty tough. The majority of the pitches were 4th class to 5.3 or so. Only the above-mentioned crux pitch was tougher.
The weather was a mostly cloudy throughout the day, which made for nice approach hiking as well as nice climbing. We both put jackets on when we reached the summit, which we removed not long after we left the summit. The hike out was more sunny than cloudy, but when we reached treeline below Horsefly Pass, the trees provided some respite from the sun. The only other people we saw were below the junction with Lake Anne, just hiking along the trail.
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