Ascent of Black Peak on 2014-08-20

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Max Tepfer
Date:Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Peak
    Elevation:8970 ft / 2734 m

Ascent Trip Report

I 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.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Black Peak and its NE Ridge, a classic Cascade alpine rock climb (2014-08-20). Photo by James Barlow.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4850 ft / 1477 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4850 ft / 1477 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4470 ft / 1362 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4090 ft / 1247 m; Extra: 380 ft / 115m
    Loss on way in:380 ft / 115 m
    Route:NE Ridge w/ 5.7 variation
    Start Trailhead:4880 ft / 1487 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4470 ft / 1362 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4090 ft / 1247 m; Extra: 380 ft / 115m
    Gain on way out:380 ft / 115 m
    Route:South Ridge
    End Trailhead:4880 ft / 1487 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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