Ascent of Big Craggy Peak on 2015-07-01

Climber: Christopher Timm

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Big Craggy Peak
    Elevation:8470 ft / 2581 m

Ascent Trip Report

Looking to bag two Bulgers, I set out at 7:00 am sharp. Taking off up Copper Glance trail, I began a steep but not grueling 2 mile hike. After 45 minutes, I came across the Copper Glance Mine, a retired unproductive gold mine. After taking a couple pictures, I continued up the trail. The view for the first 2 miles was nothing spectacular, but at about 2 miles, the trail opens up into a meadow with awe-inspiring views of the Isabella Ridge that the Craggies dominate. Astounding views that remind me of pictures I've seen of the Alps. Towering rocky peaks that really stick out to you against the bright blue sky. The meadow was covered in various wild flowers. At about 3.5 miles I reached a stream and broke off the trail for about 20 minutes of cross country travel to get to the talus slopes of Big Craggy Peak. From the bottom of the slope, I chose to break away from a lot of what I had read and instead of going up to the saddle and climbing along the Northwest ridge, I opted for a direct ascent up the west face. It was a true scramble, with very loose scree and talus. Definitely wouldn't want to be directly behind someone as it was hard to keep from knocking rocks down the slope. Towards the summit block, I moved toward the South and climbed along the ridge line to the true summit. By 11:00 I had reached the summit and enjoyed my lunch while taking in a wondrous view of the Pasayten wilderness. At 11:30 I began my descent to do a ridgeline traverse to West Craggy. By noon, I had reached the saddle and began climbing toward West Craggy. By this time, the sun was beating down. It was impossible to apply enough sunscreen and difficult to keep water in me. I missed the part about gendarmes on the east ridge of West Craggy, and after reaching the pinnacle of the third, feeling thirsty and realizing that my water reserves would be out by the time I reached the top, I opted to turn around. The slope was hot, loose, and miserable, and took me two hours to get off the talus. Next attempt, if I try another ridgeline traverse, I will do West Craggy first, because those gendarmes are many and deceiving. I think that if I start with West Craggy, I will have a easier time route finding and won't climb so many gendarmes.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Hot with a brilliant sun. Not exactly my kind of climbing weather.

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