Ascent of Mox Peaks-Northwest Peak on 2015-07-04

Climber: Sean Albert

Date:Saturday, July 4, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mox Peaks-Northwest Peak
    Elevation:8407 ft / 2562 m

Ascent Trip Report

See Steph Abegg's TR of these peaks, mine won't compare...

Noel and I had been planning a five day trip to the Chilliwacks for about a year, we decided to take advantage of days off from work and go during the 4th of July holiday as this has become a popular time to climb many of these peaks. Our plan was to climb Hard Mox, Easy Mox, Custer and Rahm, since I had already climbed Spickard and Redoubt a few years back. I called Marblemount on Wednesday and reserved our permit. Thursday morning we met early and headed for the border. We made it to the small pullout where most people park (not to the end of the road) and started walking up the road around 8:40am. At the U.S./Canada border clear cut we signed in and left our permit number at the new Depot Creek trailhead sign.

We met Stan and Colleen on the trail below the falls and hiked the rest of the way in with them. The waterfall was straight forward and we made Lake Ouzel at 3pm. Not much snow here this year! We crossed the lake at the outlet and scrambled up leadges to West of Lake Ouzel and North of the large glacier tongue reaching down towards the lake. Just below the Redoubt glacier we roped up and headed for the 7200 bivy at the head of the Redoubt glacier. We made the 7200 bivy at 6pm, set up camp, ate some food and went to bed. John Porter's tent was already there, he was off climbing Redoubt.

Hard Mox was the plan for Friday, so we woke up at 3:30 am and left camp at 4:30 am, made the Col of the Wild at 6 am. We teamed up with Stan and Colleen, as it made more sense for us to all stay grouped together since rock fall is an issue on the approach. The short boulder move after the Col of the Wild was easy, we followed cairns up to the Ridge of Gendarmes and had our first real view of the climbing route. Looked intimidating! We worked our way NE to the top of a long snow finger with a rap station on top. We double rope rappelled the finger to the bench leading over to the next gully East, we picked our way up this gully, steep at the bottom and pretty loose! Made our way up to the notch and the start of the first pitch. I led out and we swapped leads to the top. Made the summit at 11:20am, we were the first party on top in 2015, four more parties (12 people) would summit over the next few days. Three rappels got us down to the ridge notch. We down-climbed most of the gully and made one rappel near the bottom to get back to the bench beside the snow finger. We made our way back to the Col of the Wild and back to camp around 6pm.

Saturday morning Noel and I left camp again at 4:30am heading for Easy Mox, we didn't need to drop down to 7000 ft. to go around the rocky ridge extending towards to Lake Ouzel from pt. 7781. We followed John's steps from the day before over the ridge at about 7200 ft.we made the notch on Easy Mox's North ridge at 7am. After a little dicey climbing up the rock from the glacier, climber right looked good but climbers left is better, what looked like great ledges from below turned out to be slick down-slopping rock. Not fun. Up the fun ridge, easy class 2/3, we dropped down a small narrow gully on the East side of the ridge to a ramp leading to the pitched climbing, a cairn marks the spot to drop off the ridge. A large white patch in the rock can be seen from here, we started pitched climbing to the right of this, picking the easiest way up to the first anchor near the ridge crest again. Easy climbing up to the summit from the anchor. We were on the summit of Easy Mox at 9:15am, we took a long break and celebrated 4th of July by eating candy. Two raps down from the summit to the ramp below the white spot, and then two raps off the ridge back down to the glacier. The anchors off the ridge were to skiers left and not visible until we scrambled down towards the glacier some. We made it back to camp at 1:30, packed up, and moved it down to Lake Ouzel by 5:15 pm. We saw Sue, Julie, Kevin and the rest of their crew and gave them some beta on Hard and Easy Mox, which they would also climb over the next few days.

Sunday morning we left camp at 4:30 am, the plan was to climb Custer and then Rahm. The air was very smokey both visually and in smell, huge fires were burning in Canada. We decided to do Custer first, gaining the South ridge and headed for the narrow crux on the ridge. At the one exposed section the ridge that gives some folks trouble (you'll know when you get to it), we used a rope and left it fixed for the return. The rock here is very very bad. The wind was pretty intense at this point in the morning, making the climbing seem much much harder. The final climbing to the summit was pretty easy, we made the summit around 8 am. It was still super windy, we signed in and headed back down the ridge to the crux. Back down/across the ridge to start the traverse. We dropped lower than needed to make the traverse over to Rahm, but had a nice up close view of Silver Lake, a little extra elevation gain for fun. On a nice day, Silver Lake takes the cake for the most beautiful alpine lake I've ever seen. We bumped into Stan and Colleen on the traverse over to Rahm (they had just climbed Rahm and were heading for Custer) and they offered to carry our rope and harnesses back to camp! At end of the 7400ft. traverse we took the class 3 gully up once we reached the stream coming down from the upper mountain. We reached the top at 12:30pm, #50 for Noel!! Enjoying the views of Silver Lake and all the peaks we had climbed. We were back at the Lake Ouzel camp at 4:30pm and baked in the sun for awhile. Tired, but stoked we had such a great weather window to climb all four peaks as planned.

Monday morning we left camp at 7 am and made the car at 11:20 am. It was super smokey in Canada... we crossed the border easily and headed for Boundry Bay for an excellent lunch/beers, my first time there.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1207 ft / 367 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1207 ft / 367 m
    Start Trailhead:7200 ft / 2194 m
Descent Statistics

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