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Ascent of Observation Rock on 2015-09-05

Climber: Sonja Serwold

Date:Saturday, September 5, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Observation Rock
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8364 ft / 2549 m

Ascent Trip Report

Planned mounties ice climb of the north ramp with Jim, Alexy and Brad. Reports were that there was too much snow and the route wasn't in but we decided to go check it out. Approach was challenging with a light coating of snow once we left the Spray Park trail, just enough snow to make it slippery and hard to see what you were stepping on. There were some fresh prints from a small bear in the snow. We got to the base of the climb and there was about 8" of snow on top of good ice so we went for it. We placed a few pickets on the first 2 pitches but mostly ice screws. Last pitch only had an inch or 2 on it and was quite steep. Route started at about 45 deg, was up to 60 mid way and a little steeper at the top, I was too busy climbing to pay attention to the angle. We topped out and decided to not tag the summit as it was getting late. Went up and over the ridge and to our right to descend the usual descent route on skiers left on the Flet glacier but there was no snow on it this year and it was totally broken up so we headed back up to the scramble route to descend from the col between Echo and O Rock. We inadvertently went to a notch high up on O rock and realized we were only 30 vertical feet from the summit so we tagged it. As we hit the col we could see weather coming in. Hard snow and white out conditions as we descended the glacier between O and Echo. Quite a bit more snow on this side of O Rock making for decent plunge stepping in parts. We regained the ridge and followed the climbers path as best we could to the Spray Park. 13 hours car to car.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles



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