Ascent to Mount Breitenbach-11696 on 2016-07-16

Climber: Destry Orth

Others in Party:Chad Silver
Andy Cook
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 16, 2016
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Point Reached:Mount Breitenbach - 11696
    Elevation:11696 ft / 3564 m
    Remaining Elevation:444 ft / 136 m (9% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Navigational error will be the highlight of this trip...It made sense that the directions weren't making sense on this mountain. I camped at the trail head of Jones Creek the night before, Chad and Andy met up with me early the next morning. We began our hike and ran into many cairns and was on a pretty decent trail, so it never crossed my mind we were in the wrong drainage. We were in Jones creek when we should have been in Pete Creek. This was entirely my fault. Jones Creek appeared to be the easiest and most direct route on the maps, and I couldn't find a decent map showing the names of the drainage's. Lesson #1: Don't assume! I assumed we were in Pete Creek... Pete creek is a beautiful hike, and becomes very narrow and steep on the sides, but was pretty easy hiking and mostly a snowfield over the creek. We stayed on the edges of the snow to keep from falling through. We did not have crampons or any snow equipment. We did obtain some neat photos of the water flowing through these snow fields which made it look like a giant ice cave. The canyon finally opened up into a large scree field with Breitenbach to our northeast, it was clear now that we were not in the right area. We started up the face of this head wall to try to obtain the ridge between Breitenbach and No Regret Peak. about half way up this extremely steep ascent Andy decided that he had met his limit. He decided to turn back and wait for Chad and I and the bottom of the scree field (this was Andy's first summit attempt). Chad and I continued on and finally gained the saddle, which had an insanely impressive north face that had me in awe. By the time we made it to this point we were running very low on time and could tell we may be heading home without bagging this peak. We still decided to at least take a look at the route, so we continued south easterly toward the summit. Not too much further and we realized there was a large cliff that we would not be able to get over, and there was no going around it without dropping down quite a ways. We both decided this was not a safe route to continue and we were at our turn around time. We were only a few hundred feet below the summit, and it was a very humbling feeling to realize we had to turn around. We went down the same way we came up, but it was still a little sketchy and slow going. We finally met up with Andy, and we began our descent together. Despite the unsuccessful summit, and all the confusion, we still had a great time and left with absolutely no regrets. We left with a determination to return and redeem ourselves.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4596 ft / 1400 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Jones Creek
    Trailhead:Jones Creek TH  7100 ft / 2164 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:7 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 

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