Ascent of The Brothers-North Peak on 2017-05-28

Climber: Melanie Stam

Date:Sunday, May 28, 2017
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:The Brothers-North Peak
    Elevation:5984 ft / 1823 m

Ascent Trip Report

Memorial Day weekend attempt at the Brothers Traverse. We hiked to climber's camp on Saturday, attempted the traverse on Sunday, and came back down on Monday.
We had intended to do North to South, but experienced some significant difficulty routefinding and turned around due to delays and heat-induced avalanche conditions (it must have been 80+ degrees!). There was quite a lot of snow, starting from climber's camp at 3000 feet and above 5000 feet the route was 90%+ snow covered.
From Climbers camp to south brother, there's a lot of blowdown in the lower elevations. There is some flagging tape and cairns, but it's still easy to lose the trail (especially in the dark), and so we did. We also picked the wrong gully at about 5100 feet, hoping that it would gain elevation more quickly (it did) and reconnect easily with the main route (it didn't). As a consequence, we missed lunch rock (47.649085°, -123.141481°) and began our traverse to the North brother at too high an elevation. We eventually found our way to the "best" notch in the southeast ridge of South Brother (47.651504°, -123.135987°), which looks like the most obvious choice from a vantage point in the great basin. However, what we did was sketchballs and involved some class 5 unroped moss at around 47.650209°, -123.136242°. After contemplating the map/satellite images, I suspect a possible other route would be to diverge from our tracks at around 47.650052°, -123.138074° and descend (perhaps as low as 47.648713°, -123.135998°, which seems to be about 5100') to take the gully just a little further east of where we were, and which tops out at 47.650717°, -123.135594°. Frankly, after peering closely at satellite/topo overlays I have to say I think the topo in Hillmap is a little off, showing a small ridge somewhat east of where it really is, and the satellite is right on (but maybe my pride is just wounded). The topo preview in peakbagger has less resolution, but looks more correct.
Overall, if you would like to get the most use out of these tracks I would suggest focusing on the "return" portion, which removes most of our routefinding failures (but still includes the class 5 moss, which we rapped past using a sad bush). I would also suggest, if you are trying to reach the North Brother without first tagging south, looking into the possibility of following the east fork of the river out of climber's camp and entering the great basin directly.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Melanie Stam
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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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