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Ascent of Ossa Mountain on 2017-07-15

Climber: Zak Griffith

Others in Party:Jason Griffith
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ossa Mountain
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:7418 ft / 2261 m

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed it in the afternoon after our ascent of Pelion. We couldn't find any trip reports on a traverse between the summits, and we realized why once we did it ourselves. We descended the steep part of the glacier from Pelion and then traversed the flat part of the glacier between the two summits. We started up Ossa and passed the bergschrund on the right side on a substantial snow bridge. When it melts out completely, this could be a real problem. The snow above the bergschrund is quite steep, but step kicking was good. We placed one picket on this slope. Once on the ridge, the scrambling was easy up until about 130 feet below the summit. Then we reached the notch of doom. We noted from Pelion that the rock changed color near the summit of Ossa. This turned out to be a fault separating the granite-type rock of Pelion from the darker stuff making up the summit of Ossa. The fault was a nearly vertical notch about 80 feet down and then about 130 feet up to the summit. We surveyed the area to ensure that we were really screwed. After kicking on a rock horn that looked a little shattered, Jason put a loop of spectra cord on it and we rappelled into the notch. There were no existing slings. Jason led one long pitch to the summit from the notch, placing a tri-cam and a couple of nuts. The trickiest part was the near vertical snow in the bottom of the gully leading up from the notch. At the top, this had melted out from the two sides and the back, so that it was actually a spire of snow that Jason had to step across to get to a chimney climbing up to the right. It wasn't certain that it would hold your weight and would have made for a messy moat-fall if it broke. Fortunately, it didn't. The chimney ended in daylight at the top, dropping way down to the glacier bench below. However, easy face climbing led up above to easier terrain and the summit. We descended the scramble route down the west ridge, around to the trio of lakes and back to the moraine bench and camp. We had been gone from camp for 13.5 hours by the time we returned, which included a long, cold break on the summit of Pelion, waiting for the clouds to clear.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope, Ski Poles
Ascent Part of Trip: Pelion-Ossa Traverse (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Pelion Mountain2017-07-157400 ft / 2256 m
2Ossa Mountain2017-07-15 
Total Trip Gain: 7400 ft / 2256 m    Total Trip Loss: 7400 ft / 2256 m



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