After camping at the trailhead, five climbers set off at dawn on the PCT. We enjoyed a few clear miles in the morning light before the trail became covered in snow. The cairn for the climber's trail was still visible above the snow, and there we stashed our snowshoes after determining they wouldn't be necessary. Despite some blister issues, climbers continued up toward the ridge with the help of GPS navigation and ice axes. Above the tree line, we kicked steps into the firm snow. Right below the start of the route we roped up and placed two pickets for protection to cross a short, icy patch of snow with a long rocky runout.
The leader required her ice axe to make the first few moves up a mixed, icy rock section. After a brief battle with wind and rock to loosen dragging rope, the first anchor was set. All five climbers summited the mountain with three pitches of fixed lines. The group descended via two rappels and one fixed line.
Climbers plunge stepped and lowered down the snow. At the PCT juncture, we donned headlamps and lamented having to strap the unused snowshoes back onto our packs. We arrived back at the trailhead shortly after 10:40pm, greeted by cold cans of La Croix sparkling water, courtesy of Joe. Thanks to an indispensable Assistant Lead from Dalen Willhite, who helped navigate, lead the final rock pitch, assist climbers with rappels, and helped a few folks descend the snow field. An unforgettable adventure!Members: Kerry Edinger, Dalen Willhite. Nonmembers: Blaine Hlebechuk, Kurtis Erving, Joe Moll.
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