Mount Fury - Southeast Glacier, August 2006
I had some unfinished business in the Northern Pickets to attend to. As arranged, I rendezvoused with Paul, Peggy Goldman and Eric Johnson at Luna Camp the evening following their climb of Mount Prophet. The three would then join me for a full day of brush and sweat up to high camp at Luna Col and with me staying behind make a quick afternoon jaunt up Luna's Southwest Ridge. Peggy and Eric would then return the following day while Paul and I continued on to climb Mount Fury. We'd then return to Big Beaver landing on the final day, retrieve (and drink) the 6-pack I stashed in the lake and revel in our successes while waiting for the water taxi to arrive...or so we hoped.
And while Fury's SE Glacier route is not the most exciting line on the peak given its remoteness and distinction of being situated in what is arguably the most sublime group of peaks in the lower 48, any route would do for me. Considering that a 15-minute speedboat ride up Ross Lake, 10+ miles of good trail through old growth forest, a frigid ford of Big Beaver Creek and a character-building grunt up along Access Creek will only see you to a glorious high-camp at Luna Col, it's clear that the approach is not for the weak willed. The reward comes later - starting with a well positioned ridge scramble and relatively direct glacier climb with aesthetic snow arete finish, this climb represents some of the best the Pickets have to offer. Yes it's true that Eric Hoffman and I were thwarted by weather on an attempt at Fury last summer. I did not take the defeat lightly and was determined to succeed my second time around. What are the odds of getting stuffed by weather two times in a row anyway? Hey, I wasn't about to burn another 4 days without something to show for my efforts. Right? (more...)
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