Mount Maude - North Face, June 2005
Wow, it's been a long time since I posted something new here, and by the soreness in my thighs it's obviously been a long time since I've climbed a mountain. This Spring has been good for little more than reliably soggy weekends and the over-consumption of beer. Add to that, weddings, surgery (not mine), low motivation, and just like that the few weekend days of acceptable climbing weather we've had this spring, simply passed me by. Occasional cragging trips (Leavenworth and Mt. Eerie) helped satisfy the itch somewhat, but, with the backcountry touring season at a premature end this year, at least as far as I was concerned, I reluctantly traded in my skis for crampons. It would be about a month before those crampons actually touched snow... On June 19, along with an all-star cast consisting of Andy Ball, Andy Johnson and Eric Hoffman, a much-anticipated climb of Maude's North Face finally came to fruition.
Leaving our trailhead bivy around 6:00am, we made good time hiking the flat Phelps Creek Trail. We crossed Leroy Creek in about 3 miles and turned uphill for the steep grind to Leroy Creek Basin, reaching the campsites in about 2 hours. We followed the trail (Carne Mountain High Route) as it traverses right beneath cliff bands in the upper basin. We left the trail after a small stream crossing and booted up a steep heather slope to reach the bench above. We donned our crampons just above this bench and continued up on firm snow to reach the Seven Fingered Jack - Mount Maude Col. (more...)
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