Monday, March 24, 2008

East Bearjack 3.24.08

I had been looking forward to a more meaningful peak all week but when Sunday's weather turned inclement I didn't want to chance it with the increased avalanche conditions. I pared down my aspirations to something smaller. I had done West Bearjack Ridge Peak two weeks ago and had hoped to make the traverse to East Bearjack but lack of motivation and equipment problems kept that hope from being realized. I was surprised to find clear skies with a beautiful bright moon when I left the house. I had thought the weather would be poor so I was very pleased that for at least in the beginning I would have some nice weather

As I drove over Snoqualmie the weather only improved. It was chilly when I parked next to the Jack Creek Road but it was sunny!

I packed up and was off. The road which is well traveled by snowmobiles so long walk went more quickly than expected. I reached my jump-off point at about the five mile mark. I found a nice ridge going my way I rode that until I thought I was stymied by a beautiful rock wall.

I found a gully that would take me above it. I broke out the ice axe for added insurance. Once above the wall the ridge was open and easy.

I followed this until I had to traverse to reach East Bearjack's SE ridge. The traverse was fun because of the nearly perfect snow conditions. After reaching the SE ridge the North side had some unconsolidated snow and I pondered whether or not to switch to snowshoes. The snowshoes stayed stowed as I booted over a small point and then dropped to the saddle just before the last summit push. The last 200' feet was open and soon I was on East Bearjack's summit 4826' #93 BC/100.

The weather was ideal but the views were somewhat limited. The camera ran out of power but truthfully the only views I had weren't that worthy anyway. I ate some lunch soaking up the warm sunshine. I retraced my steps until I reached the rock wall where I angled away from it saving some of the mundane road walking. As was my last trip down this road it seemed like an eternity before I was able to reach my car. I was happy to see some signs of some recent fellow climbers along the way. Maybe one of these days I will actually bump into some of you.

Approx 12 miles 2600ft of climb 6:00 car to car

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