Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sherpani 6.22.10

I had posted a thread for partners and had quite a few responses but slowly most went on to other plans. ONELUV1 met me at the Issaquah PR and we waited for the third who never showed. We stowed the gear and I broke him in to my annoying dogs and their penchant for barking at each and every car they see. Thankfully ONELUV1 didn't jump out of the car before we hit I-90. Soon we were heading on past Salmon La Sac Campground and the road was much better than last week's bumbfest on the North Fork Teanaway Road. We parked at the Paddy Go Easy Trail in front of the huge anthill that has been there for as many years as I can remember. The weather was glorious with unbroken sun with perfect temps. We were making good time, maybe slower than normal since ONELUV1 hadn't been in the area before I was pointing out many of the points of interest. We reached snow around 5400' and left the trail shortly thereafter. I had read a spot on report from Ragman and Rodman so route finding was very easy. The intial portion was unpleasant for me as I broke through a few too many times. I dropped a little lower finding much better snow conditions. Once we were below the saddle we quickly reached the ridgeline. I figured there would be much more and better quality snow on the East side of the ridge and I wasn't disappointed. There was a ton of snow and it was very consolidated. We traversed to a small shoulder and then dropped a bit to again climb to another saddle. Here we dropped pack. We took a direct line to Sherpani's East Ridge and kicked steps to the summit block. We had to tease out a few options before we settled on the South side traversing the East side and corkscrewing all the way to the South side. Once we reached the "coffin top" perched on the summit a small jump up and we were on top. There is a wonderful summit register with many familiar names. The regsiter pays homage to the Prater's and it is apparant that they had many admirers. One entry stood out to me, a 7 year old had made the climb. I found this most impressive. As is usual for me I found it difficult to hang out on the summit even though the summit flat and large enough for a larger party. I downclimbed back to the base of the summit block and had a quick bite. The return trip went much faster than I expected, once on the West side again I dropped lower to avoid the post hole hell of our ascent. I found great snow in the trees and would have saved considerable time had I not started descending too early. We traversed for quite a ways before we regained the trail. Thankfully reaching the trail again we put it on cruise control and soon we were back at the car.

Approx 9 miles 3500' of climb 6:45 car to car

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