Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Devil's Head 6660' and Bean Peak 6743' 10.25.11

With another stellar weather day on tap I was hoping to get out. I was puzzling over what to do when I got a text from Rob wanting to do something with some scrambling and moderate distance and vertical. I had been wanting to get out and do Devil's Head and this fit our time frame for this day. I picked up Rob at the Issy PNR and we were off and it was still very dark. I knew this would give us plenty of time. The road to the Beverley Turnpike trailhead was thankfully in much better shape than my last time. We suited up under some very cold temps. I would guess it was in the Mid 20's. The sun was just starting to warm the slopes above us and I really wanted to get into the sun since my hands were freezing. This became a constant theme for the day. On the sunny side of ridges it was very comfortable and very cold on the shady sides. We made quick work to the 4th creek Pass and dropped into the very frozen basin below us. After a short drop we were back to climbing to the pass between Bean and Volcanic Neck. We made quick work of this section and I led us on a traverse on the Eastern side of the ridge to avoid the cliffy areas of Volcanic Neck. I was able to find a small slot to cross the East ridge of the neck without having to drop some elevation to go around. The terrain on the North side of the neck was more benign. While I was doing this Rob tried to tease a route up the East face and was met with some resistance.

   We regrouped and headed along the ridge on fun terrain to reach Devil's Head which I thought was a brilliant time for a summit since this would be my last trip before Halloween. We easily reached the summit and snapped a ton of pictures since the weather was ideal as was the scenery. I had a good perspective on Sherpa and it's balanced rock. I tried to get a good picture to determine which is higher, From every perspective I have seen the balanced rock seems to be taller, but what do I know.

After a quick snack we headed back towards Volcanic Neck. I hadn't really planned to muster an attempt. Part of me wanted to save it for another trip since it was my last peak on the Teanaway Twenty that I hadn't climbed, part of me was enthused on the 3rd class scramble on potentially icy rock. I knew Rob wanted to try so I waited with the dog below. He called down to me letting me know that the route was gravy and repeated this enough times that I made my way up as well. After 200' of climb I was worried about the dog who hasn't had enough reps on this type of climb to make me comfortable to continue. I gave some thought to leashing him to a tree below and making another attempt but I was sure he would duck his collar and felt like this could cause problems. Soon Rob returned from a successful summit. We continued heading South to Bean which I had already climbed but I knew this would be a faster way out. I love the Bean Creek basin and I was looking forward to return anyway. We easily made the summit and there was a group of three already there. An older couple and their son. I was happy to see once again some older climbers making me hopeful for a long career myself. The group on the summit was heading down our ascent route so we parted ways. I headed East for a short ways before dropping. I wasn't crazy about descending a route that I hadn't seen before but I knew it wasn't very long before the mellow slopes would be reached. The descent is slabby in parts but the rock is very grippy making for an enjoyable descent. Once reaching the basin we had lunch and basked in the sun. The route out was easy and it had the added bonus of heading directly into the warm sun for long stretches. I try to savour each sunny day this time of year since I know it might be months before I see the sun again.

Approx 9 miles 3600' of climb 6:30 car to car

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