Mt. Anderson, and Anderson glacier with Flypaper Pass dead center.
Party: Mountaineers - Ross Prather (ldr), Bert Wailes (r.ldr), Dave Smith, Tracy and I
Route: Follow the Dosewallips river trail for 10.5 miles to Anderson pass. Climb steep forested ridge North to the Anderson glacier moraine. Cross the glacier heading toward the obvious steep couloir to flypaper pass. Drop down about 200 feet and traverse north on the Eel glacier to a prominent SE tending arm of the glacier. Ascend the glacier to the summit ridge and walk S on the ridge to the summit.
Weather: This was an exercise in being in the right place at the right time. Saturday we did the approach in cool mixed skies ending the day in overcast drizzle. We woke on Sunday to clear skies and summited with the same. From the summit it was clear that we were below the only hole in the clouds. We had great views of the surrounding peaks in about a 5 mile radius. Beyond that, especially the cascades, everything was socked in. After the climb we lazed around camp in the sun drying our clothes and getting an early season tan. The hike out on Monday was under clear warm weather.
Tracy expresses the sentiments of the long approach.
This is the kind of trip that you would not enjoy doing in
two days, but three days is too long. On the other hand this is one of the most
relaxing climbing trips I've ever been on... The hike up the Dosewallips west
fork was long but quite nice - forest, moss, meadows, and fairly gradual elevation
gain. There is a shelter, called Camp Siberia, just below Anderson pass. The
views up the valley to Mt. Lacross were impressive. We set up camp in the three
sided shelter essentially biviing on the small raised platform. Nicely
sheltered from the wind and rain we spent Saturday night reading the woodwork
carvings, telling war stories (climbing stories that is), and getting an
education in extreme light weight packing by the Leader Ross. Ross works at
Cascade Designs and proudly demonstrates the quality goods they make along with
his other weight saving techniques (see below).
We started the climb at 6:30AM Sunday. The weather was perfect, scenery gorgeous... this is what it is all about. I led our rope team (Bert, Tracy and I) up the steep flypaper pass couloir. It was pretty exhausting kicking steps in pretty steep, deep snow. A good lesson in the rest step.
The team at the top of Flypaper pass (shooting SE)
No crevasses were open on the Anderson glacier but we stepped over a couple on the Eel glacier. It took us about 5 hrs. to get to the peak, spent about 45 minutes soaking up the views while eating lunch.
Dave, Bert and Ross at the summit shot to the South.
Tracy and I on the summit shot to the NW.
The clouds started closing in on us and we wanted to get below the pass before anything real developed... it didn't. We were back at camp around 2PM. We wallowed in the sun drying our socks, boots, and clothes; then watched the clock until bed-time. The hike out on Monday was a little faster (4.5 hrs.) than the way in (6 hrs.) Altogether, we had a great party, great weather, and a great climb.
If you do consider doing this in two days, I'd recommend getting to the Anderson glacier moraine in the first day which adds about 800 ft in 1 mile.
Light weight packing by Ross Prather (As observed by me)
1) +40F bag - he says "I get cold occasionally, but I survive"
2) One set of clothing... you can dry it in the sun (we got lucky I guess)
3) Get other party members to bring the stove and fuel
4) Bring less food than you need... everyone else packs too much.
5) Aluminum crampons and ice axe.
6) Cool plastic roll-up platypus water bags... take less space when empty.
All packed in day climbing pack (40-50L) - the rest of us had full 3-day packs.
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