Boston Basin w/ Boston Peak (see second entry)
July 15, 2002
Steve Ed and I hiked into boston basin on July 14, 2002. We took about three hours to hike into the 5300 foot bivy site. There was a huge swathe of avalanche slide debris through old growth forest that we had to trailblaze through. On the way out on Thursday we marked a entry point into the second slide area (closest to Boston Basin/north) with cairns and cut down a bunch of branches to make it easier to get through.
After setting up a tent at the low camping site we went up the right side of the Quien Sabe glacier in about three hours to the Sahale - Boston col where we bivied for the next two nights in absolutely fabulous weather. I used a 35 degree bag without even so much as a bivy sack. The snow was great for kicking steps on the way to bivy at the col and we were on snow from our low camping site at 5300 feet on up (this melted out over the next four days).
We got up at 3 am the next morning and climbed over the choss pile to the north of the col and did the North Face of Buckner (grade III, 40-50 snow/ice) after a three hour transit across the Boston Glacier to the base of the face. We climbed the face (45 degrees) in under two hours. The North Couloir was blocked by overhanging ice on the shrund and one of my partners didn't have a lot of experience on vertical to overhanging ice. We downclimbed our ascent route.
July 15, 2002
After descending Buckner we then crossed the Boston Glacier and climbed Boston Peak from the East via the East Ridge. It was a bowling alley of loose rock, 3rd to 4th class scrambling with a few fifth class moves. After summiting we made two single rope rappels off the southface of the main summit block and then returned to the col bivy site. I don't recommend boston peak. The quality, or lack thereof, of the rock was nigthmarishly loose
July 16, 2002
The next morning we rose late after dozing in the warm morning sun and made a quick jaunt to the summit of Sahale Peak in twenty minutes from our bivy site - mostly third and maybe fourth class stuff. We did a single rappel off the summit to reach the base of the summit pyramid. We then picked up our bivy gear on the Sahale- Boston col and descended to climb Sharkfin Tower.
July 16, 2002
The snow gully at the bottom of the tower had an insurmountable moat/shrund. We climbed some mid-fifth class solid granite on the left of the gully to obtain the gully half a pitch up the 30 degree snow of the gully. We then made the notch of the southeast ridge and followed the easy 5.0 route to the summit - a great climb with awesome exposure and views of the surrounding peaks and the 5.10 Southeast Face. We rappeled part of the route and off the rock to the west of the approach gully down below and returned to our low camp in boston basin.
July 17, 2002
The following day we did Forbidden Peak by the West Ridge, and made the summit in 5 hours. The gully to the ridge was 50 degree snow and there was a tenuously narrow snow bridge to access it. The ridge was great with one 5.6 move around a fixed piton about midway up. The weather once again was incredible, the exposure wild, and views of Eldorado, Buckner, Sahale and Boston Peak were awe inspiring. When in doubt we followed the ridge crest tending toward the north/climbers left side of the ridge. We rapped off the buttress to the west of the gully - making 6 rappels on the way down using obvious rap stations.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe