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McDonald Peak Climber's Log

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gimpilatorMost Annoying Traverse Ever  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2015


11 hours round-trip (which includes an hour on the summit) with Martin Shetter and Dave Creeden. The brush traverse and burned fallen logs near the start make this the most unpleasant route of 2015. We saw large grizzly tracks high on the mountain. While descending the steep snow slope below the summit I slipped on an icy patch and had to self-arrest.
Posted Jun 21, 2015 6:12 pm

DoctorStrappMcDonald via Duncan Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 13, 2013


Great trip in from Mission Valley side below the Sheep's Head. Hit the summit on day one and returned to Duncan Lake for camp. We took an alternate route out trying to use Ashley Creek, but I wouldn't advise this route in July - brush and cliffs made day 2 a long one. AWESOME TRIP!
Posted Jul 16, 2013 10:45 pm

MtMtnHikerSW Face from the East  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 13, 2012


Awesome mountain! The bushwack from Heart Lake to Cliff Lake is NOT easy. Upper Post Creek drainage is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I've ever camped.
Posted Jul 14, 2012 8:21 pm

MTfred19South face from Cliff Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 3, 2010


Rare perfect window of weather right after the closure ended and it seemed that we were the only ones taking advantage of it! After approaching it for several years in a row without ever attempting to climb it, the suspense had built up. And we were not let down! What an awesome mountain! Hiked in from the east and camped at Cliff Lake. Mountain goats silhouetted on top of the south buttress from our vantage point at the bottom of the face. On the way back my dog was bluff charged by a bear on the east side of Post Creek saddle in the fog and rain that closed the door on the season.
Posted Mar 5, 2011 2:34 pm

FlatheadJimVia Sheep's Head  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 1999


Climbed up & over the Sheep's Head, across the glacier to the summit and back. On trail from about 0600 to 0100 the next day.
Posted Jul 19, 2009 2:52 pm

NOO2Timing is everything  Sucess!


Lots of wet slab avalanches. Route choice and timing were critical.
Saw fresh sow and cub Griz tracks down in the forest.
Posted Dec 28, 2007 6:54 pm

SaintgrizzlyAshley Creek  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2006


Wow! This mountain has absolutely everything going for it—except trails! An unplanned two-day epic (13 & 16 hours respectively) with Bob Bolton and Duane Gilliland will, I sincerely hope, be the most memorable of its type I ever do. (If it's not, flowers can be sent to my funeral.)

McDonald Peak isn't "just another mountain"—get off on a poor route, and even with a GPS it becomes a monster. If someone injures a leg (which happened), if you're forced to bivy on an island in the snow just below timberline (also happened), if you've got nothing in the way of food to sustain through a grueling second day but munchies (a bit hard on the energy level), it's also a monster, and not a forgiving one, either.

Route-finding the second day was extremely difficult; Bob and Duane were amazing, talking each other through the possibilities. Those guys really know what it's all about!

Grizzly poop was encountered. Ripped-apart logs were encountered. No grizzlies were encountered.

Day two: 6 AM to arrival at vehicle at 10 PM, with one of the benefits of a northern-tier state being it was light all the way.

This is one outing won't leave my mind. I don't want it to.
Posted Jul 7, 2006 6:02 am

Bob BoltonAshley Creek  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2006

Bob Bolton

saintgrizzly, Duane, and I drove my trusty 4Runner to the end of the "road" and camped, then started early, intending to round-trip this one in one day. To make a long story short, this isn't wise. We experienced route difficulties and other time-killers, and then if that wasn't enough I managed to strain or slightly tear a quad muscle on my left leg while still pretty high on the mountain, forcing us to bivouac about here. In the morning I tested my mobility and learned that I could walk with the knee straight or nearly so, and that I could descend by reaching down with the injured leg, keeping it straight on the landing. This of course slowed us considerably, not to mention more route-finding problems and brush bashing above the shores of the upper Ashley Lake. Suffice it to say that it was a 16-hour epic to get back to the car.

This is not an approach I would recommend, however I do know how I'd do it from that starting point if I were to repeat. Of course I won't do so because of my twin mottos - "So many mountains, so little time", and "Life is too short for repeats".

No grizzlies were encountered.
Posted Jul 6, 2006 3:41 pm

Fred SpickerWest Face & Ridge from McDonald Lake  Sucess!

Fred Spicker

Climbed August 1963

My first larger mountain, climbed with Larry Corrigan, Bob Lambeth, Don Munn Jr. and Don Munn Sr.

Our route was dictated more by transportation than by choice. I would not recommend this route, but it is doable. We took two and a half days.

We bushwhacked from Post Creek up the north-south trending drainage passing through Sections 18 and 19 and originating at the small glacier on the west side of the peak. Then we ascended the glacier, west face, and west ridge to the summit

We encountered a black bear and a sow grizzly with two cubs on the west face just below the summit.
Posted Oct 15, 2005 12:48 pm

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