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Mount Constance Climber's Log

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Snidely WhiplashUnsuccessful
Date Climbed: Jun 24, 1989

Snidely Whiplash

Tried it twice, don't think I'll be going back. A bit out of my comfort zone.
Posted Nov 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Noah (Oregon)South Chute & Finger Traverse  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 26, 2013

Noah (Oregon)

Do you know those route descriptions (and climbers), who play everything down (sandbaggers) and make a climb seem like a walk in the park? I bring this up because the majority of the route descriptions I read for Mount Constance tended to use benign phrases like, "go up a scree slope, over some ledges and scramble to the airy summit." I call that sandbagging. They could just as easily have written, "ascend a shifting avalanche slope of talus, creep up some outward sloping edges with huge drop-offs and scramble over unprotectable rock to the summit."

The problem with this route is that it is a full seven hours from the lake and not one minute of that seven hours is normal hiking. It is all talus, scree and loose rock. The ledges are of poor quality and strewn with small rocks. The finger traverse was not technically hard but a fall would be 100% fatal (as would many falls in many places all over this route). I am not saying it is hard from any one specific move to another, I am just saying that it never really has an easy section. There are no hands-in-pockets parts where you can recharge your mental batteries. You are either watching your step, scrambling among loose rock or trying to find the route.

I think we climbed the South Chute (where I was hit by rockfall) from Avalanche Canyon (properly named) and then descended a snow finger; ascended a mountain of scree to a notch, descended rock to some snow, ascended around a corner to the Finger Traverse, descended a monster snowfield (steep) to an exposed ledge and then climbed to the summit block. Once at the block, we had a nice, clean 20' climb to the true summit. Then all we had to do was reverse everything on our way back to camp (5 hours).

I was really, really happy when I was back in camp at Lake Constance.
Posted Aug 3, 2013 1:21 am

coonradSouth Chute to Finger Traverse  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 19, 2012

coonrad

Extremely fun climb on a beautiful peak.

Finger Traverse

Trip report: here.
Posted Oct 2, 2012 2:57 pm

gimpilatorBest Climb Of The Year  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 16, 2012

gimpilator

This peak is very complex and there are cliff faces everywhere on the upper mountain. We climbed the north chute and finger traverse on the way up and then took the terrible traverse and south chute on the way down. A bad snow patch south of the terrible traverse blocked our path. Rather that climb steep icy snow we free climbed a short pitch of unprotectable mid-5th class rock to get around it. We carried rope, crampons, and axes but didn't use them. This is my new favorite climb in the Olympic Range.

Posted Sep 17, 2012 6:10 pm

Islander34FT Bypass  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 20, 2012

Islander34

Route is scree until the second notch (when the actual summit block becomes visible), then one must either descend steep snow with rocks at the bottom or descend the moat on the left about 20 feet and scramble up and over the rock rib with some 4th-low 5th class moves. After being belayed down this snow I determined that it would not be safe without a rope as the snow was very icy and difficult even with crampons and an axe. With the amount of snow still up there (probably 10 to 15 feet at this section) it is unlikely this section will melt out at all this year. My partner did the scramble and the rest of the route to the summit block was pretty straightforward (we took the FT Bypass as described on the south chute description on this page). The block itself required a few 4th class rock climbing moves to reach the true summit which we did unroped. On the way back we both scrambled over the rib to get to the notch instead of going up the snow I went down. From here it was awesome scree skiing down to the lake. Biking to the trailhead was a great decision as we made it from the TH to the washout in about 10 minutes.
Posted Aug 21, 2012 4:26 pm

olymountainmannice alternative to the dose washout approach  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2012

olymountainman

Used the Tunnel Creek trail,ascended the south fork of the creek to an upper basin, took Cunningham pass down to canyon littered with plane wreckage debris from the 1975 crash below the SE face of Constance, took a gnarly scree shute up to meet up with the south chute route just NE of the Cat Ears. Took the Finger Traverse on the ascent, it was no big deal, people exaggerate its difficulty, very exposed, yes, but very short and very easy moves, not worth bringing gear for the few moves. Took the Terrible Traverse on the descent, this on the other hand is a bit sketchy, probably a 45 degree traverse on very hard snow with a nasty drainage below, a short distance to self arrest, used crampons and serious self belaying, still not worth bringing gear for though in my opinion. Tunnel Creek trailhead to base camp in upper basin: 2.5hrs. Base camp to summit: 4.5hrs. Summit to car: 6hrs (including base camp pack up/lunch) Also climbed April Peak the evening before summit sunday :) SUCH a fun climb.
Posted Aug 12, 2012 6:05 pm

IBentrynThe easy way.  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 8, 1997
Didn't like the look of the Finger Traverse. Used the variation now described on page 115 of the OMCG. Wonderful dayhike - not sure if that's still possible now that the road is gone?
Posted Mar 22, 2012 2:14 pm

setrentFinger Traverse via Avalanche Canyon  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 5, 2006
Third try at this peak. Don't underestimate the route finding or approach. No need for the fingers on the finger traverse.
Posted Oct 20, 2011 10:33 pm

SnowsloggerBigger than it's height  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 27, 2006

Snowslogger

Was very happy to finally climb this peak that I'd looked at from the waters of Puget Sound for so long. Rode bikes up the road to the trailhead. Very steep hike up to the lake. A lotta work up, very cool to do both the finger traverse and terrible traverse, as well as some of the top of the west ridge. I think the hike down is worse than up, and overall I was more thrashed by this than many higher mountains.
Posted Dec 29, 2009 12:20 am

ericwillhiteAvalanche Canyon  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 20, 1998

ericwillhite

Great peak, done long ago. Pictures and route map at http://www.willhiteweb.com/washington_climbing/olympic_mountains/hood_canal/mount_constance_078.htm
Posted Sep 3, 2009 3:08 am

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