Mount Sefrit Trip Report
June 8, 2014
Climbers: Sean and Michael
I had wanted to do Sefrit for a really long time and couldjust never get the combination of partner and weather and conditions just rightto make it go. The way I see it you kind of need to have snow cover in thevalley to make it worth it; and it seems to me the route is the most aestheticwhen the couloir is snow filled too.
It was looking like we would need our backup plan as wedrove all the way to the Hannegan trailhead, arriving about 8:00. As we hikedthe snow-free trail things were looking bleak for the couloir to be filled withsnow. It has been a really unsuccessful spring climbing season for me so I reallywanted this plan to pay off.Adding to what I later realized was a pretty lowchance of success climb was the prospect of fording Ruth Creek. This didn’tseem like such a bad plan for the ascent, but late in the day with the snowmeltspiking it could be pretty hairy; I figured that was a problem for future Seanand put it out of my mind.
Our hearts sank as we saw a snowy gully with large bare gapsin it, but held out hope that the deep defile of the “Bloody Head Couloir”would hold the cold air. Sure enough, as we rounded the trail for a great lookinto the slot it was almost totally filled in! Looking into the Ruth Creekdrainage we saw what we didn’t even dare to hope for… the valley was snowfilled all the way from the trail to the base of the couloir. No creek fordingfor us today!
We easily hiked the firm spring snow down to, and over, thecreek and up to the base of the gully. The gully was less steep than Iexpected, I was glad I didn’t carry an extra tool, but there was so little betaon the route we didn’t really know what it would be like. The climb most of theway up the couloir was uneventful until we reached the waterfall at aroundmaybe 5200’? There was about a 15’ section of the waterfall melted out with a25’ moat that we didn’t particularly want to fall into. Beckey says to take theshort gully to the left to avoid the falls, but the rocks adjacent to the fallslooked better to us. I would say it was maybe 5.0, we did it free solo withboots without mishap, but it was a little nerve wracking due to the downwardsloping edges.
In retrospect the better option to get to the ridge would be
to go straight up to the saddle at 6460, the ridge west of here was easy and it
avoids a lot of tedious side-hilling and some possible crevasses on the open
slopes to the west. (We went up the westerly option and down the direct).
The rock on the lower part of the ridge was total garbage,lots of really loose stuff that is ready to slide. We sent a lot of rockdown the south slope, but the scrambling was easy with sections of walking. Thescrambling got harder (3rd-4thclass) as we ascended but wheneverthe ridge was steeper the rock was sounder. We made a couple of less-than-idealroute decisions but nothing more than just a little time consuming, and itadded up to fun scrambling.
The route is largely on ledges that bear signs of a trail,
when in doubt generally stay to the south on dirt and heather. Near the summit
there were some steep fourth-class sections with very large loose rocks. My
partner almost bought it when a rock the size of a person shifted when he
pulled on it. The summit was somewhat between a perch and a needle; I can’t
attest to the views as it was socked in the whole day. No one had signed the
register since last September, and only once in 2013! (It took us five hours car
The descent was fast and easy with some awesome glissading.
We were a little worried about the climb down past the waterfall but the rock
seemed a lot easier now that we were all warmed up to it. Three hours from the
summit and we were back to the car and off to Graham’s for coffee and victory
doughnuts (or so we thought!). (Alas no victory beer today)
We carried crampons, snowshoes, a rope and some pro but didn’t use any
of it, just an axe.