With Karl and Ron. Was supposed to be the prescursor to Goat Citadel but this one took us so long and after seeing what the Goat Citadel would entail, I am happy we managed to do this one. The route from the saddle to the base of the summit gullies is, um, interesting. We climbed snow where we could, squirmed up wet, mossy moving mud, and knocked enough rock down that I am sure we promoted erosion by at least 500 years. The snow traverse to the base of the gullies looked steeper than it really is. We did protect the last bit of it curling around to get on the rock. The scramble to the summit seemed like Class 4 in more than one spot, or at least exposed Class 3. The final crack climb was awkward but short. We descended a different line because the gully we took up was definitely not the normal one. We never saw any cairns and it was mostly hard rock with pebbles over it like ball bearings on a hardwood floor. Spent a lot of time taking crampons on and off when we came to snow that looked better than the rock. Did the last snow traverse back to the saddle with headlamps. We earned our dehydrated dinners that day. I would say the route will not be "normal" still for another couple weeks at least. So much snow this year. It would have been better with either more snow or no snow. Glad to get this one done though. Alwasy enjoy climbing with Karl and Ron, lots of laughs along the way.
As a side note, we saw where Redwic and those guys climbed a couple weeks before and wondered how that rock rib looked better than the snow?? Looks like pretty exposed scrambling. Also saw what we thought was your rap line (one was grey webbing no rap ring, blue thin webbing no rap ring, etc.). We were able to find a few established rap stations and having 10m longer rope helped. We did put new webbing where you had the grey webbing (if that was you guys), doubled up a 30 foot strand and left rap ring. Figured you rapped off the webbing and weren't going to use that. Definitely interesting conditions for mid-August.
No goats! Except for some people packing in stuff on the PCT using billy goats as pack animals. Did see a family of pine martens scampering about near camp.
I didn't have any expectations going into this climb so it was a great surprise that it turned out to be a real mountaineering experience.
I really enjoyed this trip, for various reasons. First and foremost, this was my 38th (out of 39) Washington County Highpoint summited, leaving only Mount Baker for the list completion. Second, I got to enjoy the trip with a good team. Third, we got to see A LOT of mountain goats roaming around. Fourth, it is a great peak and a great area.
With that said, I agree with most people that once you summit Big Horn you unlikely will return. I think that is safe to say, in my regard. However, I now want to explore the Goat Rocks Wilderness much more in the future because I found the terrain to be quite interesting.
Special thanks to Greg Slayden, one of my peakbagging friends, for leading our team and being the only person (that I am aware of) who was willing to return to Big Horn a second time.
Beautiful area. Climbed with Edward. Nice scramble higher up, but lower the scree and talus slope was a bit miserable. Went on to do Curtis Gilbert this day.
I joined a Mazama climb for the purpose of bagging the highpoint of Lewis County. We climbed from our camp along a robust spring-fed stream draining the Snowgrass Flat area. This climb capped off a great summer of weather in the northwest, and it got me to within two counties of completing the state.
Posted on 16 Jan 2007: With great sorrow I announce the passing of our esteemed leader on this climb. Ed Holt was a senior climbing leader with the Mazamas, and he was a friend who had recently retired from my place of work. He had a heart attack while skiing on Mt. Hood on Saturday 13 Jan 2007. He will be sorely missed by many. In the picture below Ed is standing on the summit of Big Horn with Mt. Rainier in the background. Ed, may you rest in peace my friend.