With Fred. Watched the face of Corteo collapse and send house sized boulders into the lake!
Beautiful mountain! Great views looking west towards the Ptarmigan traverse and Glacier peak. Wing lake was still ~2/3 frozen over. The rock in the gully is loose and crumbly, near the summit the quality improves.
Challenging, committing, awesome.
Spectacular views from this crumbly mountain! Summit ridge is sharp and thin. Climbed a couple of pitches to the summit instead of the standard finish. One of my favorite mountains for views, ruggedness, colors, lakes, height, and day-hikeability.
Erick Johnson and I did the NE Ridge as a one-day climb since the weather was s'posed to get crappy on Sunday. Very pretty ridge!
We left Seattle at 8:00 a.m. to allow Erick to sleep in a bit after a hard night's drinking. The last hour of the hike-out was on headlamp. Actual ridge took three hours, but we tried to stretch it out as long as possible owing to the sheer gorgeousness of the route.
other recent trips:
Crystal clear skies and cool temp's. Fresh snow in the shade. Just a bit over 11 hours car to car. Saw no one untill coming back down and quite a few parties setting into camp for the night, only 1-2 parties heading to the summit for a 2 day.
12 hours car to car on a beautiful day in the North Cascades. We gained the Northeast Ridge before deciding conditions weren't favorable with some new snow and ice on the ridge. After downclimbing, we made our way by Wing Lake to the South Col to climb the South Ridge. Made it from the lake to the summit in just over an hour. Class 3 gullies and a couple of class 4 moves to reach the summit. Never saw anyone on the mountain or trail all day long. Wonderful scramblers peak.
Woke up at 330am, left the TH at 5am (got 15 minutes up the trail and I forgot my sunglasses)
weather was iffy, and we did not see the top of black until later that day
Once at wing lake we headed for the NE ridge and walked the glacier and then 4th class rock to the ridge
The 1st part of the route was covered in snow and ice, and then the last mid 5th class pitches said they were on the north side, and that was 800 feet higher so we assumed it would be snow and ice covered as well. We took the option of backing off the route and climbing it next spring/summer.
Then we thought, hey, let's climb the south gully walk up route!
so we went back down to the lake, traversed over towards the route and up to the col.
From there it is simple class 2/3 up to the last move below the summit which is class 4 and kind of exposed.
The summit was gained and we hung out for half an hour as the clouds started to break up and reveal some summits close by like Goode, Buckner, Logan, Forbidden, etc.
The rest of the day was clear and blue skies. The way back was not fun, losing 500 feet, and then gaining 500 feet to heather pass.
Made it in 12 hours car to car after doing 1.5 routes on Black Mountain
"The perfect alpine scrambler's peak" is right! I would give this mountain a tie with Mt. Daniel for best scramble in the Cascades! I climbed it with a partner in 94, as a very long day trip. I have always planned on going back to do it as a 2 day trip with a camp at Wing Lake.