We began (we being myself
, and austin.timm
) on the morning of March 24 for the summit of Beehive Peak. This being our fourth summit attempt of the 2006-2007 winter season we all had our fingers crossed that inclement weather would not turn us away again. Through the pre-dawn light myself and austin.timm boot packed while vcrewpc06 skinned. We had initially planned to approach on the west ridge. austin.timm and myself had tried the couloir several weeks earlier and were unsuccessful due to shoulder deep snow. However, as the peak became visible, it appeared that heavy melting since our last attempt made the couloir a viable route. By 10:00 am we had reached the base of the couloir where we stopped to survey avalanche danger before making the first push upward.
The couloir itself was significantly easier to climb than any of us anticipated. We topped out in only an hour of climbing. From the top of the couloir, it became obvious the west ridge would have been a far more difficult and dangerous route choice. The combination of a long knife edge for nearly a half mile down valley and a steep descent from a high point to couloir atop unstable snow conditions lead us to this conclusion. From the top of the couloir we followed a ramp which lead directly to the left, up toward the summit gaining nearly a third of the elevation from the top of couloir to the summit. From the top of the ramp we traversed several exposed scrambles around to the backside of the peak from which we climbed another, but much shorter ramp, which topped out a few meters from the summit. This last section, though lacking in description is by no means lacking in difficulty. The scramble itself would be a non-issue had there not been a variable snow pack. (an interesting combination of post holing and one inch coverage which would break away and slide atop the rock beneath).
From the summit we took the same route down. The highlight came from the top of the couloir where the three of us enjoyed a well deserved ski/ride out. The couloir had since been shaded and the snow pack had nearly frozen. Myself
was the the first to descend in mountaineering boots strapped into my classic snowboard bindings. austin.timm
followed on tele having a grand time as his skis released on every other turn. Finally vcrewpc06
followed and tore it up. The hike out was standard as the sun set.
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