Great solo trip. From Ice Lake to the Matterhorn (my third, counting Disneyland and the Sierra), peak 9775, Sacajawea, and Hurwal Divide. Stayed relatively low on the west on the traverse (about 9,400') and thus missed most of the fun, but was trying to be efficient for a long day.
Excellent traverse from the Matterhorn. The views from the top are amazing.
Climbed from The Matterhorn, solo.
After attempting this traverse in 2002 and failing, I went back and tried again with Flanders and Lunadog. They got about halfway there and decided to stop. I went to the same spot I got stumped years before and then traversed low into the scree on the west side. Gingerly made my way over to a dark vein of rock and then up a bit until I found a way back up onto the ridge. From that point on it was clear sailing to the summit of the highest point in the Wallowas. On the way back, I went the ridge the whole way and it was much easier to see the way I should have gone. There are two exposed class 3 sections on the ridge if you are coming from Matterhorn where when it looks dicey, traverse around the west side of the gendarme and stick higher to the ridge and you should be fine. Much easier coming from Sacajawea to see where the route goes.
Came up Thorpe Creek and through the basin. First time in the Wallowas, this is easily the most rugged terrain in Oregon. Drove up to the trailhead friday night from Bend, drive time is slightly prohibitive, but should be making the trip up here more frequently the next year to knock out more peaks.
Camped at Thorp Creek Basin. Was accompanied by my son Mike, O he of infinite patience and tact. Returned down the talus ridge that lies more south than the south ridge. No significant snow on either ridge, except as scenery. ADDITION: Snow still at the foot of the ridge still deep enough to cover the large runoff stream underneath. Use the slot in the basalt dike to get on the ridge.
The ascending experience was glorious, a new peak or ridge
seeming to pop up every few hundred feet, lots of snow on most, another savagely beautiful (northwest?) ridge visible from the false summit onward, and intriguing varieties of rock underfoot throughout.
The Twin Creek blowdown/avalanche mess on the way in becomes less of an obstacle as time passes. About 150 feet upstream from the old trail crossing one can cross and pass through most of the mess with almost no obstacles.
Did the traverse with Infected Mushroom and two other friends, fun scrambling along the way.
When on the summit a small plane spotted us. Buzzing towards us, it slowed way down. Just over our heads, the pilot pulled a large swooping turn and waved. Cool indeed.
Climbed after summiting The Matterhorn from Ice lake. Great scramble on the ridge. Headed over the the Hurwal Divide. Excellent day!
My brother and I summited Matterhorn early in the morning from Ice Lake and than made our way north along the ridge that connects to Sacajawea. Didn't have any trouble and returned to Ice lake the same way.
Made an attemt on the finger that splits the E and NE faces. I believe the route we took is to the North of the Thorp Creek route.
Trip report here: http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/282357/Winter-Mountaineering-in-the-Wallowas.html
Had camped at the lower end of the meadows in Thorpe Cr. Basin and started just before daylight. Some frost, very cold fingers first half mile or so. It was a beautiful but frustrating day.
Went up the SE Ridge route. As in the walk in the day before, I seemed to be going much more slowly than I expected. I assumed that the combination of age, sudden altitude change and diabetes were giving me more problems than I had anticipated. Generally a tremendous feeling of weakness, particularly in the legs. I had a sore swollen area on one side of my jaw that I thought was from a trail mix sliver down along the tooth from a couple of days before. It turned out to be a double abcess that was the size of half a tennis ball by the time I got home Saturday the 30th. A few months later I discovered that I am one of the lucky people who has muscle tissue destroyed by Lipitor.
That's the major whine. I also tried an alternate path that swung out to the left, based on a conversation with somebody who had done this a few years before. This led to problems that I tried to resolve by going further to the left, which eventually led me to withdraw downwards to try to swing back to the right. I think these "problems" were not that great, and would have been ignored if I hadn't been alone or had been feeling better. As it was, by the time I got back on track it was 20 minutes short of the 1:30 turnaround I had set. (Supposed front coming that pm per info when I left home and I never got high enough to see if storm cells were indeed marching in from the SW.) So I went back to camp.
Despite the malaise and disappointment, this was a spectacular day.
Was going to try again the next day, but a thunder storm rolled through about sunrise. Went back to bed for 2 hours and still felt like untreated solid waste, but decided to just follow Thorp Creek all the way up. By about noon it was another beautiful day. Walked up eventually to the head of the basin and up the crest of the ridglet that runs almost due south from the summit. Was less than 1200 vertical feet from the summit by a straightforward talus trudge, BUT it was 4:00 and I could see towering cum over the Seven Devils, AND the note in my cookpot had said I would go to where I was and then come back the same way. So I did, taking almost to dusk to get there. The next day I decided to to wander the meadow portion of the basin and take pictures, then walked out to the car. Again taking twice as long as planned and by now having real difficulty chewing solid stuff and definitely feeling feverish.
Despite all, this was one of the best trips I've ever taken.
first time in the wallowas, such beautiful mountains. trail was a little sketch between the matterhorn and the sac, but a fun climb. where's the green team??
Climbed this one with my brother on our way from Boise to Portland. We hiked up late in the afternoon and camped on the east side of Ice Lake, woke up in the am and headed up the east ridge of the Matterhorn to the summit. Since we were soooo close, we just had to hike the ridge to Sacajawea which had some short class 3 sections. Good views from the top, but not as good as the Matterhorn. We returned to camp via the scree fields SE of the ridge only to find another group had set up their camp not 100 feet from our tent (bastards!), so we had to listen to them and their whining dog the rest of the evening. Still, it was a great trip.
Backpacking with my wife- this was a quick excursion- great ridgeline in a nice generally uncrowded range
Climbed with my wife. Our 11th peak in the Wallowas. The SE ridge seemed a little steep at times. We came down a scree slope on the SW side of the mountain and back Thorp Creek.
What can I say that my partners, Dean and Tom (Cornvallis), haven't said already? It was a beautiful trail full of fall colors. The abundant animal tracks in the creek bed were incredible. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. I took a nap on the summit, afterall, I was there for two and a half hours waiting for my partners to come and go. Overall, a great trip. Thanks, Tom and Dean, for making it memorable.
Annaleiserabinek and I left Corvallis at 9 PM and drove through the night to meet Dean at the trailhead at around 4:30 AM. First time I had hiked with Dean since we met back on July 4th on Mt. McLoughlin when he introduced me to this site. Dean and I were ready to go, but we decided an hour-long power nap might be beneficial to us all, so I squeezed into the back seat of our rented Corolla and fell asleep for a much-needed quick hour. The fall colors along the approach trail were amazing. Found myself saying "WOW" with every turn of the trail, the Wallowas are simply incredible. Sacajawea looks huge on the approach, and is! When I reached the summit I had pretty much decided that we wouldn’t have enough time to make the traverse to the Matterhorn, but I couldn’t resist giving it a try. So I downed a sandwich and literally started running down the ridge that connects the two peaks. I would have to reach the summit of the Matterhorn in less than an hour and back to Sac in the same time. Annaleiserabinek and Dean watched from the summit of Sacajawea as I traversed the ridge.
Great day, stunning mountains, and even better partners, Thanks guys!
This one had been haunting me ( rfbolton report below ) and I knew I had to go back and stick a fork in this one to get it done. Tom and Shelby, both fellow summit posters drove thru the night from Corvallis Oregon to meet me at the TH, arriving at 4:30 a.m. to do so. I had been sleeping in the back of my Honda Accord (my cheapo motel) and they quickly grabbed some very needed shut eye.
We started up the trail at 7 a.m. and summitted in gorgeous weather. Actually, it was almost too unbeliveably warm for a Sept day. Tom ( Cornvallis ) picked off The Matterhorn as well making it a twofer day for him. Shelby and I were content to wave at him from our lofty perch on top of Sac. Tom can really cover ground and took less than 45 minutes each way, to me a pretty impressive time considering the terrain. The only negative on this trip was discovering a flat tire when I got back to the TH parking area. That didn't take away from the great day and the great companions that made this one special. Watching Tom glide along that traverse will always remain an amazing memory.
This is a great route. The Thorp creek trail is unmaintained and unsigned but it is a good trail, steep in parts that leads you quickly up to the meadows where we saw myriads of animal tracks all over the place (including bear and cougar). The climb up thesoutheast ridge is spectacular in places. Great summit views, outstanding. Don't go solo on this one, take a friend so you can hear each other go "Wow" time after time. A 4star trip (15 miles round trip with 4800 feet of elevation gain) We were back at the cars at 7p.m. so plan on taking most of a day to do this one. Beward of thunderstorm possibilities in the summer. Fall is a great time to do this one.
SummitPost members Dean and Dennis Poulin had climbed Red Mountain in the southern Wallowas the day before, so we were already somewhat worn out. That plus a short night of sleep and we all were feeling rather fatigued from the get-go. Indeed Dean's legs refused to take him higher than the upper Thorp Creek basin, but losman90 and I continued up the ridge to the summit. This is the ONLY way to climb Sacajawea in my opinion.
This summit had very special significance for me as it was my final Oregon county highpoint, being the highest peak in Wallowa County. So I'm the 3rd person known to have visited the highest point of each county in the state. www.cohp.org