After hours of steep, sloggy trail up the Pyramid Lake Trail, then the Pyramid Peak Trail, and navigating across the big talus fields, we made it to the Colonial Glacier basin, and began trying to figure out a way up to Pyramid Peak.
The glacier is heavily crevassed, and the whole thing is rimmed by huge bergschrunds and moats. It was a major navigational challenge. Ended up scrambling a loose, steep gully (DO NOT RECOMMEND) onto the ridge for Paul Bunyan's Stump, Pinnacle Peak and Pyramid Peak, and then trekked across the ridge, across snowfields (some crevasses), and up onto the summit for Pyramid Peak. Watch for falling rocks and boulders on the ridge. Chunks of rock the size of pickup trucks periodically cleaved off Paul Bunyan's Stump and went crashing down to the glacier below.
Coming back down, had to find a different way down... and ended up finding a rock tongue that was close enough to the glacial margin that I could step over onto it. Built a small cairn on the rock step by the ice, for anyone trying to find my exit point to get onto the ridge. Had to navigate between crevasses right there getting onto the glacier.
Hike back down was in the dark, and navigating the talus fields was very challenging at night (and with a new moon).
Got back to the car at 2:44 am. Clockin' in at 20 hours with few, short breaks.
Did this one over two days with a camp at Neve Col. This one was quite the work out. Trail to Pyramid Lake in good shape. Climbers trail beyond the lake is much better than expected. Lost the trail around 3,700' due to snow coverage. Got pretty rough at this point which led to a snow bushwhack up until around 4,300' where we put on snow shoes. Views along the ridge were beautiful. The avy chute along the route was fairly tame. Still lots of ice and rock falling off Pyramid Peak. No need for ropes on Colonial Glacier as expected. Something rolled in around 5PM as we ended up in a white out with 30+mph winds at the col. Dug a deep shelter and built a wall which maybe helped. The wind was relentless. Long night. Woke up the next working to clear skies. Neve Glacier was easy to cross with crampons and was in good shape. Ended up shooting straight for the summit using the north face. Highly suggest an ice axe and an ice tool because it gets steep and exposed. Punching in steps in the snow really messed up my toes. We were rewarded with 360 views at the summit.
Excellent trip to a beautiful area. One of my favs in WA
With Sue and Marty. Camped on the shores of the lake. Up standard route.
Spectacular place! I was with nickmeck again, echo his words.
Weather forecast looked good but rain, wind and thick clouds forced us to camp at the moraine lake the first night. Made it to the col late on day 2 for a windy night. The large Neve glacier had 3 sections of heavily crevassed areas to make things interesting leading to the base of the ridge climb.
Not as tough a day as I had expected, with a pretty decent climbers' trail (start counterclockwise!) from Pyramid Lake. Great views of Eldorado, among other things, and some decent boot-skiing on the way home. Trip report.
Even after being spoiled from Peru, this was pretty awesome.
This is the best trip I've done in a long time. The scenery in this area is some of the best I have seen in Washington. Camping at Neve Col is super-cool and it looks like there is usually running water there.
Climbed with gimpilator, Fletcher and Josh Lewis under partly sunny skies with relatively minor crevasse activity. This was part of a 3 day peak-bagging trip that I hope will become a trip report. It was the best climbing I've done and top 5 scenery.
Another one of my favorite areas. I am working on climbing a number of points that surround the Colonial and Neve glaciers, (a few down, many more to go!), and have recently wandered south into the Isolation area... now that's wilderness!
Good times with friends. Trip report, map and pics at http://www.willhiteweb.com/washington_climbing/north_cascades/snowfield_colonial_peak_074.htm
A fantastic late-season glacier climb. Rivers on the Colonial Glacier are unusual for WA and fun to see.
Long approach, fun climb.
Nice climb. Approach is a bit rough, but manageable.
Climbed this mountain twice (2000 and 2005)
A Skagit Valley College mountaineering class outing led, no, driven by Mike Woodmansee. In one weekend, some of us bagged Pyramid, Pinnacle, Paul Bunyan's Stump, Snowfield, and Colonial.
8 hrs from TH to edge of colonial glacier camp. Flys and mosquitos bothersome along trail until camp. Climbers trail not as bad as guidebooks describe but still difficult. ~3.5 hrs camp to summit.