Black Peak South Route (July 6-7, 2002)

Left the parking lot at Rainy Pass at around 4pm. Hiked to Lewis lake in about 3 hours. Sarah's leg was bugging her, and we were moving pretty slow. From the pass, the way to the lake was totally snow covered. The lake was still ice-bound. We found a small (uneven) dry patch in some trees to pitch the megamid. We had couscous + soup for dinner.

Morning came and Sarah's leg was still not feeling right, so she decided to hang around camp. I left at around 7, promising to be back within 5 hours. I made Wing lake in an hour, and the shoulder/col in another. By this time, bad weather was moving in, but I decided to head up anyways. I was on the summit by 9:30. The scramble to the summit has lots of options: snow, talus, gullies, rock ribs. Take your pick -- it's a good way to avoid rockfall from parties above.

At the summit, I found it feasable to get to the main summit directly along a short, exposed "spine". I did this because another party was futzing around to the east looking for ways up/down. Traveling along the spine is exposed and fun. I tagged the summit and headed back. By this time it was drizzling, and the rock (and my axe) were buzzing/whining with electricity. I started descending rapidly -- at one point I threw my axe down a small face because I was getting shocked. I passed the other party -- descending really slowly and apparently oblivious to the fact that they were in an electrical storm: "Is that what that buzzing is?"

By the time I reached the shoulder, the weather had calmed a bit. I was back at camp by 11am for a nice salami, cheese, avacado lunch... We packed and reached the car in 2 hours.

The NE Ridge looks great -- although the lower portion looks overhung by a big cornice right now. Perhaps it can be avoided on the other side...

Rack and gear:

ice axe
crampons (didn't need them)
50m x 6mm rap rope (didn't use it)