It's been a warm summer, these routes are done for the season, but fun to think about for next year!
A three-person team climbed the Nisqually Cleaver last Wednesday. Erik Jacobson and his partners did it in a single push, car to car in about 17 hours. He shared some images and said,
"The route was hard snow and in excellent condition. Rock and ice fall was minimal while we were on the route (6-10am)."Similar to earlier ascents this year, except,
"more direct with less traversing, perhaps better coverage... we went directly towards the summit...[when] High winds and clouds hit us."The team descended via Gib Chute, which is often considered direct and easy... That said, climbers should be warned that much of the chute is exposed to rock and ice fall. An accident there could be catastrophic. Look at the aerial image below and you'll notice avalanche debris.
Another image of the route. This one clearly shows how broken the Nisqually Glacier is. The Nisqually Cleaver and Gib Chute, however, look excellent. Note icefall debris from the Nisqually ice cliff. Climbers are reminded to move quickly while in the upper Nisqually Basin.
Nisqually Icecliff - May 15th
It was climbed this weekend and the route still looks great. Two climbers left early on Monday and made good time getting up the technical sections. Access to the route went very smoothly. There was a short steep step to get off the glacier and onto the ice cliff.
From that lower bergshrund, the team climbed 40-50 ice/snow to the upper Nisqually. The climbers stated that the most time consuming and dangerous part of the route was the upper Nisqually Glacier. They encountered a number of dicey crevasse crossings. Note that their climbing line did not connect w/ the upper portion of the DC route till almost 13,500 feet.
Forget it. Well, I suppose that someone could do this route, but I can't say it's worth the risk."A route"up the glacier would be very circuitous and dangerous. Note massive slides.
Photo by Mike Gauthier