It's getting to be that time of year where the non standard routes (routes other than the highly traveled DC and Emmons) are seeing substantially less climbing traffic. Upper mountain terrain is becoming very featured and broken which results in substantially difficult terrain navigation and route finding. As we move into the fall months, these routes are becoming much more dangerous from objective hazard such as rock fall, ice fall, unstable snow bridges, decompensating plugs, and long deep crevasses that are difficult to navigate around. It is highly recommended to wait until next climbing season to attempt these routes and allow the winter months to heal the current upper mountain conditions.
There has been no traffic on the Gibralter Ledges since very early in the climbing season due to an abundant amount of rock and ice fall and substantial difficulty exiting from the ledges due to melt.
May 27, 2015
|What's left of the snow on the ledges.|
The Cowlitz Glacier has been holding together nicely. The upper mountain above the ledges has become a bit more circuitous than it was earlier this season. The chute after the ledges is still all snow without any skeletal glacial ice poking through. A major crevasse bridge fell apart which was the last option for a direct route from the top of Gibraltar Rock to the Summit Crater. Now climbers are having to traverse out toward the Wapowety Cleaver near the top of the Kautz Glacier route to access the crater.
Climbers on the Disappointment Cleaver route have started traversing back to the top of Gibraltar Rock, thus making the two routes merge at Camp Comfort.
May 18, 2015