Devo's Climbs

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Alpine Climb: Mount Torment

This weekend I went to the North Cascades with Winslow Gregory Gerrish, his friend Shawn, and Kurt to attempt the Torment-Forbidden traverse. Friday night we slept at the Boston Basin trailhead. Shortly after arriving, Kurt noticed the left-rear tire on Greg's Subaru was flat, so Greg changed it out with the podunk wimpy spare.

Saturday morning we hit the trail at 7:20 am and made base of the Taboo Glacier in 3 hours.

APPROACHING BOSTON BASIN & TORMENT




MT. TORMENT & TABOO GLACIER


Getting onto the glacier was a bit tricky, involving a 10-foot ice climb to the glacier proper. We then traversed the glacier to the hidden gully leading to the South Ridge Climb. Scrambling up the gully, Greg followed the wrong chimney and got stranded. Shawn eventually lowered a rope and he was able to climb the rest of the way to the notch at the base of the South Ridge.

The route started right off with a few mid-5th moves; the rest was a mix of 4th, low 5th and 3rd class, with the occasional loose rock and scarce pro. Greg and Shawn led out; Kurt and I followed, simul-climbing most pitches on a 60M half rope doubled to 30M. We climbed cautiously and didn't move particularly fast. Difficulties in route finding also slowed our progress. Greg and Shawn were a ways ahead but waited on a ledge just before the 3rd class section leading to the notch in the South Ridge. We continued on roped and, passing through the notch onto the South East face, found easy but insecure 3rd class climbing to summit.

WEST RIDGE OF FORBIDDEN FROM TORMENT


We summited around 6:30 pm. At this point, we realized we weren't going to make the bivy on the ridge before nightfall and decided to rap the SE face back to the Taboo and camp in the basin. We started our descent around 7 pm. Five raps (and over 3 hours) later, we reached the glacier well after dark, and spent another hour wandering around crevasses looking for an easy exit. We eventually found ourselves back at the same spot we had climbed onto the glacier Saturday morning. I downclimbed on belay, followed by Kurt and Shawn; Greg descended solo.

LATE IN THE DAY - SUNSET ON SAHALE


RAPPELLING INTO THE DARKNESS


After locating some (almost, but-not-quite) flat bivy spots on the slabs below the Taboo, we ate a quick dinner and fell asleep somewhere between 1:30 and 2 am. "Long day" doesn't describe it.

Sunday we were up at 7 am and hiked back to Forbidden camp where we dumped our packs and scrambled up to a view of Sahale and Sharkfin tower. Then we left Boston Basin, arriving at the car at 11:30 am.

On the ride out we stopped and had some awesome burgers at Marblemount Good Food. I was home by 4 pm.

Pictures: Mt. Torment slideshow ยป

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