Ascent of Mount Washington on 2014-07-12

Climber: Richard Partridge

Others in Party:Alex Ellis
George Williamson
Date:Saturday, July 12, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Washington
    Elevation:7794 ft / 2375 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my first climb with the Obsidians Club in Eugene. Also, this was my first time climbing vertically on a rope on a mountain. This was an incredible group that worked very well together. From the PCT trailhead near Big Lake it took us just over five hour to summit. We were the first group on the mountain so our only wait was during our rappels off the summit as there were two other groups climbing up.

From the PCT trailhead we followed the PCT a couple of miles south to an obvious cairn marking the start of the climber's path. The cairn is just past a small "S" curve on the PCT. The path headed west and eventually to the south as it began climbing the north ridge. Above the treeline we continued to follow the still obvious path along the ridge. At the large gendarme we went below and to the right. Climbing back up a loose gully put us at a saddle where we put on our harnesses to begin the roped climb to the summit. At the first pitch, begin by dropping sown to the second gully. Climb it past a horn that's good to protect from and on to an overhang. The holds here seemed pretty solid and despite being the crux of the climb, it was fairly simple to negotiate. The beginning of the second pitch should be another short wall, but also easy to climb. The third pitch is an easy scramble. Our rope ended about 20 vertical feet from the summit. From here the exposure was minimal and the scramble was easy. We rappelled down the same route back to the saddle. From the saddle we headed down the gully we had ascended earlier but instead of continuing along the ridge we continued down the scree slope. Our thought was that it would be faster this way but my opinion is that it was not. Following the ridge back down would have been as fast and a lot less stressful. Not to mention the fact that I probably moved enough scree farther down the slope to have taken a century off of Washington's remaining life.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3114 ft / 949 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3114 ft / 949 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3114 ft / 949 m
    Route:North Ridge
    Start Trailhead:PCT Trailhead  4680 ft / 1426 m
    Time:5 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3114 ft / 949 m
    Route:West Side Scree Slope
    End Trailhead:PCT Trailhead  4680 ft / 1426 m
    Time:5 Hours 

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