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Ascent of Echo Peak on 2016-07-25

Climber: Dustin Erickson

Date:Monday, July 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Echo Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:11220 ft / 3419 m

Ascent Trip Report

Echo, Dutchman Hilgard Traverse
Camped at the lake south of Expeditions. Woke and made our way to the saddle north of Echo filling water at the great spring gushing from the tarn near the saddle. From here I just added a quick trip to get peak 10,835 to the north of Echo (I dub it Thunder Echo Peak due to nearby place names. From there we took the good goat track up Thunder and then over the summit plateau to were the scrambling down to the saddle of Dutchman is. There is a class 3 way down, but more direct routes involve at least class 4 to get down, from here the scrambling got easier as we traversed to the imposing Dutchman, there is a Class 3 way to the east, but a good route is easier to see when up close to the north ridge and has a class 4 chimney. From here we descended to the saddle between Dutchman and point 10,780. This was tiring as the sun was beating down. Not wanting to try the loose, wet, class 5 route acrosse the northeast face of Hilgard we descended at a gully north of point 10,780 and decided to try the large coulior leading to Hilards East Ridge. We had no axes or crampons, but we did have trekking poles and it was a hot day, over 100 in the valleys and it was around 3 pm, the snow had softened just enough to kick steps although after 2 inches it got very hard. It was strenuous, but we got up and then took on the east ridge, we somehow found a upper class 3 variation that put us on top after the knife edge ridge I had read about, we werent really trying to avoid it, but we did. Amazing views of the Tetons and Yellowstone laid out for us. We took a coulior that left the ridge around 10,400 feet this time as we didnt have axes for the one we had taken up. After some glissading we rifilled water in an alpine lake and boulder hopped over the the beautiful Talus and Clear lake area, another grunt uphill and then down to the somehow even more gorgious at sunset Blue Paradise lake and the trail took us back to camp. Amazing day, although there is some loose rock on this traverse it is mostly predictable and the setting is amazing, the solitude guaranteed and the adventure rating high. Enjoy this hidden gem!
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