Ascent of Old Snowy Mountain on 2020-04-26

Climber: Fred Newman

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, April 26, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Old Snowy Mountain
    Elevation:7880 ft / 2401 m

Ascent Trip Report

From the top of Gilbert I returned to my skis at 7000' and skied NW down the gentle glacier I had come up. The descent eventually became a traverse which ended at 6000' at the lower reaches of east McCall Glacier. Now by 2:30 pm the snow had become quite soft and sloppy. I transitioned back to skins and made my way towards Old Snowy, eventually reaching the 7600' saddle about 1/4 mile SE of the summit. The wind here was ferocious. I booted the west side of the ridge over to a gully which allowed me to use the more wind-protected east side of the ridge for the last bit to the top. I reversed back to the skis, but didn't like the look of the rimy slope to the west so I booted down a few hundred feet before transitioning for the descent at about 5 pm.

I carefully skied the firm surface toward Snowgrass Flat, snow slowly becoming more corny, then more slushy below 6000'. I mostly followed by track back to cross the same snow bridge I had used across Goat Creek. I attempted to skin, but the warm slushy snow caused my skin glue to fail completely. On the long traverse at 4700' back to the Chambers Lake trailhead I discovered the joy of using skinning technique without skins attached, kind of a nordic style. Turns out that if the angle is low enough, slushy wet snow can be a little grippy on bases stripped of wax by skiing on ice all day. I finally reached my gear cache around 8, and then nordic-skied down the road to reach my car at 10.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Skis
Ascent Part of Trip: Curtis Gilbert Tour (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Ives Peak2020-04-26 a 
2Gilbert Peak2020-04-26 b 
3Old Snowy Mountain2020-04-26 c 

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