Ascent of Spectacle Buttes on 2020-07-19

Climber: Harry H

Date:Sunday, July 19, 2020
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Spectacle Buttes
    Elevation:8392 ft / 2557 m

Ascent Trip Report

Included in this trip: Mount Fernow, Seven Fingered Jack, Mount Maude and Spectacle Buttes (Attempt).

Started at Phelps Creek Trailhead at 7:15am Saturday, parking lot was quite full.
Hiked along Phelps Creek Trail (One could possibly bike). The shrubs were dry and not too overgrown and the water crossings easy to manage.
Got up to Leroy Basin (6200') and stashed camping gear, there were probably about 2 tents there. From here we made our way up to Fernow, Via Leroy creek, its not maintained but relatively easy to follow all the way up to the North West ridge of Seven Fingered Jack. Unfortunately my GPS doesnt show the exact route due to accuracy but before getting to the ridge it easiest to turn slightly West (At about 7600')_, this way you do not gain additional elevation, there is a set of cairns there. Heading down from the Saddle the snow conditions were quite good, but a little soft. From the bottom snowfield (6600') its a relatively base easy slug up, through both snow and rock. We took the rock scramble route for most of it. At the South ridge of Mount Fernow there is a large (small car size) rock wedged that you could walk under, we went that way which seemed correct and easy. Navigating to the summit requires some scrambles but was relatively easy. If you find yourself climbing anything too difficult (Class 4+) its likely the wrong route, but may get you there.

I took the north west ridge from about 7600' up and went up next to or on the ridge until reaching about 8200' there is likely an easier path below as the ridge was doable but likely not the easiest. Once you hit the rock field its all up from there. Take extra care on the way up and down as the rocks are very lose and can go down quite far.
I took the South West route back but found a snow gully at about 8100' which was in good shape to glissade down until about 6100' then bushwhacked my way back to camp. The additional trip from the ridge took 2 hours.

Took the Carne High Traverse Trail to the saddle, the trail was quite well maintained, with a few spots of route finding due to snow. Traction was not required until you reach the Mount Maude Summit Approach (South). we went down into the south east side, there was plenty of snow and traction was required. I used microspikes. We ended up going up to about 8200' before getting over to the ridge, via the right side of the cornice and onto a rock scramble. I wouldnt recommend this method as there was a much easier option further down. Once onto the ridge its an easy path up and down.

We didnt give this a worthwhile crack, once we got to Ice Lakes Luna (Husky) was showing signs of heat exhaustion and just being tiered in general. So we decided we would turn back.

In terms of gear, having some form of traction is useful, if you really want you can probably skip it but it may be more effort. Axe is also useful depending on the route taken, but can be skipped if you want to take alternate route and are skillful on snow.

Summary Total Data
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
Ascent Part of Trip: Ferno, 7 Finger, Maude (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Fernow2020-07-18 
2Seven Fingered Jack2020-07-18 
3Mount Maude2020-07-19 a 
4(Attempt) Spectacle Buttes2020-07-19 b 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Harry H
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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