Ascent of Austera Peak on 2014-07-05

Climber: Sean Albert

Date:Saturday, July 5, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Austera Peak
    Elevation:8334 ft / 2540 m

Ascent Trip Report

On Thursday afternoon Stephen and I braved nasty pre 4th of July traffic and drove up to Marblemount the night before our Ice Cap attempt to grab our Klawatti zone permit. Michelle and Noel met us at the Mineral Creek campground at dark and we sorted gear and promptly went to bed.

Day 1 Friday morning we left the Eldorado TH at 5:45 am. 2160ft. Some friends of ours, a team of 4, had a similar itinerary and ended up leaving the TH soon after us, we saw them throughout the day. The upper boulder field was almost completely melted out, and we encountered some lingering snow at the waterfall crossing, but found the trail/easy way up with no trouble (crossing a sketchy snowbridge which was gone on the way down). The gully was also dry down onto the Eldorado glacier. We roped up before reaching the Inspiration and made our way over to the windy Eldorado camp. The usual stunning views of Forbidden were had by all. Also our first views of Klawatti and the moat half way up the snow finger on the South slopes looked bad... Guess we’d be doing the SW ridge. We saw two skiers climbing up Eldorado and heard them hooting on the way down, looked super fun, great corn. We had all already climbed Eldorado so we made our way around to Klawatti col, passing two other friends along the way, who had just taken a look at the step snow on Klawatti’s South face and were turned around by the moat. Klawatti col (7800ft) was our camp for the next two nights, we made the col around 3:15 and spent an hour setting up camp. We quickly turned our attention to Klawatti. Dan Lauren gave me some good beta on the SW ridge, so that seemed like the best way. After a little searching, high snow pack made gaining the ridge fairly easy, only requiring a half rope lead/traverse right out of the moat, to a great rap boulder on the ridge. The rest of the ridge was standard loose Bulger terrain. We made the summit at 6:15, 2 hrs up. Due to the fact it started to spit rain we snapped a few photos and immediately turned around and headed down. We backed up the rap anchor and one traversing full rope rap brought us back to where we started the roped climbing at the snow.

Day 2, weather was a little iffy so we decided to do Austera and Primus, plus it would be a full day camp to camp, leaving Dorado Needle for the hike out day (or so we hoped). We roped up and headed towards the McAllister/Klawatti notch, we walked out of camp at 6:40 am. At the notch high snow again allowed us to scramble down the 5th class step fairly easily. We headed North to the Austera summit ridge and took a look at the choke stone route. We met up with two of our friends as well as the other party of four, what a popular place today! Some climbed the gully and a few others climbed the 3/4th ramp around the right. Made the summit ridge at 8:20am, seven people on top that day, funny running into people you know in the middle of nowhere. Primus Peak, next stop. We left the summit ridge of Austera at 10:30am. Stephen had done it already, so he soloed back to camp for a nap. After dropping way down to 6900ft around Austera Towers we climbed back up and onto the North Klawatti glacier below Primus. We passed a weird PVC pipe in the middle of the glacier, must be used by scientists to measure it's speed.
We climbed straight up the SW face on a mix of slab, snow and talus, we were on top of Primus at 1:15 pm, third peak in less than 24 hours. Great views of Logan, Goode, Buckner and Forbidden. We looked back towards camp and dreaded the climb back up to the traverse to the notch. The weather turned bad and we made it back to camp around 4:30 pm.

Day 3, rained all night, white out in the morning, so back to the cars we headed. No Dorado Needle for us this time. Left camp about 9 or 9:30 and made the cars at 2:15.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:534 ft / 162 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:534 ft / 162 m
    Start Trailhead:7800 ft / 2377 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Sean Albert
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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.

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