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Ascent of Jack Mountain on 2011-08-28

Climber: Milda Tautvydas

Date:Sunday, August 28, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jack Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:9066 ft / 2763 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ascent of East Ridge of Jack Mountain from camp on ridge above Jerry Lakes, with David Salinger and David Nicholson. Jack Mtn's East Ridge rock was generally sound, and some sections were quite good quality rock. Protection scant to poor, so we climbed unroped. There was much exposed climbing on the ridge, mainly 4th class with some steep but short and exposed low 5th moves. Itinerary: On day 1 we drove up from Seattle and hiked to our camp on the ridge above Jerry Lakes. On day 2 we climbed Jack Mountain's East Ridge to the summit and descended the snow covered South Face and returned to camp. We could have hiked out (would have gotten dark), but decided to stay and celebrate my 100th Bulger peak finish. On day 3 we hiked out and drove home. On our descent of Jack's south face we encountered much steep snow. Having not ascended this way, we had to route find down the steep and exposed face. We did not anticipate that the steep South Face would be covered in so much snow at the end of August. The conditions made it an interesting challenge to get down safely, as we had to front point down hard snow most of the way in light aluminum crampons and one light ice ax each. Two tools for snow this firm was desired. Lower on the steep South Face of Jack Mtn we left the snow and descended a rock rib to a rappel anchor. We rappelled a steep buttress, then continued to downclimb on exposed rock, followed by a steep and at times exposed traverse on snow back to our camp on the ridge above Jerry Lakes. Note: David Salinger, Crispin Prahl and I attempted to climb Jack's East Ridge July 07-08, 2007. There was a massive snow plug midway up the East Ridge that was very challenging to bypass, and the South Face descent route was plastered thickly with isothermal, soft snow, so a descent of the South Face was not possible with these snow conditions. As it was very difficult to get past the big snow obstacle on Jack's East Ridge route, and no clear way to descend the mountain from the summit, I decided to call it quits and I descended the East Ridge back to our camp. Crispin and Dave stayed on the ridge to see if they could "make it go" past the snow plug obstacle. Sure enough they worked their way delicately over and around the steep snow plug, and they were back on route to the summit. Once on the summit, they confirmed that it was not possible (or not a good idea to attempt) to descend the isothermal snow covered South Face, and the East Ridge was too sketchy to downclimb, and especially so down the snow plug obstacle. So they chose the devil they didn't know, and with one ice ax each (and crampons) they backed fdown the very steep NE Glacier of Jack Mountain. As per Fred Beckey, they found a thin and steep snow finger that lead to Jack Mtn's East Ridge col, and lucky for them it was still intact for this snow finger melts out, and it is the only way back to the East Ridge from the NE Glacier zone (i fthe snow finger had been melted out, they would have had to circumnavigate Jack Mountain counterclockwise, and that would taken at least one full day). To my surprise, Crispin and Dave returned to camp at little after 1:00PM in the afternoon, and confirmed that they had summitted. So we packed up camp and hiked back to the car; thus, Crispin and Dave took two days to climb Jack Mountain on July 7th and 8th, 2007 (on the 7th we hiked to camp in the basin below Jack's east face; and on day two Dave and Crispin ascended the East Ridge, descended the NE Glacier and regained the East Ridge col, met up with me at camp, and we all hiked out). This was the first Bulger List peak we tackled, and it ended up being my last summit on the Bulger List when I returned to climb the East Ridge on August 28th, 2011.
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