Ascent of Del Campo Peak on 2015-01-31

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Others in Party:Miki Kanada
Date:Saturday, January 31, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Del Campo Peak
    Elevation:6610 ft / 2014 m

Ascent Trip Report

600 Seattle
~800 left TH
1405 - 1435 summit
1910 TH

Firm snow on the way up. We started following two climbers too far to the left, then went back and traversed over to follow another climber over to a snow-filled gully. Care was needed on the steep hard snow. Followed fully up a short distance and soon left to the left out onto rock. A short medium-class 3 rock scramble lead to a small saddle. At point, only maybe 0.1 miles from the summit, we encountered a steep snowfield leading to the summit.

The snowfield was quite exposed as it was above the steep north face. Another (apparently otherwise competent climber) had looked at it and turned around, and the other two also eventually turned around here. So we didn't scout it at the closely. Instead, I noticed a bare rock gully/ledge to the left that looked doable. I was went up, I found it was indeed doable, but quite loose. This was obviously not the standard summer route. Soon I could go further up the ledge/gully (it turned into a super-exposed tiny ledge); however a maybe 10-15 foot class 5 (maybe 5.5) step let me gain the small ridge which separaed me from the top of the steep snowfield. (There were two ways up the step: one on the right, which I later downclimbed, was a bit harder but less exposed; the other, a bit further up, was climbing narrow ledges on a short rock face to the small ridge; this was easier but more exposed).

From the top of this I found a perfectly-placed horn and used it as an anchor to belay my partner up (and later down). The remaining short bit to the summit was class with loose large boulders, with maybe one or two class 4 sections which required care in descending. On the way up, I did knocked a small rock down, which thankfully missed another climber coming up on the snow. Also on the way down, I knocked a larger rock down that caused more rocks to come tumbling down. Had there been anyone below me the second time, even way down on the snow, it could have been very bad.

An adventure for sure and the low snow conditions and mild weather (guessing high thirties to mid forties all day, some sun, and no wind) made it feel more like June. I didn't expect to do alpine rock climbing in January. There were three other parties on the mountain that day and we were the only one to make it to the top! In fact, the last entry in the register was from mid-October!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4249 ft / 1295 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4249 ft / 1295 m
    Start Trailhead:2361 ft / 719 m
Descent Statistics

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