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Ascent of Double Peak on 2001-06-20

Climber: Fred Beavon

Date:Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Double Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6199 ft / 1889 m

Ascent Trip Report

I'd been putting off doing this for I figured I'd try to do both summits and end up doing some dangerous climbing. Well, that's what happened. The CAG route info is good. At the beginning I ended up straddling a log across Chinook Creek. What a pain that is in jogging shorts, but it's not necessary. On the return, I found a log to walk across, but one wouldn't want to slip for the creek is raging. When I first saw the basin through the trees, I went straight up to the ridge. There are great views of the two summits from this ridge and it's perfect for taking pictures of the two summits and the snow filled basin. I've stopped carrying a camera but sure wished I had one today! It'll be a winter wonderland here, at least snow wise, for quite some time still.

To avoid 5795', I traversed steep snow on the NE and instead of going to the saddle I went up a gully that was more direct. And then a fun scramble to the summit. The register dates from September, '94 being placed there by Tom & Sara Matoi. It's history is: '95-2 parties, '96-3 parties, '97-4 parties, '98-4 parties, '99-0 parties! and in 2000-5 parties. I was the first one to sign in this year. Some of those signing in were Steve & Liz Fellstrom, Chuck & Barbara Powrie, Mike Bialos & Jim Pritchard and Jim French & Paul Schaufler. The BM says it's 6207' but current maps now say 6199'.

I descended toward Double's NE peak to a sling where a previous party had rappelled. There's no way to scramble down there so I backtracked just a short distance to a less vertical drop off to the NW and fortunately made my way safely down to steep snow. This went very slow. Not recommended except for "crazies" like PeakJunkie, my brother. Instead of crossing the steep snow I thought it safer to stay in the moat till it wound its way around to safer ground. Going up Double's twin from the saddle and down it on the north was still hard (at least the way I went) but I felt much more comfortable than I did descending the main peak. There were great glissades down into the basin but I didn't traverse far enough south and got hung up in some cliffs hidden in trees separating the upper and lower basins. This was minor. Route finding is easy. Just stay within earshot of the stream up and down. My new 9 oz. Cassin Ghost ice axe from Pro Mountain Sports in Seattle was a delight to carry.

Stats: Rise at 3am, leave car 6:15, summit at 9:15, NE summit at 10:15, back to car at 1pm to get home at 3:30 before the worst of the traffic. Two breaks, 15 minutes on the summit and 5 minutes in the basin to eat a sandwich. This was a rushed trip, but I had Seattle's horrendous traffic on my mind. The lower of Double's two peaks is more fun and challenging, but I'd guess most will opt for the higher easier summit. I'd suggest both but it's safest to descend the main ascent route of the higher peak, then traverse across to the gap between the two peaks.
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