Ascent of Mount Deception on 2017-07-01

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Date:Saturday, July 1, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Deception
    Elevation:7788 ft / 2373 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove out Friday night and camped on a nearby side road. I decided to go for in one day because 1) I didn't plan until 3 days before, at which point it was too late to get an overnight permit (assuming some were available) without driving all the way to the Port Angeles ranger station, and 2) I didn't want to carry a heavy bear can along with other overnight gear.

6:45 TH

The trail is a slightly annoying with PUDs (pointless ups and down).

9:10 Shelter Rock

As I gained the ridge, still on snow, I heard rocks falling above me. They stopped on the snow a 100 vertical feet above me or so. Rockfall danger is serious here, even when there is no one above! The main rockfall zones were clearly seen by previously fallen rocks on the snow, though.

I followed up snow maybe 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up from the basin. The snow conditions were pretty good, wasy to kick steps so I didn't bother putting on crampons. I then opted to get on rock for a while because it looked easy enough. I got back on snow a couple more times before the top, but there the last bit is completely melted out so you have to choice to go on the rock. It was steep and loose and I didn't go the best way a couple times (I was not excited to downclimb) but all in all it was doable.

From the ridge, the shortest route (east of Gilhooley Rock) was completely snow covered and only slightly corniced. It looked doable so I went up, but not before donning crampons (the snow was a little crusty on the other side of the ridge, and adding crampons added a lot of confidence). If one did not bring crampons, it could have probably been done without, or one could go around Gilhooley Rock. As before, I ascended the steepest parts with a slow but secure ice axe self-belay.

12:15 - 13:30 Summit

On my descent I went around Gilhooley Rock to the east. This was easy and completely safe / non-technical.

Once I regained the ridge at the Martin-Deception Saddle, I tried to find the way I had come up. I went too far south at first and got cliffed out. I tried a couple ways down but they were all too sketchy. Eventually I went north on the ridge one or two hundred feet and found relative safe ledges/gullies to zig-zag down. Taking the time to find a good way really helps. It's still loose and steep and parts are still fairly heinous, but it is not the worst descent I've done (Big Horn, Thomson, Cascadian Couloir on Stuart take the cake...). Once on snow I downclimbed with self-belay for a while until I felt comfortable to plunge step, and finally glissade about 1/3 of the way down.

On my way down, I stopped at Shelter Rock and found the scramble route on the backside mentioned by the Summitpost page. It first I was stymied, unable to find a way up that I felt comfortable with. Finally I found a way to stem across the split in the rock to the higher side. A couple exposed moves doable. Fun!

19:15 TH. (walking with poles slows me down a bit...)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5268 ft / 1605 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5268 ft / 1605 m
    Start Trailhead:2520 ft / 768 m
Descent Statistics

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