We had many hours of very enjoyable scrambling with 3 short pitches of 5.8ish climbing. A single 50 meter, 8.5mm rope worked beautifully for the 3 of us. Each pitch of roped climbing ends at a pretty good block for building anchors or rappelling off of. For pro we brought a rack of nuts and 3 cams, although you could probably leave the cams at home and be happy with just the passive pro.
There are a few bits of 4th class downclimbing on the way up. We found pretty easy routes down these bits, so if you feel as though you're downclimbing class 5, there's probably an easier option.
We chose to descend the regular NW Ridge route to the upper lake. We skirted the glacier 'cause it was so badly cut up. My advice would be to descend right to the top of the nob near the snout of the glacier and scout out the remainder of the descent from there. I suggest descending the heather patch closest to the ice. We took a heather gully further away from the glacier which looked good, but ended up very cliffy, slippery, and exposed. Fortunately we found good rap trees at all the right spots, avoiding a certain epic.
We bivied in the parking lot and got a 5AM start. It took us 8hrs up and 6 1/2 hours out. We weren't moving particularly quickly, and had 3 people. A party of 2 could easily... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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