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Depot Creek Access and South Ridge Scramble on Mount Spickard
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.08 - 15:14:53
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
Participants: Don Funk
Difficulty: 3: Good trail and route access to camp (ie no bush). Easy to moderate scramble, some loose rock. Short section of glacier travel with crevasses. Generally, no need to rope up on glacier if careful.
A scramble up the south ridge and southeast slopes of Mount Spickard via the Depot Creek Trail, Ouzel Lake, and southwest slopes.
I've always had a fascination with making it up into the head of Depot Creek. There are two magnificent peaks worthy of consideration here: Mount Spickard, and Mount Redoubt. Both are fairly popular climbs, made primarily by Americans, as they are positioned in US territory. Initial access involves driving in from the Canadian Side via Chilliwack Lake Road, and crossing over (not so legally). I had actually visited this area back in August of 1997, when I attempted to hike into Depot Creek on a day trip. I determined that the initial section of trail was too wet and muddy, and the alder too thick (which it was at the time), to make any progress, having only one day to work with. So as an alternative, I climbed up spur roads on the south side of the creek and gained the ridgeline above. This ridge heads directly toward Nodoubt Peak, a far removed subpeak of Redoubt. But I was stymied again by a horrific gap at around 6000 feet, and just before the summit pyramid. To this day, I am still left wondering if there is a route past this, as my nerve and climbing skills weren't quite then, what they are now and don't recall spending much time looking for a route around this. All this left me the feeling that climbing a peak in Depot Creek involves unpleasant access, and once in the alpine, one has severely crevassed glaciers and horrific gaps to deal with.
July 31st, 2005 - Depot Creek Access
All this was about to change when on a warm sunny day in late July of 2005, I found myself driving up the Chilliwack Lake Road, looking to get in a little physical fitness. It was late in the day, sometime between 2 and 3 PM, and was wondering where to go. Then it came to me that this was the perfect opportunity to check out access into Depot Creek. I was not pressured to...
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