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No Clowning around day to Cirque Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.12.09 - 17:28:58
Ranges: Place Glacier Group
(2 days) Elevation Gain: 2300m
Participants: BCMC group of 12
Difficulty: 4: Very steep trail to the waterfall crossing, tricky crossing if water is high, log bridge has fallen through. Pretty straight forward route finding, exposed ridge, loose rocks,some snow travel. Glacier is pretty flat, no visible crevasses.
A sustained hike through a steep forest trail and long hard scramble to Cirque Peak.
This group was bound for an attempt at 12 hours total time, leaving the overnight campsite at 5 am. We pushed hard, and sometimes lost the trail after the creek crossing number two. But we always found it back. Gain sub alpine through forested trail, mostly marked with pink tape. Two creek crossings. Once in the sub alpine, aim for the upper part of the creek. Keep looking for cairns on the polished rock band, there is a ramp on the left on steps of pretty slick rock. Continue towards the alpine head wall, on scree. Crest the scree to the view of the bowl and Place glacier. There is a small hut nearby and clear water streams to refill bottles. Continue towards the glacier. No crevasses were visible. We covered the distance from the road to the hut in 4 hours. We had a small break at the hut. We crossed the glacier unroped and without crampons. It is flat. Walk for 30 minutes to the visible low point on the ridge. Climb the loose rock ridge, to patches of snow, which we crossed with crampons. We kept walking and trend a bit left, then right to blocky climbing on good rock. Gained the ridge. We arrived at the peak after 4 hours of scrambling. It is pretty fun, exposed and loose. The views are amazing.
The scramble was interesting, you could climb up to a 5.4 if you like, or scramble on blocks of lava like rock. It is a very strenuous hike, but thankfully the descent is easier than the ascent, and it's easier to see foot holds and the general direction of the route from above. Sure footedness and cautious movement are key in staying safe. There is a fun slab to climb near the summit. We did not use a rope. Snow running and sliding was a welcomed break from slippery and loose rock. We were back at the roadside in 14 hrs....
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