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Niobe without Pelops. Alpha: Gunn with glacier.
Timestamp Free: 2017.10.17 - 16:00:13
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (4 days)     Elevation Gain: 1152m
Participants:
Matthew Stockinger, Mark Stockinger, Helen Habgood, Joel Hampson, Ryan Rodgers
Difficulty:
4: Steep snow, glacier travel, 3rd-class rock.
Ascent of Niobe via snow up to Niobe-Pelops col. Alpha via Alpha-Serratus col and north-side glacier.
Day 1 - Relax at the lake.
Day 2 - Niobe

 Having rented the hut for our trip, the party took a rowboat across the Lake to the Sand Spit. Our plan was to find our way up Pelops and Niobe, roughly following Gunn's scramble route. Three of us had already been up Pelops on a prior trip, but we were all too lazy to go to Niobe, so we were interested in going directly up Niobe, if possible. Some folks at the hut told us that the snow route to the Pelops-Niobe col was "long gone," so we expected to have to go over Pelops again.

Despite these warnings, we followed snow ramps above the meadows and reached the col directly, by keeping right. The route got moderately steep in two places, but wasn't steep enough to need a rope, in our opinion. Summit views on Niobe are very nice, if you get any.

On the way back, we had some extra time, so Helen, Joel, and Ryan decided to waltz up Pelops before descending our ascent route. [photo]IMG_3346b.jpg[caption]Climbers on the snow below the Pelops-Niobe col[/photo]

Day 3 - Alpha

The plan for the next day was to try Alpha via the Matt Gunn route. One of the party decided to stay back and rest, so we were a party of four. We brought one rope, a set of nuts, a handful of draws, and anchor material.

We were able to use the rowboat again. This made the route up to the Russian Army Camp much faster, and downright pleasant--a recommended alternative to the shoreline trail! We took the snow-filled gully to climber's right to exit the bowl, which is long and gets steep near the top. We opted not to rope up for this, though parties with little steep snow experience may want two pickets to pitch it out.

Once on the snowfields on the south side of Alpha, the clouds were quite thick and our visibility...

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