Black Peak (Aug 13-14, 2005)

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black_pk_coverConditions: Backpack
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Mount Arriva
Area: North Cascades
Stats: unknown

This was a second attempt for me. I'd been here previously as an overnight trip but got skunked (fatigue) part way up.

This time Kim and I headed out for a late summer trip. We arrived at Wing Lake just in time to nab the last good campsite at the lake. Watching the sun set was relaxing and fun.

Early the next morning the morning light cast a film of gold across the flanks of Black Peak. There were three others in the basin intending to climb Black that day. We'd chatted the night before and joined parties on the hike up to the ridge and higher up. Kim called it quits about the same spot I had previously, I continued on with the others towards the top.

The route is steep and loose in places but even for me, one who hates exposure, it was manageable.  We continued on up the "gully" and into the upper basin below the last steep and exposed part to the summit. I was starting to slow down and our group hit the ledge, the tricky spot of me. It's an ascending ramp that appears to corkscrew around the right of the summit block. It's not too bad. It's wide enough, not overly steep, it's exposed but has good handholds. I was doing okay until...I hit a overhang. I just didn't like having my weight what felt like out and away from the mountain. This spot was only at most 20' from the top but I just couldn't do it. Oh well...Black Pk isn't going anywhere. It will always be there for another try so I called it quits.

Great views down to Wing Lake, Lewis Lake and over to Heather Pass from my quitting spot.

Our combined group headed back down to where Kim was and then back out to our camps at Wing Lk to pack up and hike out. That boulder's always longer and more tedious than it looks and it is long and tedious.
Black Peak Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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