“Of Three Mangos and Three Amigos…”
Mt Sefrit (7151’, p1551’)
Via Ruth Creek. Wall Street Gulley and north summit gulley
May 16, 2012
Stefan Feller, Carla Schauble
Weather: warm, high clouds, drizzle at finish
The last attempt on Sefrit was a "real" story. This one was mellow, yet very rewarding. I posted some images of this recent trip. After our epic attempt two years ago we waited for favorable weather and found conditions. Many times Carla pinged me on going for a summit. Winter had a promising south side route she scoped out. Each time ready we decided we would only go when Stefan could be there too. This time the route was about as good as it gets. Minimal brush, snow bridge over the roaring Ruth Creek saving that hair raising crossing. The snow was slightly soft/firm from north side of creek all the way up the narrow approach gulley (Wall Street), and a well-covered glacier.
Creek crossings and Wall Street
The morning started very warm and sunny. The logs and deep snow across the road from three weeks were cleared. And with only a little more removal we were able to park directly above the starting decent of our route. About 100' past our start was avy debris covering the road about 10' tall. Warm sun was welcoming as we prepped. After an easy drop in brush to Ruth Creek and across in a matter of seconds, Carla and I kicked step after step up into sunshine, Stefan on our tails with tunes for a much needed distraction (see 2010 tr). The glacier was softer and each of us sank a little more than the one in front. Veering eastward and up the glacier, flatter, steeper, leveling a bit and direct to the NW Couloir.
The North Gulley and…
Time to rope up. It looked good and not as steep as I remember, but still steep enough to want to lead with two axes. Up the NW Couloir steepening middle and topping out with only slightly crap snow to top out the to the saddle and nice to have no cornice.
A noticeable relief in everyone that we had bypassed the north ridge from our last time up. By the Col saddle the hot sun had morphed to darkening clouds and increasing winds. Sefrit was seeing we were having it too easy and throwing us a hook. From the saddle an imposing set of rock spires to the west. Not the summit. We went east on a class 3 rock, sand, heather and snow walk to the summit.
Well, it did have one class 4 move
to spice it up. After reading so many epic trip reports and our last event it
was a relief to have such a benign and easy summit. Stefan's spirits had
lightened by the top of the col and I thought he practically flew the rest of
the way to the summit. As Carla and I topped off huffing to catch up, he was
all smiles and there laying on the summit were three mangos. Later
to be Three Amigos at a Tequila bar in Bellingham.
The cold wind and clouds gave more a feeling of winter. Had it really been hot and sunny earlier? Carla had to check pictures on her camera to see that, yes, there were blue skies and shadows. I didn't get the long summit lounge I'd hoped due to the cold wind. Back down at the saddle (west of the summit) I eyed the west spire... maybe another time. We were more for getting down as the weather was not improving. A full double 60m rope rap got us a little more than a quarter way down the gulley and off the steeper/firmer pitch. From here we could downclimb then plunge step the rest of the way out of the couloir.
As we coiled the ropes Carla noticed it was barely snowing -go figure? The snow on the glacier was soft on the way up and even with the cooling weather it was softer heading down. Calf deep for walking and a nice texture for thousands of feet of glissading -even in Wall Street. The last bit from the creek back up to the car was worth eye protection due to all the brush. Just a reminder for us of the joys of North Cascade brushwhacking.
Sunshine, route, snow conditions, partners… another good day in the mountains. We capped off with a relaxing time in the bare drizzle at the car. It was early and odd being done. As we approached Bellingham it was warm and sunny again. Oh, we did stop to celebrate. A ping to Brian and we found the Tequila Bar for monster burritos and libations.
There is probably much more on the personal front that could be said. I’m letting those thoughts race around in my head for now. It was nice to have such great conditions for this Three Amigos trip.
Thanks for reading, and happy trails,
Stats: 5.6m RT, +/-4541vert
Gear: 60m rope, slings, ice ax, crampons
Sefrit trips by the group:
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