Monday, May 08, 2017

Finch and Upper Eagle Glacier

4/17-4/22 2017. Stellar week of high pressure, Billy and I headed in for a week of peak bagging focused ski-mountaineering. I had been wanting to do a trip like this for years inspired after JT and Toby did a similar 2 day binge.

Alpine Air dropped us off in the afternoon on the lower Finch Glacier outside the CSP border at around 3,000'. We moved up to mid-glacier on the first day, dumped our stuff and headed out to climb the east ridge of Finch Peak.

The ridge is quite corniced, however there are a few spots you could sneak onto the face if you really wanted a ski descent. We were happy just climbing it and getting a feel for conditions.
Whitecrown, off the Sparrow Glacier. Bad Ass!

I found this cornice moat on the way up. All of a sudden I was 6' lower than where I was standing. We often on this trip played the game of "Choss, Moat, Cornice"

Finch peak is the one just off center in the back. The next day we humped our loads up the pass separating the Finch and Eagle Glaciers. Bunting peak is right there and made for a sub 1 hr up and down.

While on the summit we spied a sneaky pass to get over to the top of the Whiteout Glacier - and from there over to Whiteout peak. After some discussion we decided to go for it. Brought our camp gear back down about 1,000', dumped it and started up the pass and Whiteout.

There were about 1 week old ski tracks on Whiteout, and feeling lazy we decided to climb right up the west face rather than the lower angle north route. It was rad.

Day 3 - We went to the pass to the Eagle Glacier and decided what to do next. Roost Peak was on the docket for the day. Whenever you get a clear view up the Eagle River Valley it's the big glaciated peak in the back that you see.   It's north ridge is it's main feature and was calling us. There are easier ways to get up there but aesthetics had us... It's an amazing climb, up through some big cravasse fields, to a steep pitch, then a narrow ridge walk to the summit.

Felt super awesome to be at the head of Eagle River valley! The N. Facing descent was superb. Steep headwall with mandatory bergschrund hop.

We met up with Rob Whitney and a friend of his. We talked ourselfs into going to Rosies for the night while or original plan was to head up glacier for a better access to GoldenCrown. It's easy to forget how high off the glacier Rosies is, but at the end of the day with a big pack you'll feel it.
Rosies was fairly full so I camped outside for the peace and quiet of the morning.

Billy modeling the latest mountain fashion and embracing the "Noonattack"

We eventually motivated and slogged across the glaicer to the S. ridge of Goldencrown. The access looked better than the N. Ridge, but our spirits were a bit dampened when we saw our climbing route - long and somewhat rotten looking. We got on the ride, cashed skis and went hiking...
The upper ridge was seriously exposed and insecure. We roped for much of it and used pickets and choss slings when we could. Progress was pretty slow, but safe, and the weather and location were outrageous.

Re-traced our route, and bombed back down to Rosies, covering the 2 hr approach in about 15 minutes.

Had Rosies to ourselves the last night of the trip.  Weather kinda closed in and the Raven headwall did not soften up leaving us with a gripping side slip to get out. Skiing out crow pass sucked but we were back at the car before we knew it. Amazing trip, easy logistics!