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Masiar 05-23-2016 11:38 AM

Weart Day Trip - May 21, 2016
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I know I know it has been forever since I've made a post! You'd think I fell of the earth or gave up hiking - NOPE. Just couldn't keep up with the trip reports last year. I did over 220,000ft of vertical last season and hiked every weekend. Most of the epics were recorded on my refugee rescue site (saved three :) Trying to keep up this year with the reports so here we go for Helm and Weart!


Wedgemount is becoming almost synonymous with bad weather for me. Every time I commit to the sweat-fest ascent, I get white out conditions. Two years ago I made an attempt on Weart and was turned back after turning up one ridge line too soon and winds so strong they knocked me over. On that trip I concluded that this area was best done with SNOW coverage and lots of it. So I showed up again at 6am with a small weather window - it was supposed to start raining at noon, ugh. IF snow conditions were good and the weather was holding, I'd attempt Weart, if not, I'd fall back to Mount Cook.

It was fast moving to the lake 2.5hrs and the snow line appeared at 1500m. The snow conditions were so good in the morning that I walked up to the glacier in just trail runners. The heat of the day however caught up with us by 8:30am and we got the inevitable crunch crunch sink so it was time to down the mountaineering boots.

Going up was great, far far far easier than the lose horrid quicksand like conditions I experienced before. The Wedgemount glacier is nicely covered with snow thus far.

Breaking trail in sinking snow was hard. It felt like I was moving at the pace of a slug. By 10am the snow started to soften and I was sinking in. I broke trail for hours, slowly, methodically, stepping, kicking, sinking, over and over again. In the second bowl we noticed a small avalanche had dropped and pinwheels abounded. I chose a route up that seemed reasonable and not too dangerous.

The snow started to pick up moisture in the uppermost bowl. The wet snow was slippery on the ridge boulders and I whipped out badly, stopping only because another boulder and my pole broke my fall - 3 hikes into the season and my pole is bent.

On the final approach ridge the views were vast and expansive - the Weart glacier one of the most enormous I've ever seen. It's the first time I've really seen the area and sure enough I could see the impending clouds roll in. They loomed above Wedge, I knew we had about 30 min before we were in a whiteout.

Now you see me....

Now you don't

I didn't know what to expect, it was snowing around us, I assumed severe winds, rain, hail were coming. The wind swept snow below our feet crunched with a starch like consistency, completely different from the snow below. The sun was shining above us but the clouds were like a pressure cooker keeping in the heat. It was snowing but there wasn't even a breeze and it felt like 25 degrees.

I stared at the Owls - I love those guys :)

We stomped up relying on the GPS for guidance - I was exhausted. There was no more "up" left in my legs. I concluded marathons have nothing on mountaineering. It took 4 hrs to get up. It was white soup up there - again but at least I got some views on the way up.

At least on the down I'd get to use different muscles, I'd get to run down the snow. And as we did, a rare sighting. It looked like a white bear butt. Then I realized it was a momma mountain goat with 3 babies, dad was trailing behind :D We watched them pass below us and excitedly followed their tracks back to the basin.

It was the highlight of the day! In total we were moving for 11.5 hrs. It seemed like the last couple of kilometers would never end. Everything was guaranteed to be sore the next day with that kinda vertical - 2120m/6,955ft vertical gain and 18km.

Num3n 05-23-2016 09:02 PM

Great pictures! I wish I had seen that mountain goat lol =(

My friend and I were there the same day as you both. We were the two walking down Wedge glacier as you were running/glissading down the last part of weart. I was envious of how much energy it looked like you guys had!

Masiar 05-24-2016 03:03 PM

We wanted to intercept you guys and see how your trip was, we chatted with your friend at the cabin :))) And yeah we were jumping and running, high on mountain goat endorphins! Honestly it gave us a second boost but it was still a loonnng day.

xj6response 05-24-2016 05:02 PM

Wedge; every time I've been up there the weather turns sour or I get stung by a wasp or hurt my hip or forget my supply of Snickers bars :-( Ugh,

if the push up Weart exhausted you, it would positively flatten me. The North Korea pic was a cool touch

Great TR, yours always are

dblair 05-24-2016 06:53 PM

Who are "we"?

burndug 05-24-2016 07:55 PM

Are you Korean? Please don't be one of those Dingles that go to North Korea as a tourist (or for any reason) and get thrown in a labor camp by Lil Kim.....Why people go over there is beyond me as they all get locked up.

Anyway, enjoyed your TR and some great pics.

KARVITK 05-24-2016 10:35 PM

Great and enjoyable report, enjoyed your pictures... and one really exceptional showing the cloud cloak.

I planned Weart on the Sunday (22nd); but changed destination because of the weather forecast. Attempted a few years ago, got to the upper ridge and turned back because of very soft snow.

We hiked the Whatcom Trail in West Manning instead.


Masiar 05-25-2016 01:28 AM

@burndug: No I am not Korean but I have shared a similar oppression the people of that currently country face. My family escaped communist Czechoslovakia and I lived in a refugee camp as a child. It's my way of paying it forward. And no I'm not a Dingle clueless individual like some of the frat boys stealing posters or thinking it's fun to travel there. I know exactly how a system like that operates, how it creates false charges and how it can make people disappear. I have zero desire or intent to enter such a country - already escaped one. So until Lil' Kim chokes on a chicken bone, I shall continue to help those that escape in what meager way I can :)

Masiar 05-25-2016 01:31 AM

@KARVITK: Glad you didn't go on Sunday, it was even worse that day for weather. How was the Manning Hike?

Masiar 05-25-2016 01:42 AM

@dblair: The royal "we" of course :P Da mountain posse - da goats, da Hot Buttered Rum Rob, and yours truly Mountain Mistress Maria. The season is young, I'm sure we shall run into each other again.

burndug 05-25-2016 02:53 AM

Good on you for paying it forward. History just seems to keep repeating itself. The idiot in North Korea and the Idiot in Russia who is nothing but part of the old communist guard are hell-bent on oppression. Glad your family escaped that previous round of insanity.......

thecamel 05-25-2016 09:48 AM

Nice Maria...looking forward to a season of your reports again..

Elkaholic 05-25-2016 10:11 AM

Most of the people I've met from CT are true hikers and I'd never expect them to have given up on their mountain trips just because they're not posting much anymore. Then again, I do suspect hiking was only a phase for some others, in any case nice to see a report from you.

KARVITK 05-27-2016 01:57 AM


Originally Posted by Masiar (Post 717610)
@KARVITK: Glad you didn't go on Sunday, it was even worse that day for weather. How was the Manning Hike?

Hi Masiar..

the Manning trip was a great one; trail somewhat in disrepair with lots of blowdown trees, close to 40 across our path. Enjoyable adventure to get out as always.


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