McNaught Peak(Silver Lake) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
EAK
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Default McNaught Peak(Silver Lake)

McNaught Peak is a nice looking Spire next to Devils Tongue above Silver Lake. Silver Lake is surrounded by a knot high mtns which stand between Chilliwack and Ross Lakes just S of the border(that's why this report shows up in Washington). The easiest way to access this area is via Depot Crk near the S end of Chilliwack L. McNaught hasn't been climbed very many times and has an appearance of difficulty. It only has 200' prominence which would make it less of a target. Jack Bryceland and Gordon Longmiur made the first ascent in 1965 via the West Ridge traversing from Mt Rahm. That is the only sane route on the mountain. The climb of the North Face by Harold R and John M a decade and a half later was somewhat ballsy. A look down that face reveals a couple of thousand feet of 65 degree scree! A couple of people climbed McNaught via the W Ridge this year, July 6, 2013.

So why this Peak? It looks fantastic, has a slightly "remote" feel, and the Depot Creek area with the high and scenic Silver Lake is just a great destination for hikers and Mountaineers.

The Chilliwack Lake rd has been graded and from shortly past the very pot holy section at the start, it was 40 kph all the way to Paleface Crk. The Depot Crk rd is 3.3k long and easily navigated with a stock chevy tracker. A 2wd pickup could do it, with only 1 short rough spot at 2.3k.
My leaning had something to do with the trees[] Depot Creek is a fine ancient forest with a nice old growth feel to it. The trail starts as 40 min of roadway, then crossing the Border(get your permits and permission) the trail continues up to the base of a headwall. A steep climbers trail continues up to a subalpine basin under the north face of Redoubt.
A great stream for photos!
Mushrooms every couple of meters(10,20,30 varieties?).
At the base of the headwall is also the bottom of an amazing waterfall, the trail skirting by its base on the left. The rock is smooth and slippery and has some ropes to facilitate movement. The stream must have changed because it has become a problem in more recent years. This is the place you'll (may)get a total soaking. By the time I was through the hundred meters I was completely wet. I had taken the time to prepare but could have had gloves on as well. It is cold and somewhat scary on account of the very slippery rock and the icy cold driving water and mist! The first pic is looking down the route.
At he top of the headwall, Mt Redoubt with its hanging glacier lords it over you.
Ouzel L is several kilometers away, under the glaciers at the top left of this pic. You skirt the basin on its left, keeping between the rock slides on the left and the stream on the right at its base. Follow cairns and work you way up the rocky valley to the basin at the end. Ouzel Lake basin a barren but grand setting with rumbling glaciers rimming one side.
American Dipper, they swim, they sing, they dive, they catch bugs, and they dip. They are constantly dipping, a major OCD issue.
It took about 6 hours to my camp spot, and a welcome zephyr blew the bugs away. A thoroughly alpine landscape.
lots of place to camp on alluvial bars.
Tomorrow I'll be attempting this Peak.
Devils Tongue on the right with McNaught on the left.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
EAK
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The night was cool and a heavy dew covered my bag in the morn. I left my tent fly at home to save weight. Today my way would take me up to the Spikard-Custer col, a place with rocks piled high. This area is all about rock hopping, by the end of the day I got quite proficient at moving quickly. After the col a descent down to Silver L and a traverse half way along its left side brought me to a steep ascent. I worked my way up heather slopes to a band of rotten cliffs that must be breached to reach a small snow field under Mt Rahm. In scrambler terms this was a bit of difficult scrambling, but a relief that it would go.
I wanted to reach the saddle on the left side of the peak
Two kinds of blue!
This pic shows the snowfield I worked up towards. The summit above that is Rahm and I was tempted for a moment. Even though I was probably within 120M verticle from the peak, I decided to see if I had energy on the way back. I worked my way to the right edge of the snowfield and up the ridge for a ways. Then traversed the steep loose slope right, to hit the ridge between Rahm and McNaught
Here I was higher then my goal and would have to work my way along the descending ridge towards the lowest gap in front of McNaught. The way included some rocky pinnacles interspersed with loose scree where I had to work my way around them. At some point I doubted my ability, my strength and the time it was taking.

Looking back along the ridge with My Rahm and the intervening ridge.
Still more descending and then a route looked possible on the left skyline. A way might be found on the right side by following the loose scree, but the steep ridge might not go. So I reached the base and found a steep shallow gulley and climbed up the exposed ridge to a rappel sling. Then a nice, more solid(less loose) finish and I was on top!

Silver L and Devils Tongue
Ag Peak(Peak 8824') with Mt Spikard on its right.
From the rappel sling I'd have to down climb a very exposed ridge. It was pretty steep and I triple checked holds. Obviously It went of OK!
I was tired but happy which made the long slog back to the col beyond Silver Lake attainable. The summit of Rahm was not in my body today, but I'd climbed it years ago from Maselpanik, otherwise I would have searched deeper!
I made the long descent to my tent at Ouzel L on tired knees. Not another soul here just the dippers and me.
The next day I descended the route back to the car in 5 hours. The waterfall was special again!
my wife asked me if the colour was really like that...its the best my little p and s will do!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 10:23 AM
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Wow,lot's of ground covered and really beautiful shots!!! Thanks for that
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Showing route to Rahm and McNaught.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Chris!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 02:27 PM
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And much like your wife,I'm curious too!!!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 04:25 PM
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Those certainly look like confidence-draining peaks, especially when <s>your</s> you are there alone. Congratulations for continuing on to your summit.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 05:50 PM
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Silver Lake is beautiful, and the cirque on the north side of McNaught is a very interesting place indeed.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:02 PM
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Amazing pictures and definitely the best time to be up in that area! Is there any easier way up to Rahm than the cliffs route?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:04 PM
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Another great trip for you in that area Ed. Silver Lake is beautiful.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:10 PM
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Wow...very [8D]
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
EAK
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Thanks for the replies. Silver lake is indeed a beauty.
Chaz the easiest route to the summit of Rahm is the route through the cliff band that I took. The probable slightly easier routes through the cliff band are the several class 3 gullies 100m left of where I climbed through. Other climbers have gone this way and didn't mention difficulties. The traverse route from Custer is more difficult but a high scenic route
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 01:55 PM
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Cool, thanks! I would love to make it up to Rahm one day and see Silver Lake again. Also, your pics of Depot Creek Falls are amazing, definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the pacific northwest

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quote:Originally posted by EAK

Thanks for the replies. Silver lake is indeed a beauty.
Chaz the easiest route to the summit of Rahm is the route through the cliff band that I took. The probable slightly easier routes through the cliff band are the several class 3 gullies 100m left of where I climbed through. Other climbers have gone this way and didn't mention difficulties. The traverse route from Custer is more difficult but a high scenic route
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
quote:The trail starts as 40 min of roadway, then crossing the Border(get your permits and permission) the trail continues up to the base of a headwall.
How does one go about "getting permission" for this sort of trek?
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Call the Glacier Ranger Station or marblemount ranger station get a free over telephone permit. That gives you permission to be in North Cascades Nat Park, but not to cross the border. To cross the border you need to go to customs(ie Sumas) with your passport to prearrange your crossing at the unmanned site(Depot Creek) and hope they like you that day! I have no experience with this last procedure.
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