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 Peak(s):  Ice Mtn  -  13,951 feet
North Apostle  -  13,860 feet
 Post Date:  08/29/2011
 Date Climbed:   08/27/2011
 Posted By:  Brian Thomas
 Additional Members:   nkan02, Monster5, Jon Frohlich, javy20040, Derek

 Ice Mountain Revisited   

I attempted Ice Mountain in 2010 with all the wrong ingredients for a successful summit: late start, lack of route knowledge, and questionable weather. My partner and I made it to about 200 feet below Ice's summit before mutually agreeing it was best to turn back. We made it down to the Ice - North Apostle saddle at 2pm when the sky promptly started to darken and drop graupel.

After summiting Huron in July and hiking up to Lake Ann in August, Ice was asking me for a re-match. With my partner from last year out of the game for a few weeks with an ankle injury, I needed other partners as this is a mountain I would prefer not to attempt alone. Derek, Jon, and Natalie expressed interest, our plan was set, then Javier and Ryan joined on board to round out the group.

I drove out to the South Winfield TH after work on Friday and after a chicken ramen dinner and a restful night in Hotel CR-V, woke up to meet everyone for a prompt 5am start. The trail approach toward Lake Ann initially looks like an old 4WD road, easy to follow even under a nearly new moon sky. Heading left into the trees the trail remained easy to follow, no bushwacking was necessary, just hurdling dozens of downed trees along the route.

It was daylight when we broke treeline, and after a creek crossing and meadow full of willows, entered the talus:

Image
photo credit: Natalie


The following photos are not necessarily in chronological order, but should give an overview of the route. We stayed mostly to the left as we crossed the talus field and approached the first gully of our route. Javier contemplating what lies ahead:

Image
photo credit: Derek


Image
photo credit: Derek


Image
photo credit: Natalie


From the saddle, this is where things started to get interesting. The west aspect of the rock was still shaded and very wet. The green lichen on much of the rock was extremely slippery and made traversing this section rather sketchy.

Image
photo credit: Derek


Better rock beyond that along the ridge:

Image
photo credit: Ryan


Leaving the ridge and in the gully:

Image
photo credit: Ryan


Looking back to the saddle:

Image
photo credit: Natalie


Derek was not comfortable with the traction his boots had on the wet rock and decided not to go for Ice's summit.

Image
photo credit: Derek


Image
photo credit: Derek


Image
photo credit: Derek


Ryan on a lofty perch with Huron Peak beyond:

Image
photo credit: Jon


Image
photo credit: Jon


Image
photo credit: Natalie


Image
photo credit: Ryan


Image
photo credit: Natalie


Jon and Natalie on Ice summit:

Image
photo credit: Ryan


Image
photo credit: Jon


Image
photo credit: Jon


Looking back at Ice:

Image
photo credit: Derek


Image
photo credit: Derek


We all made it up to North Apostle's summit, joined by 14ers.com members ngoodnight and joseph g who had summited Ice just prior to us. Natalie contemplating Huron Peak:

Image
photo credit: Derek


Derek on North Apostle summit:

Image
photo credit: Natalie


Image
photo credit: Ryan


Jon on North Apostle summit, looking back toward Ice:

Image
photo credit: Jon's camera (don't know who took this one)


Being on the paranoid side of conservative with regards to weather (lessons learned from last year), I bailed hastily from North Apostle's summit. Jon was just as eager to get down and we picked our way down through the talus to near where the next picture was taken. Looking back up, at the narrow gully to the left of the sunbeam in the photo, Derek was descending close the gully's right edge just along the rock outcrop at the center of the photo when a solo hiker above them dislodged a rock I estimate about 2 feet in diameter. One of Ice Mountain's Ice Babies fledged its nest and broke free. The Gods of Ice Mountain were unhappy that Derek did not summit but only summited its lesser neighbor.

From the distance I could see the rock bounce and roll and Derek scrambling for safety and make a heroic leap to avoid disaster as the rock came tumbling down several hundred feet below the mouth of the gully and a few hundred feet to the right of where Jon and I were standing. Derek got a nasty gash on his leg and rolled his ankle leaping to safety, considering the size and speed of that rock I am very grateful it didn't turn out worse.

Image
photo credit: Jon


The day's drama behind us, we all wended our way down through the last of the talus and steeper rock and back into the trees.

Image
photo credit: me


Image
photo credit: me


Image
photo credit: Natalie


Image
photo credit: Ryan


We were down before 2pm, total time up and down 8 hours and 50 minutes. The day was rightly concluded with TH beverages and donning of flip-flops, followed by a pilgrimage to High Mountain Pies in Leadville. Great team, great work, awesome day!

Everybody's rapping like it's a commercial
Acting like life is a big commercial
So this is what I've got to say to you all
Be true to yourself and you will never fall



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
fortmyers-b

Nice job     2011-08-29 21:56:31
Thanks for the report Brian. Looked like a blast!


Jay521


Wow....     2011-08-30 06:18:39
VERY nice!


talusman


Too Cool!     2011-08-30 07:27:42
I hiked Huron on Saturday and was thinking it would be fun to try to tackle these peaks someday. Looks like you guys had a good time. Good to hear Derek was able to avoid the ”Ice Baby”. Hope the ankle is feeling better.


Jon Frohlich



More pictures     2011-08-30 08:41:49
Thanks Brian for putting the TR together. It was a great group. More of my pictures here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/jfroh1/20110827IceAndNorthApostle


JosephG

Nice meeting you     2011-08-30 09:23:51
Nice TR, nice meeting and hiking with your group. Loose talus, slick rock, and a great gully made for a memorable day.


wooderson


Yikes!     2011-08-30 09:30:03
The rockfall incident sounds very scary... so glad to hear everyone was OK. Sounds like Ice really lived up to its nasty rep for you guys.

Nice shots of the route... photo #5 looks so much more exposed than anything I remember. Where was that taken from, exactly?

Great report, thanks for posting!


nkan02


team effort!     2011-08-30 15:48:47
We had a great group on this one. But climbing wet rock up the chimney on Ice Mountain felt a bit sketchy Images # 7 & 18.

Section on # 5 was not really that bad - it's probably just the angle.


luckyzsquirrel


Beastie Boys!     2011-08-31 20:22:32
Good song to quote


djkest



ice and rocks     2011-09-01 08:34:53
Looks like a cool climb for a day. Might have to check this out once I kick that monkey off my back. (the list)


Brian Thomas


thanks for all the comments     2011-10-05 07:59:11
This was definitely one of the more interesting summits I've achieved, much more interesting and challenging than most of the 14ers I've summited so far.

Regarding the list, I could probably finish the 14ers in 2012 but I likely won't. I'll be doing more repeat 14er summits in different seasons and on different routes as well as hiking more 13ers before I try to ”finish” the 14ers.


globreal


Not liking the lichen, eh?     2013-09-10 10:34:17
Good job on you and your team getting one of the more difficult peaks out there....and getting off the mountain with minimal injuries!

Thanks for your report to give us a glimpse of what to expect. And...picture 5 ”looks” sketch!



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