Peak:  Pearl Mountain (13er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  TakeMeToYourSummit
 Date of Info:  05/12/2018
 Date Posted:  05/13/2018

I started from the 2wd TH (my truck is in the shop) at 4:50 AM. Near continuous snow after the creek crossing near 10,200'. Options to walk large sections of dry ground at the side of the road are growing. After the Pearl Pass turnoff I crossed the creek almost immediately on a snow bridge just before the huts. Originally I was going to ascend the north bowl, but as I skinned higher in the basin gaining the ridge seemed to be the most direct choice. I brought crampons & splitboard crampons yet used neither. My axe was rather helpful as the snow varied from mid-shin deep kicks to near bulletproof. Thankfully most were that perfect ankle deep level. Gaining the ridge the wind increased & I made sure to have my axe planted or my hands on rocks. The final summit pitch was a short combo of snow & rock - topping out at 9:30. After a few minutes up top I carefully rode east down the ridge. Using my axe & moving very slowly I worked my way down a few feet into the bowl. The snow was near bulletproof for this entire section. No real exposure here - just plenty of rocks ready to ruin your day (or life). About a 100 feet below the summit the sun had done its work & everything was corned up nicely. A speedy cruise across the open basin & a 40 or 50 vertical foot hike had me near the base of Greg Mace Peak. A shortcut (I'd spied on the way up) down the northwest side of GMP offered plenty more corn turns. I hit the road about 10,950' & managed to ride 90% of it to the creek crossing. An easy road walk from there - I finished at 11:05. The strong wind did well this day at combating the solar heating - its worth considering when looking at less than ideal overnight freezes.

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

nice pics
05/15/2018 11:55
which pic in here is cathedral?


Cathy is...
05/15/2018 21:27
...located in pic #9 (centerish). She seemed naked from what I've seen in some Mays... I climbed her a couple Junes ago & she was only showing a bit more rock (up high). Again - the best guesses I could give on conditions in that area. I'm guessing anyone that went up into the Pine Creek area would find some great lines - Malemute was great last year! Glad you like the pics!


05/16/2018 11:47
what aspect of malemute would you hike/ski? would you get that off of the same road/TH?


Cathedral Lake Approach
04/25/2019 15:24
Just don't forget the snow variation stays left on the way up (the switchbacks to the right are super avy prone). The east couloirs of Malemute are quite a fun route. When we climbed them last year (05-13-17) the summit pitch was melted out - so we dropped our boards at the top of the snow & just scrambled the last 100ish feet to the summit. If you find me on FB (my name is on my profile here) I have an album & a couple vids up from it. I think I've seen you there - or someone has stolen your profile pic from here!

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.