Forbidden Peak Traverse 2002


Ascent of East Ridge and descent of West Ridge of Forbidden Peak – jul2002
Team: Gary Hehn, Jon Jumnoodoo, Steve Kness

We noticed snow worms just below the east ridge notch. Saw them on Mount Shuksan the previous week also — on the lower North Face and from just above Hells Highway to the top of Winnies Slide. Fascinating little creatures, slithering through the snow. Wouldn’t want to get any in my water bottle though.

Here’s some info on our trip that may be useful to anyone planning a similar trip.

We performed one pitch of running belay from the east ridge notch/bivy to the 5.8 tower, one half fixed pitch up the tower, one pitch of running belay over the summit (time: 5hrs) and down to the rappel station on the ridge, two full length rappels with a 60m rope, and a short pitch of running belay to the west ridge bivy (total time: 8hrs).

route: from bivy/notch on east ridge passed to north (right) of 1st small tower. stayed on ridge, then skirted around north (right) side of 5.7 tower to base of 5.8 tower, saving much time with three of us on the rope and all the rope maneuvering that we would have had to perform (weather nice but, still in questionable state). the 5.8 tower really got our attention with full packs and boots (jon did the whole thing in plastics!). what we were certain wasn’t the way because of how vertical it was, turned out to be the way (straight up on right). good pro as the guide says, but save your smaller stuff to protect the crux! remained on ridge from 5.8 tower over the top down to the rappels at the steep step on the west ridge. followed ridge from base of rappels to west ridge bivy/notch.

gear: 6 tri-cams, 6 active cams, 6 small wired stoppers (wedgies!) — only the largest 2 used, 8 single slings, 2 double slings, 2 cordelettes.

Steve commented that this was one of the nicest/best climbs he remembers doing. We agreed that it was not so much a matter of bagging a peak as embracing it by bivying high on the east ridge, climbing over, and then bivying high on the west ridge. For a while it appeared that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate but, then it did and we felt from the latest forecast that it should only get better. Steve said to watch jack mountain; if something happens there it could be a bad sign. He said that on two occations he has seen storm clouds form on jack first and then subsequently he and his party were hit by storm.

belay off! gary