Peak 10330 (Moolack Mountain)

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It took me over 6 years to forget Moolack Creek, but we did make it to the top of Peak 10330.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

I had been up this drainage with Tom when we climbed Baron Peak back in 2007. Now, for some reason, I wanted to go back and climb Peak 10330, also known as Moolack Mountain. For another unknown reason, John thought that a 16 mile hike with over 5k of gain at the end of October sounded fun.

So here we are on our way up Baron Creek at about 9am.

Baron Creek

It's almost 5 miles to Moolack Creek, so when we got there we stopped and fueled up before beginning the gruelling climb up the creek. Here's the view looking down almost 2k to Baron Creek. That's Grandjean Peak's four or five summits in the background.

Looking down Moolack Creek

Eventually you exit the Moolack gorge and gain what appears here to be a flat basin. It's not, but at least here you can walk without using your hands.

And that's our peak. At the time we weren't sure, but it looked to be in about the right spot.

Basin view

Here's those pinnacles zoomed in.

But I had found a picture from back in 2007 that I thought was our peak. This didn't look right, so I thought the summit was behind this.

And to put all that in perspective, here's a panorama, below, of the upper basin with Baron Peak all snowy on the right. Knowing that the north aspect of Baron would be snowy, we had lugged along crampons and axes in case we could double up our peaks for the day.

Zoomed in
Basin panorama
The 'Dear Tom Lopez' book (The Idaho Climbing Guide) said to head for the saddle between Baron and Moolack. But we thought this line looked good. Route

Good and steep.

If you click for the bigger version, you'll be able to find John in the picture. This is nearing the top, but is fairly representative of the entire route in both steepness and footing.

John in the scree

About that time, as our altimeters were nearing the 10k mark, we started speculating about where our summit might lay.

If you'll note the sudden lack of blue in the sky, that's because I shot this on the descent because it was only then that I knew where the real summit was. It's the point just left of center. Head for the window.

Towers

This was taken from just below the window.

I was standing way off to the side while John shoved about a thousand pounds of loose rock down the gully. Not that he was trying... there was just that much loose crap. Sadly, he did not get all of it so I had to repeat the noise and dust.

Rotten scramble
The last little bit is a little more solid. Summit
Nice views. Baron Peak

Summit.

It was windy and cold on top, so we didn't linger long. We didn't want our fingers to go so numb that we couldn't fully enjoy the looseness of every hand hold on the descent.

Summit

Here's John using a specialized bridging technique, used to try to hold the mountain together by counterpressure.

Also, you get some idea of how far we had to descend. What appears to be the bottom of the valley is less than half way down to Baron Creek. With that thought in mind, we skipped Baron Peak and headed home. John will have to wait seven years for the memory of Moolack Creek to fade before he can venture back this way.

Descent

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