Sloan Peak, Full Moon Fever. Sloan Peak has been described as the “Matterhorn of the Cascades” because of its commanding stature. On December 12, under a full moon experiencing a lunar eclipse, Braden Downey, Will Hinckley, and I climbed a long snow and ice route on the northern aspect of its west face, above Bedal Basin. A couple of highlights included the first pitch with its full 60 meters of grade 4 ice with a texture like shampoo, and the insecure and run out ice of pitch four, which we coined “The Window” due to a large hole that revealed its delaminated status and did nothing for our confidence.
After 950' of steep ice we bagged the ropes and carried on with an additional 1,000' of steep snow and ice to 50° that brought us to a prominent notch, followed by 40' of snow-covered 4th class and then two rope lengths of interesting mixed climbing to the summit ridge. The final, exhausting 1,000' feet of rope less climbing included an exposed traverse, countless false summits, and an airy down-climb into a large notch. We topped out after a feverish 12 hours. The complex descent was impeded by a whiteout, nightfall, and fading headlamps. We found our way to our cache, went into autopilot, and finished it out after 18 hours on the go. A tremendous day in the mountains. Full Moon Fever is 3,000', IV 5.8 AI4 50°.
Kevin Hogan, AAC