September 26, 2020. My return to Mount Tecumseh, where I again turned back on the summit ridge – this time due to snow and ice.
See my prior post for route details. Colleagues from work invited me along for this trip, so my return to the mountain was much sooner than I had anticipated. This time around I knew the correct route to take, but we nevertheless did a bit of exploring off to the climber’s right before heading left and up the scree to the summit ridge. Comparing my tracks between the 2 trips, I could see that this time I progressed further west (left on ascent) before ascending the scree below the ridge. As a result, I spent a fair amount of time ascending in a rocky drainage which had excellent footing and allowed me to avoid much of the tedious treadmill of the scree slope.
There had been snowfall the night before, which wasn’t very deep. Interestingly, the snow was in the “sweet spot” in terms of depth and stickiness – it joined a lot of the scree and rubble on the slope together and made the footing fairly friendly. The summit ridge was decidedly unfriendly, though – steep rock with an icy glaze and covered by a thin snow layer. We went as far as we deemed safe before turning back.
We descended by a slightly different route – instead of following the creek all the way back down, we veered to the descender’s left (east) at the boulder field to get up on a low rounded ridge which paralleled the descent back to the starting point. As we got there a snow squall blew in, so we left the ridge by dropping into the valley to the descenders’s left (east) and navigated some steep grassy slopes back to the valley bottom. One cliff-band is encountered, but it’s easy to see coming and a soft slope of rubble on the right allows for an easy descent.
Click on the pictures in the gallery below to access full-sized images.