Forbidden Peak


Description:  Forbidden West Ridge is one of the 50 classic climbs in North America so when Gabe and I had a day and a half weather window and were looking for something a bit less committing but still all around alpine Forbidden quickly arose to the top.  The trail to Boston basin is generally in good shape for a climbers trail, but does have some sections of steep scrambling, fallen trees, and mixed navigation.  We chose to camp at upper Boston basin and like all my previous trips to the area, I sat in awe of Johannesberg, which looms over the whole basin.  At 6:15 am we were on our way and chose a direct route to the glacier,  this made for some class three scrambling on sandy slabs, which can be downgraded to class 2 if you take the slightly less direct route.  despite it being almost September there was no burgshrund and the glacier was only a few hundred vertical feet.  The Catscratch gully posed our first challenge, luckily no one else was on route and our two friend from camp decided to stagger our starting times.  The gully, while claiming to be class IV, had many steps that felt low fifth with minimal pro and very questionable rock.  We simuled this section, but found it to bt quite unnerving given the rock quality.  We later learned you can bail out left of the gully and follow the buttress for more solid rock, but you still have to do some of the worst of the gully.  The climb itself was great fun. We simul'd the whole thing in 3 blocks and were at the summit just over 4 hours from Camp.  The descent involved reversing the route with 3 rappels on the steeper bits to the notch and then 4 more rappels next to the gully followed buy a short downclimb to reach out glacier gear and the glacier.   All in all it was an excellent all around alpine climb, but the objective danger of the gully does add the spice later in the season. 


Stories by Scott Heinz ( Medical Moose Labs)

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