Zak on "Origin of Animal Names"
In Search of
by John Lixvar (Lizard)
Lixvar in 1984 JR photo
Back in 1975 when the 1:24,000 Pasayten quads finally became available,
it was possible for the first time to identify all of Washington's major
mountains. Previous lists of notable Washington summits all suffered
from serious omissions. The nine-thousanders were generally well known,
but beyond that nothing comprehensive was available.
By the spring of 1976 all of Washington's 197 peaks over 8000' were
enumerated. Rules were defined to distinguish individual summits, and
the one hundred highest were singled out for special attention. Ultimately
a "Big Boy" list called the Top 100 was established and circulated
among a small circle of climbers.
A crude but rude, undisciplined but dedicated group of mountain fanatics
calling themselves the Bulgers soon fell victim to the siren call of
the Big Boys. This group of hard men and women sporting names like Buffalo,
Koala, Lizard, and the Zookeeper began to systematically climb the hundred
Competition was fierce for the first few years. From 1977 through 1979
the six original Bulgers collected 229 Big Boy ascents. However by 1980
it became obvious that no one would be able to match the furious pace
set by the Koala. On October 4th of that year Rus Kroeker stood atop
Sinister Peak and became the first man in history to climb Washington's
100 highest mountains. Since that time eight others have managed to duplicate
Koala's feat, and interest in the Top 100 has spread throughout the local
This story, more than ten years in the making, is about the outstanding
climbs and remarkable people that make up Lizard's perspective of the
unique Big Boy experience.
The Cast of Characters
Bulgers on Bedal 10.16.83.
Top: Mike Bialos, Bob Tillotson, Silas Wild, Bruce Gibbs, Russ Kroeker,
Sitting: Mary Jo Gibbs,
The Bulgers (actually Bludgers) were a despicable gang of bush rangers
immortalized in Henry Lawson's famous but unpublished Australian verse "The
Bastard from the Bush." The six original Captains of the Push are:
Mike Bialos - Buffalo. A Bungle in the Jungle. The quintessential Bulger:
awkward on level ground, but unstoppable in the high country.
Bruce Gibbs - Giraffe. A rather capable oxymoron: cranky but jovial,
crafty yet indecisive. Adds strength and diversity to any group.
Rus Kroeker - Koala. An affable, take-charge techno-junky stuck in overdrive.
A Pritikin convert who runs on turnip greens and artichokes.
Bette Felton - Zookeeper. An acrophobe with a very high tolerance to
pain and bad company. Quite a lady in the rough. A good desert island
John Plimpton - Long John. Surprisingly normal. Can't say much bad about
LJ. Probably too moderate for most Bulger tastes.
John Lixvar - Lizard. A gentlemen among rogues. Originator of the Top
100 and author of this article.
2. Latter-day Bulgers, Youngbloods, Neo-Pritikins and other Peripheral
Mary Jo Gibbs - Gazelle. Bruce's former better half. Actually, Mary
Jo had a near monopoly on the couple's finer character traits.
Bob Tillotson - Taurus. Former body-builder turned mountain jock. Good
John Roper - Rhino/Himmelfahrtskommando (HFK). A connoisseur of the
Skagit with humor far too subtle for full Bulger membership.
Silas Wild - Silage. Another HFK. A bold climber too kool for Bulgerhood.
Dick Kegel - Kangaroo. A smooth, competent, absolutely fearless climber
obviously over-qualified for the Bulgers.
Ken Zafren - Zaphod. Equipment freak. Ken outfits Alaskan expeditions
from his basement supplies.
Al Ryll - The man who got Lizard up Goode Mountain, and the person to
whom this article is dedicated.
Big Boys Rules
Washington's 100 highest extends from 14410' Mt Rainier to 8320' Flora
Mtn. Three major rules determine Top 100 eligibility:
Rule 1: An individual summit has to rise at least 400 feet above the
surrounding terrain. The distinction looks right in the field and can
be clearly determined from maps with 40, 80 and 100 foot contour intervals.
Rule 2: A peak with an official USGS-approved name will be considered
for inclusion even if it fails the 400 foot rule.
Rule 3: An 800 foot rule applies to major volcanoes. This rule avoids
counting Columbia Crest and Liberty Cap on Rainier as two separate mountains.
Little Tahoma is the only volcanic sub-summit with Big Boy status.
Rule 2 has been applied to include a few well known summits that are
generally considered distinct mountains even though their rise above
adjoining saddles falls somewhat short of 400 feet. Seven Fingered Jack,
Copper, Sahale and Sherpa, among others, fall into this category.
1. Shuksan and the Major Volcanoes
Mt Rainier 14410 Mt Baker 10775 Mt St. Helens(pre) 9677
Mt Adams 12276 Glacier Peak 10541 Mt St. Helens(post) 8365
Little Tahoma 11138 Mt Shuksan 9127
Washington's major volcanoes fill the first five positions in the Big
Boy list. These summits together with Mt St. Helens and the non-volcanic
Mt Shuksan attract a tremendous amount of climber interest.
Public awareness of Cascade mountaineering is often limited to these
peaks, and many Washington climbers begin their careers with these enjoyable,
but generally uncomplicated snow climbs. Indeed, six of Lizard's first
seven climbs in Washington were on peaks from this group.
Mount Rainier was my first Big Boy, and only my second mountain climb
ever. After spending nearly a week in training at Camp Muir with Lou
Whittaker and other guides from RMI, our well acclimatized group raced
up and down the Ingraham Glacier in a little over five hours, and returned
to Paradise feeling like world class alpinists.
Unfortunately that endorphin induced illusion was soon shattered by
an extremely painful lactic acid buildup. Within hours, the post-Rainier
Lizard was reduced to a pathetic, stiff legged creature of limited mobility.
Bicycle touring the Great Plains of Illinois had helped my aerobic conditioning,
but did little to prepare me for the after effects of our long speedy
descent. Nevertheless, I was hooked on climbing. After receiving engineering
degrees from UIUC and IIT, I found employment with the Boeing Company,
and in the fall of 1968 relocated to the Pacific Northwest. Today, even
after more than 285 visits to the grand mountain, Rainier continues to
excite the imagination.
The rest of the Bulgers had also completed most of the climbs in this
group before Big Boy mania focused their climbing activity on the one
Post-eruptive Mt St. Helens was of course the obvious exception. In
a most spectacular reordering of the list, the once lovely, symmetric
peak was reduced to an ashen frustum and placed off limits to climbers.
This situation posed a bit of a dilemma. Neither Bette Felton or Silas
Wild had gotten around to climbing St. Helens before May 18, 1980. How
could they earn credit for a peak placed in a red zone for the indefinite
future? What about the rest of the Bulgers? Would their credit apply
to the new summit? The issue remained unresolved for three years. However,
volcanic activity eventually subsided, the red zone was reduced, and
rumors of unauthorized ascents began to circulate in the climbing community.
The Zookeeper could not afford to wait much longer. Her short list was
down to seven, and several other Bulgers, including the Lizard, were
closing in on their final peaks. In the pre-dawn light of a July 1983
morning, after quietly working her way up through dark gullies and cinder
chutes, a solo climber cautiously approached the crater rim, and became
the first Bulger to look down the boresight to the dome below.
My turn came in early February 1987, a few months before the official
reopening of the mountain. However, unlike Bette's undetected ascent,
my climb attracted some undesired attention. Officials from the enforcement
division of the USFS, together with a fair number of other spectators,
had watched my progress through binoculars and were eagerly awaiting
me at the Butte Camp roadhead.
An out-of-uniform backcountry ranger was the first person to reach me
after the climb. The views from the top and the ski run down were so
sensational that it didn't take much effort to coax an admission of trespass
from a clueless Liz. Fortunately the ranger, who did not have arrest
authority, shared my enthusiasm for the climb and warned me about the
reception committee waiting at the parking lot.
Thoughts of the possible $1000 fine and six month jail sentence filled
my mind as I approached my fate. All hopes of quietly slipping by to
my truck were dashed by distant calls of "Here he comes!" and "That's
him!" I was enveloped by the congregation. One fellow complimented
me on my skiing, another asked if I had seen any sastrugi (?), and everyone
was curious about the view -- including the fellows from the green truck
with "ENFORCEMENT DIVISION" printed on the side.
The anticipation was a lot worse than the reality. The USFS officers
were congenial outdoorsmen and fine gentlemen. They let me change clothes
and clean up a bit before talking to me in private, and after about 30
minutes of earnest conversation, let me go free. Apparently a court decision
challenging the red zone restrictions had just been upheld, and the state
legislature was close to reversing its position on the closure.
Over 34,000 people have stood atop Mt St. Helens since its reopening
two years ago; but on that memorable morning of February 8th, all the
mountain above timberline was mine alone!
2. The Stuart Range
Mt Stuart 9415 Enchantment Peak 8520
Dragontail Peak 8840+ Cashmere Mtn 8501
Colchuck Peak 8705 Argonaut Peak 8453
Cannon Mtn 8638 Little Annapurna 8440+
Sherpa Peak 8605 McClellan Peak 8364
Mt Stuart and the Enchantments offer an easy opportunity to quickly
run up one's Big Boy total. The range suffers from over-exposure, but
the quality of climbs available there make it all worthwhile.
Rus Kroeker and I bagged Colchuck, East and West Dragontail, Little
Annapurna, McClellan, Enchantment, plus Witches Tower in one intense
weekend foray. Other Bulgers have indulged themselves in similar peak
Cannon Mtn and Mt Stuart were done by non-technical routes on long 7000'
to 8000' daytrips. Only Argonaut and Sherpa stand out in my mind as especially
noteworthy climbs. Long John, Dick Bock (a peripheral form) and I tackled
Argonaut on its west ridge from Sherpa Pass. It was a long, strenuous
climb on fine granite that finished with an exposed 5th class pitch up
the summit block. Our descent to the Argonaut-Colchuck col was supposed
to be by the class 2 route described in Beckey's guide. To the best of
my knowledge, no one has ever been able to locate a class 2 route off
Argonaut. Our route involved tricky downclimbing on steep snow, uncertain
rappels off shrubs and detached flakes, and numerous other difficulties.
We arrived back at camp utterly exhausted, and spent 12 hours in the
sack that night before moving out along Mountaineer Creek.
Sherpa was a more jovial climb, but it too had its moments. Ken Zafren
and I started up the south face, rappeled down the cold north face after
getting in trouble near the balanced rock, and finished the climb via
the west ridge. Our convoluted 11 hour route on Sherpa was just one of
many fun climbs Ken and I made together during that summer of '83. Our
cautious climbing styles meshed well together, and a shared weakness
for "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" always seemed to get
us through tight situations in good humor.
Lizard: "I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my
Zaphod: "DON'T PANIC!"
The confidence we developed in each other during these climbs would
serve us well in some of our future, more desperate ventures.
3. The Chilliwacks
Mt Spickard 8979 Mt Rahm 8480+
Mt Redoubt 8956 Mox Peak (SE Spire) 8480+
Mt Custer 8630 Mox Peak (NW Spire) 8320+
The Chilliwacks are an especially difficult group of peaks -- wild,
remote, and friable. Only Mt Spickard offers the prospect of an easy
ascent. Redoubt, Custer, and Rahm are merely tough; whereas the Moxes
test, or exceed, the limits of prudent mountaineering.
Only the Koala managed to dispatch this group in two visits. Lizard's
five trips up Depot Creek is more typical of the effort needed to get
NW Twin Spire, known as Easy Mox to the Bulgers, was one of Lizard's
most dangerous climbs to date. Crossing the bergschrund on the upper
Redoubt Glacier was risky; climbing to the saddle over wet downsloping
slabs was treacherous; and retrieving the rope after the summit rappel
(the site of Warren Spickard's fatal accident) was positively perilous.
Long John and I spent 14 hours on the route, and felt lucky to escape
And then there's Hard Mox...
Fred Beckey's description of his 1941 first ascent of SE Twin Spire
is required reading for anyone contemplating "the most difficult
principal peak in the Northwest." Here is a climb that more or less
determines one's ability to get the Top 100. The graphic account given
in "Challenge of the North Cascades" has intimidated a generation
of climbers, and caused more anxiety among the Bulgers than any other
The Bulger "A" team, consisting of Rus Kroeker and Dick Kegel,
got Hard Mox in July 1979. Mike Bialos and Bruce Gibbs, together with
Don Goodman (another powerful peripheral form), got it shortly thereafter.
Their reports were not very encouraging. The Ridge of Gendarmes was terrifying;
the exposure on the 500' summit tower was profound; and worst of all,
the rock was unsound and offered few reliable anchor points.
The rest of us less capable climbers tried to avoid the issue of Hard
Mox as long as possible. However by 1986 Bob, Bette, Long John and I
were all down to our final few; and our investment in the 100 had gotten
too great to let the threat of one dangerous climb deter us.
On August 10th Rus repeated Hard Mox, and in the process helped Big
Bob Tillotson get his 100th. Our grim resolve was only reinforced when
the Taurus, a taciturn fellow not often given to exaggeration, called
Southeast Twin Spire the scariest climb of his career.
Two weeks later, after spending an uneasy night at the Redoubt-Bear
saddle, the Zookeeper, Lizard, and LJ kick steps up to Twin Spires col.
The maw of Mox is just about the most uninviting place imaginable, and
we waste little time there as we carefully ascend to the proper notch
in the Ridge of Gendarmes. The view of the SE Spire from this point is
just staggering -- the sort of stuff climbing nightmares are made of.
Sustained with little more than Rus's detailed schematic and the knowledge
that 15 parties have preceded us, we downclimb slabby, loose rock to
a steep snowfinger, cross three nasty gullies, and reach the base of
the tower. Rus's notes have served us well to this point, but nothing
above seems to make sense. His route over the rotten Red Crap Overhang
to the detached White Pillar seems most improbable. Long John's leadership
here is masterful. The crux is a very delicate 5.6 overhang. Two more
leads over steep, broken terrain bring us to the top! We congratulate
Bette for making her 100th, but she responds with only sullen acknowledgment.
Our overriding but unspoken concern is to get out of this unhealthy place
We set up a double rope rappel and I set off over the edge. Half way
down I discover that the ropes have fallen to the right of the northwest
rib, onto the nearly vertical north face. I reach a little platform and
try to reset the lines. Unfortunately the ropes have caught on some unseen
snag!!! Moreover, my little platform is a topply rock of uncertain integrity.
I have no option but to rappel down to the foul up. To my immense relief
I only have to drop about ten feet before the ropes come free. I carefully
reclimb the pitch, reposition the rappel, and continue down a full 50
meter rope length to a protected spot.
Hard Mox was Long John's 86th Big Boy; I have three more to go; and
Bette is finished.
4. The Eldorado Massif
Eldorado Peak 8868 Klawatti Peak 8485 Snowfield Peak 8347
Primus Peak 8508 Dorado Needle 8440+ Austera Peak 8334
The Eldorado massif is a relict from the Pleistocene -- an icescape
that suggests what most of North America must have looked like during
the height of the last glacial epoch. Many of the peaks in this uplift
barely pierce the icecap; and those that do are often buttressed with
steep skirts of glacier carved rock. Klawatti and its Klaws, Austera
and its Towers, and Dorado Needle are all sculptured horns nearly surrounded
by glacier ice.
In July of 1978 many of the Bulgers assembled on the Inspiration Glacier
for an extended four day reunion with the Big Boys of the Skagit. Eldorado
was our first target. Even though we had all previously climbed this
magnificent mountain, the lure of its airy summit arete was irresistible.
While traversing that narrow crest of firn I was reminded of my previous
crossing two years earlier. The strategy on that audacious climb was
to get Eldorado in a day, and return to the cars under the light of a
full moon. We nearly made it. Our party summited at 9 pm; waited until
11:30 for the moonrise; but then bivouacked three hours later in a wind
cirque. After 17 hours of climbing we were just too weary to finish the
final two miles of brush.
Dorado Needle was our next target. Rus and Mike tackled the SW face,
while Bruce and Mary Jo Gibbs, Bette, and I attempted the Route Normale.
Our route was threatened by an enormous perched snow block, and finished
with an exposed but thoroughly enjoyable summit cheval. Both parties
met near the top.
The key to Klawatti is getting started. Moat problems (I fell in!) prevented
our getting onto the SW ridge, while vertical rock made the south face
unattractive. Rus eventually worked his way onto a ledge system that
solved the south face problem, but unfortunately he was not carrying
a rope. The task of fixing the route fell to our reliable Buffalo. The
rest of the climb was over loose, but fairly easy rock. Surprisingly,
our ascent was only the eighth since 1945.
Austera's main attraction is the view. Few places in the North Cascades
offer such a pleasing panorama of rock and ice. The climb itself is also
fairly interesting: a chockstone problem requiring more athleticism than
finesse, and a firm 4th class staircase leading straight to the summit.
Snowfield Peak, situated north of McAllister Creek, is really an outlier
detached from the main Eldorado group. Four of us got up the impressive
mountain during a three-day Snowfield-Isolation traverse. The trip was
made over Labor Day weekend, and the biggest problem encountered was
getting a lift back to the car at the Pyramid Lake trailhead. Hitchhiking
that Monday night in Newhalem was at best a poor proposition. What little
traffic there was, was headed south. Finally, after a futile two hour
roadside vigil, I gave up and called the State Patrol for assistance.
Officer Ray Beazizo was sympathetic, but unwilling to help. He had just
put in three tough days of patrol duty and was understandably tired.
Beazizo did mention that a tow truck was enroute from Concrete to Ross
Lake, and thought I might get a lift from the driver. Thirty minutes
later the truck rolled by, leaving me standing at the curb. By this time
it was well after midnight and the Bulgers were settled in for the night,
resigned to a lost day of work. However Lizard had one more idea: a direct,
forceful appeal to Newhalem's County Sheriff.
Sheriff George Sharpe met me at the door to his home, dressed only in
his underwear and shoulder holster. After awkwardly explaining our situation,
the out-of-uniform officer notified his dispatcher and gave me a "citizen's
assist" in Skagit County's ultimate authority vehicle: a dark mobile
command post-cum-muscle car equipped with sawed-off shotgun in the front
seat, steel cage in back, and a dash crammed with communications gear
and other electronics. Sheriff Sharpe acted well beyond the call of duty,
and refused any compensation for his service. The Bulgers, and especially
the Lizard, want to publicly acknowledge the sheriff's good deed.
Our long, long three-day climb of Snowfield ended sometime after 3:00am;
in contrast, Roper and Kroeker made a January ascent of neighboring Colonial
Peak in less than 10 hours RT, and managed to return to Seattle in time
to attend a Bulger social.
A wildly ambitious snowshoe attempt of Primus Peak in February 1978
was halted a scant 4600' from the summit. Icy conditions, a lack of determination,
and uncommon Bulger good sense doomed this climb only a short distance
above Thunder Creek. The summit of Primus eluded me until June 1986.
Number 95 was an exhausting 7800' brush bash up from McAllister Creek.
Cliff bands, closely spaced little trees, and tricky route finding gave
character to the climb. We bivouacked in a rock crevice just below Lucky
Pass, and returned without climbing nearby Tricouni Peak.
5. The Cascade Pass Peaks
Goode Mtn 9200+ Forbidden Peak 8815 Horseshoe Peak 8480+
Buckner Mtn 9112 Sahale Mtn 8680+ Mt Formidable 8325
Boston Peak 8894 Storm King 8520+
This group is the crème of the one hundred. Every climb here
is a classic, and most are serious undertakings. Horseshoe is the only
questionable member. The peak is probably misnamed on the map, and falls
way short of the 400 foot rule even though it is the high point of Ripsaw
Ridge. Nevertheless this crag, a single 80 foot lead of 5.3, is fun and
every Bulger has been compelled to climb it. Long John's placement of
protection on Horseshoe was so secure that at least two subsequent parties
have failed to remove a chock we were forced to leave behind. Be sure
to bring a big 8 foot sling for the summit rappel.
Sahale and Boston are neighboring summits of starkly different character.
Sahale beckons the climber upward on attractive, gentle terrain and rewards
the effort with the ineffable "Sea of Peaks" view of the North
Cascades. In contrast, there is not too much good to say about the red
ogre called Boston. The loose boulders strewn along the south ridge and
SE face are treacherous and demand constant attention. The summit register
still records the grim accident that befell the Roper party back in 1967.
One does not repeat a climb of Boston.
Buckner Mountain is also nearby, but the direct route from Sahale Arm
down to Horseshoe Basin is threatened by ice collapsing from the margin
of the Sahale Glacier. Rus Kroeker forced a super-direct line down a
gully from the Boston-Sahale ridge and experienced one of the most bizarre
incidents in Bulger history.
Rus's exuberance for the Top 100 would occasionally violate the precepts
of safe mountaineering. In this case, his route to Buckner was so bold
that no one else in the party dared follow his lead. Half way down a
high angle snow chute Rus ran into trouble. Footholds became scarce as
he moved from one tenuous position to the next. Then suddenly he slipped
and fell headlong out-of-sight into a moat on the Davenport Glacier.
The rest of the party attempted a rescue by way of Sahale Arm and the
Davenport but retreated after getting hit by falling ice. Things did
not look good for the Koala.
A short while later, after regaining consciousness, Rus emerges from
his ice crypt and to everyone's utter amazement announces his intention
to continue on! The next day our bruised but unbowed buddy arrives at
Cascade Pass, after bivouacking on the summit of Buckner. The determined
Koala had also soloed Booker Mountain and bush-rappeled down the steep
Horseshoe Basin headwall to the Stehekin River trail.
Our climb of Forbidden Peak was even more exciting. Forbidden's inclusion
in the list of fifty classic climbs in North America is well deserved,
but results in an abnormal amount of activity on this difficult peak.
In order to avoid other climbers, our venture was planned as a midweek
daytrip in early July.
Our plans did not go well. Bette Felton got the short straw in the undemocratic
process of selecting a four person climbing team, and wept bitterly over
being left behind. Damaged personal relationships, anxiety over difficult
climbs, and unrelenting competitive pressure are some of the costs incurred
when playing the Big Boy game.
Our climb did not go well either.
July 9th, 1980 was a day of unsettled weather. Conditions are not bad
enough for an outright abort but the somber clouds circling the high
summits above Boston Basin hardly inspire confidence.
Ice axes begin to buzz as we approach the 8300' notch in the east ridge.
We have entered an intense electric field surrounding Forbidden's upper
reaches and the Bulgers are in panic.
Indecision gives way to action as we cache the axes and drop down to
a ledge on the northeast face. The exposure down to the Boston Glacier
is phenomenal, but the north side offers protection from the incoming
weather. Rus and Mary Jo begin to belay across a ledge system slightly
above our position while Bruce and I survey our options. Suddenly without
warning, a snow block falls from an unseen cornice somewhere above and
sweeps across the twenty foot span separating me and Bruce! A moment
later it's gone and only bits of detritus mark its passage. Our position
on that narrow ledge was so precarious that getting hit by even that
minor release of snow could have been fatal.
The climb continues with the two rope teams reaching the summit pyramid
within minutes of each other. We forgo the summit register and immediately
begin to setup a double rope rappel. Thus far the weather has held, but
now big rain drops are spattering around us and a thunderstorm seems
A hundred meters of rope are tossed down from the summit as Bruce leads
off. Naturally, in times like this, the lines get fouled and the Giraffe
has to spend precious moments trying to unravel the mess. By this time
even the Koala began to get edgy about our situation. Bulger patience
is at best limited, and before long the three of us downclimb to Bruce's
position and reset the rappel. Three long raps get us back to the ledges.
Amazing how one's tolerance to exposure grows with a climb like this!
Rather than belay the ledges, we carry loose coils and literally race
across the face. We soon reach the notch, recover our crampons and ice
axes, and dash for the cars in a steady rain shower.
The Forbidden epic took 16 hours RT, and was a remarkable climb in marginal
conditions. However, the Bulgers can take little pride in their ignoble
treatment of one of their own. Bette had to wait six long years before
getting another opportunity to climb the peak. Bob Tillotson personally
recovered a measure of Bulger honor by accompanying her up Forbidden's
west ridge in 1986.
Our route on Mt Formidable was by the seldom done southwest ridge. The
approach up the brushy South Fork of the Cascade River was at least as
tough as the climb itself. The southwest ridge becomes extremely dry
in late summer and our entire party suffered dehydration on the ascent.
Rock stars Steve Exe and Bob Tillotson had little difficulty coping with
the fourth class technicalities; but Steve, in particular, was nearly
debilitated by lack of water.
With the climb of Storm King on 24 August 1980, the Bulgers collectively
finished the Top 100. Rus Kroeker was still six weeks away from individual
honors, but with Storm King the mystery of the Big Boys was solved.
The climb was also one of our better screwball Bulger adventures.
The march in over Cascade Pass, up Park Creek to the basin south of
Storm King is long and arduous, and the Bulgers are going light: one
rope, a few slings, and bivy gear. That night at base camp Rus uses the
rope for a pillow and apparently forgets to bring it along for the climb.
(Author's note: Rus still insists he forgot the rope, but the Bulgers
remain unconvinced.) Hours later at the base of the North Fork Bridge
Creek face we are faced with a problem. Retrieving the rope is an unattractive
option, but so is the prospect of free climbing the fifth class East
Peak of Storm King!
While the rest of the party looks for an easier route, Rus begins to
solo the face. The K-bear makes remarkable progress and it soon becomes
apparent that he alone is going to make the summit. Was this Koala's
intention all along? Rus passes out of sight and shortly thereafter calls
out his familiar "whoop whoop" victory yell. Of course we are
all very happy for our fellow climber!
The Koala is beyond redemption -- or is he? A short while later he is
seen waving us up the Goode-Storm King ridge. Our resourceful teammate
has found an inspired route up Storm King that will go free. The route
zigzags up some loose rock terraces, climbs through an improbable pottyhole,
and leads to a notch just short of the summit. The final 20 foot pitch
of exposed class four is protected by a handline fashioned from every
available sling in the party. The Koala makes amends!
I suppose it was appropriate that Goode Mtn would become my final Big
Boy. The Lizard made such a fuss over the correct pronunciation of Richard
Urquhart Goode's last name (it's "good" not "goody")
that it was only fair to repay his pedantry with a little suffering.
And suffer he did.
The pain started at Black Tooth Notch. The first edition of Beckey's
green book places the notch at an impasse. The error has since been corrected
in the second edition, but judging by the distressed notes we found at
the site, our defeat there was not unique.
Injured pride and unusual personal circumstances caused him to miss
the successful all-Bulger retry in 1986, and two other semi-serious attempts
were thwarted by bad weather.
By 1987 all the rest of the Bulgers had gotten Goode and Lizard was
forced to recruit outside support. Al Ryll, a co-worker at Boeing, was
an ideal candidate. We had met previously on a three week expedition
to Mt Gerdine in the Alaska Range, and had done some good (goode?) climbs
together in the Olympics. Al was a solid mountaineer with a developing
interest in the Top 100.
Our route is the notorious Bedayn Couloir. It is a classic line with
aesthetic appeal that suffers from dangerously loose rock. The climb
involves a rugged two day approach, and the crux is a narrow, unprotectable
ledge that leads into the couloir. The lower gullies leading up to that
off-camber ledge are extremely rotten, and in spite of all our precautions
I get struck in the thigh by a watermelon-sized boulder. Fortunately
the blow is taken by leg muscle rather than bone, and after a short rest
I am able to continue. Al does a great job in leading the crux, and around
11:00am, August 2nd we gain the summit.
Al is off to a great start, but for me the quest is over. Completion
of the Top 100 brings relief and a sense of accomplishment -- but surprisingly
little elation. The effort has been too long and difficult to be rewarded
by a simple feeling of joy.
The descent was hell. As my badly bruised leg began to stiffen and swell,
downclimbing became extremely painful. Al did a magnificent job in assisting
me through the difficulties. We spent seven hours on the technical rock,
and I would not have been able to get off the mountain without him.
The next day was almost heaven. Walking the well graded trail up from
Cottonwood Camp in warm sunshine did wonders for my leg. We even had
the good fortune to meet a group of fun-loving women along the way and
spent much of the afternoon skinny-dipping together at Doubtful Lake.
We also met Silas Wild coming in over Cascade Pass in hot pursuit of
his one-hundreth. He congratulated our success; and I wished him well
on Dark Peak as he rushed off to catch the Stehekin shuttle bus. Silas
and I had been competing, and finishing two days ahead of him was sweet
consolation for the many hardships suffered on Goode.
That climb was one of the highlights of my many years in the mountains,
and I will never forget the uncommon experiences Al and I shared. We
made only one more trip together -- a four-day Labor Day outing to Mt
Challenger. Two months later Al was killed in a tragic bicycling accident
on the island of Maui.
God rest his soul.
Bonanza Peak 9511 Reynolds Peak 8512 Pinnacle Mtn 8402
Mt Fernow 9249 Martin Peak 8511 Buttermilk Ridge 8392
Mt Maude 9082 Dark Peak 8504 Spectacle Butte 8392
7 Fingered Jack 9077 Hoodoo Peak 8464 Martin Peak 8375
Copper Peak 8966 Mt Bigelow 8440+ Devore Peak 8360+
Oval Peak 8795 Emerald Peak 8422 Abernathy Peak 8321
Star Peak 8690 SW Dumbell Mtn 8421 Cooney Mtn 8321
Cardinal Peak 8595 NE Dumbell Mtn 8415 Tupshin Peak 8320+
Libby Mtn 8580 Saska Peak 8404 Flora Mtn 8320
Three of the nine-thousanders in this group are fairly easy climbs,
but Bonanza is a mountain to be reckoned with. Washington's highest non-volcano
offers no easy routes. The standard Mary Green Glacier approach is plagued
with crevasse problems, and the 800 foot SE face is often subject to
stonefall. Our 1978 attempt was abruptly terminated by stonefall one
lead above the 8700' bergschrund. Within minutes after a brief rain shower
hit the face, salvos of rock began whistling down over our heads. That
unnerving experience taught us a few lessons about Bonanza: (1) Attempt
the peak only under stable, dry conditions, and (2) get an early start
and try to be off the face before any other parties start up.
For us, condition number one wasn't met until August 1982, and then
just barely. Bonanza seems capable of producing its own weather. The
Seattle area forecast was good, Holden was in sunshine, but the mountain
looked threatening. However since Bonanza looks threatening even under
the best of conditions Bulgers Bialos, Gibbs, Zafren, and Lixvar commenced
The ascent went well, and the largely fourth class face was easier than
expected. However by the time we reached the summit, signs of a weather
change were unmistakable, and Buf's eagerly anticipated mountain top
siesta had to be canceled. Our rappels were rushed and awkward; our traverse
of the Mary Green, a running retreat. The rainstorm hit just as we were
crossing the polished slabs above Holden Pass. A tarp shelter was quickly
jury-rigged at the pass, but the peevish Giraffe forsook our accommodations
for better shelter in the trees around Holden Lake. His departure was
appreciated, for now there was sufficient space for three sleeping bags.
The Giraffe was unhappy camping at the pass the night before, and chose
his sleeping spot in such a way that nobody else could be comfortable.
Giraffes do not suffer in silence, and when they are unhappy the whole
Dark Peak sits in the shadow of Bonanza and was apparently unclimbed
before a visit from the Bulger "A" team in 1980. After getting
away late from Seattle, Rus Kroeker went to extraordinary lengths to
join that party. He twice swamped his little motorboat on a daring run
up Lake Chelan, and then navigated the faint Swamp Creek trail at night
by headlamp. The not-to-be-denied Koala caught up with the group in time
to share their first ascent.
Our party repeated the climb via the Swamp Creek headwall in May 1982,
and Silas Wild completed his one hundred there on 4 August 1987. The
close-up view across the Company Glacier to Bonanza's seldom seen north
side is reason enough to climb Dark Peak.
Copper and Martin are two peaks above Railroad Creek designated off-limits
to the hikers of Holden village. The climbs are rugged, even dangerous,
and I suppose the restrictions are sensible. Obviously the Big Boy list
cannot make such distinctions; but fortunately for every Martin there
is a Maude.
Martin Peak was climbed as a consolation after our 1978 Bonanza failure,
and in retrospect was the more interesting ascent. The original 1936
Ida Zacher Darr first ascent notes were still in the register along with
material on the 1939 Penberthy-Lavelle climb. Ours was only the 20th
ascent in 43 years.
Copper Peak was my 98th Big Boy, and was climbed solo in eight hours
from Copper Basin. I had gotten Hard Mox a week earlier and was pushing
hard to complete the hundred before the end of the 1986 climbing season.
The following week Ken Zafren and I do battle with number 99: Tupshin
Peak. Tupshin is a relatively unknown mountain in spite of its proximity
to Stehekin. It is also one of the most technically demanding climbs
in the Top 100. Tupshin's dark summit pinnacles look very imposing from
distant viewpoints; from the White Goat-Tupshin ridge they are positively
fearsome. Even the fearless Kangaroo, Dick Kegel, is reported to have
been momentarily stunned by the prospect of crossing the west face.
Ken and I climb too far west in upper Bird Creek meadows and gain the
ridge at the wrong saddle. Hours are lost recovering the route, and by
the time we reach the thin ledge crossing Tupshin's west face we feel
pressure to hurry. But the route does not permit hurried climbing. We
continue for nearly two hours beyond our previously agreed turnaround
time, and end up on a pinnacle 50 feet short of the true summit. We can
see the damn cairn a short distance away, but the intervening gap spells
defeat. Our disappointment is of course keen, but our primary concern
is to get back to camp.
We have gone extremely light on the climb and have no food, water or
bivouac gear. Everything, including our packs, was stashed when the going
got tough. We get back to the catwalk ledges after a long series of rappels;
recover our gear; and luckily manage to find the tent in the dark woods
of Bird Creek. Over dinner we discuss tomorrow's plans. We are of one
mind. We are going back to get Tupshin.
Our 2-man team had the route wired and the reclimb was successful. However,
that climb on September 12th marked the end of my Big Boy season. That
night it snowed down to 6000' and all the high peaks were plastered.
Goode Mountain would have to wait until next year.
The remaining Big Boys in the area: Flora, Emerald, Saska, Cardinal,
Pinnacle, Devore, Spectacle Butte, and SW Dumbell are all straightforward
climbs. However NE Dumbell (aka Greenwood Mountain) deserves further
Our poorly chosen route took us from a col above Spider Meadow onto
a nasty black ice ramp at the head of Big Creek. An hour or more of ultra-cautious
cramponing got Rus, Bette and the Lizard onto easier terrain above Dumbell
Lake, but it was a route that I, for one, would not reverse. We would
have to find a better way out.
Dumbell's summit register held quite a surprise for us: one previous
ascent in 1937 by Ralph Titerud, a Boy Scout leader from Cashmere. Ralph's
route must have been a Lulu. He had come in from Leroy Creek and thought
he had gained the summit of Fernow.
To my considerable relief, we found a goat track leading around the
southeast buttress of the main peak of Dumbell. "Baby Carriage Ledge" is
an exposed fourth class route with one short difficult corner. It was
a vast improvement over our approach and is probably the route of choice
on NE Dumbell. In the months following our climb, Rus tried without success
to locate scoutmaster Titerud or his family. We were all interested in
learning more about his pioneering climb, and wondered if ol' Ralph ever
learned of his mistake.
The Chelan Crest peaks along Sawtooth Ridge are attractive, non- technical
climbs with extremely scenic approaches. These summits support Washington's
easternmost glaciers, and are subject to more foul weather than their
easterly location might suggest. I have gotten atop Mts Bigelow, Martin,
Libby, and Cooney on foot, with skis, and by mountain bike; and have
found them to be especially enjoyable all-season climbs. Reynolds, Abernathy,
Oval, Star, and Buttermilk are also good sport, but are best saved for
the off-season when snow still blankets their rather extensive scree
and boulder fields.
7. Washington Pass Area
Mt Logan 9087 Mesahchie Peak 8795 Golden Horn 8366
Black Peak 8970 Katsuk Peak 8680+ Cosho Peak 8332
N. Gardner Mtn 8956 Kimtah Peak 8600+ Big Snagtooth 8330
Gardner Mtn 8897 Tower Mtn 8444
Silver Star Mtn 8876 Azurite Peak 8400+
I found the Ragged Ridge climbs unpleasant. Beyond Easy Pass the country
turns harsh and barren, and the climbing gets serious. On my first visit
to the area in July 1979, Long John and I traversed the summit of Mesahchie
to the 8480+ east summit of Katsuk. We encountered ball-bearing rock
on smooth slab above the Katsuk-Mesahchie col and became dispirited by
an evil looking canyon separating us from Katsuk's main summits. Getting
down to Fisher Creek was no simple matter either.
Bette and I picked up Cosho and Kimtah the following year in another
rugged but satisfying trip. Kimtah looked terrible, but actually went
fairly easily once we found a convenient ledge system on the west face.
The rematch with Katsuk in 1981 was scheduled on Bette's birthday. The
menacing canyon was bypassed on its shattered east rim, and both summits
of the peak were attained. Katsuk has two pinnacles that exceed the 8680'
contour line, but the more difficult western point looks a little higher.
You know you're hooked on climbing when you cannot think of a better
birthday activity than bagging your final Ragged Ridge Big Boy!
Joe Vance, a geology professor at the University of Washington, finished
his 35 year run at the Top 100 with Katsuk. Joe had already climbed many
of the Big Boys before the start of the Bulger Era, and is the only climber
up to 1997 to complete the hundred largely as an independent.
John Roper is credited with first ascents on Katsuk, Kimtah, and Cosho;
while Rus Kroeker, together with Bruce and Mary Jo Gibbs, got all four
peaks on a remarkable, if not first, Easy Pass to Red Mountain traverse.
Tower and Golden Horn also required multiple attempts. Tower's central
gully offers a direct but dangerous route to the summit. One attempt
with formidable rock climber Dan Davis was foiled by rain and stonefall.
We eventually got up the snow covered west face in June 1982. Bruce Gibbs,
the Power of Tower, led a tense group of Bulgers up the super steep snow.
Golden Horn is fun. In 1978 we underestimated the climb -- we had a
rope but no hardware, and were stopped by a snow covered block 60 feet
from the summit. We came back the following spring with friends -- the
mechanical kind, and blitzed the mountain. We got one summit via a cannonhole
(I love cannonholes!) and another by conventional means. Dick Kegel stormed
ahead of everyone else and easily free climbed both summits before the
rest of the party arrived.
The Bulgers enjoyed Golden Horn.
A similar blitzkrieg style assault was used on Silver Star. The summit
block requires a bit of gymnastic talent, and the decidedly ungymnastic
Bulgers had to build a human pyramid to get to the top.
The Banded Glacier route on Mt Logan was done on an unusual traverse
from Easy Pass; while Azurite Peak was climbed in two days by an elegant
direct line from the North Cross-State highway to Mebee Pass to the summit.
The Gardners are best remembered for Long John's spectacular fall into
Huckleberry Creek. The Gardner trip was made in late April when the snowbridges
were beginning to breakup. The entire Huckleberry bridge collapsed mid-span
under John's weight. He made a desperate lunge for a nearby log; teetered
on snowshoes for a few moments; than fell headlong into the water. Pretty
amusing stuff for those Bulgers already on the other side. Unfortunately,
In 1975 I took a three year leave from Boeing in order to climb full-
time. I traveled to New Zealand and Tasmania, skied the Haute Route across
Switzerland, and eventually took up residence at the Alpine Club of Canada
clubhouse in Banff. I was having the time of my life. I was also losing
weight and generally letting myself rundown. The trouble with being on
perpetual holiday is that you never get a chance to rest. I gained over
367,000' in 1975 and spent more than 200 days in the mountains. One trip
followed another until the inevitable breakdown. Over developed thigh
muscles coupled with weak abdominals had slowly pulled my spinal column
out of line and damaged my sciatic nerve. The injury forced a two month
layoff from climbing and taught me the importance of flexible, balanced
Black Peak was my first Big Boy after recovery. Getting back to the
mountains was essential to my well being, and John "Turkey" Spezia's
support on Black will never be forgotten. Situps and stretching exercises
are now part of my daily routine, and since 1978 I've been able to climb
more than a hundred days a year without any recurrence of the problem.
Fred Beckey's first ascent notes were still in the register at the time
of our 1980 climb of Big Snagtooth. The route requires some exposed technical
moves on firm rock, but is thoroughly enjoyable. However May 18, 1980
is best remembered for another event: the Big Bang -- the day Mt St.
Helens blew up. Our party was startled by a series of three loud explosions.
We thought it might have been avalanche control work at Washington Pass,
and never made the connection with the ominous clouds moving in from
the south. We first learned the news that evening from a shopkeeper in
Marblemount. Curiously, the sound wave largely missed Seattle but was
heard far up into the Chilcotin Plateau of British Columbia. Michael
King, a helicopter pilot in Tatla Lake who works the Mount Waddington
trade, heard the explosion; but thought it was the sound of a neighbor
dynamiting a local beaver dam.
8. Glacier Peak Region
Dome Peak 8920+ Buck Mtn 8573 Luahna Peak 8400+
Fortress Mtn 8674 Chiwawa Mtn 8459
Clark Mtn 8576 Sinister Peak 8440+
The Glacier Peak region is perhaps the crown jewel of Washington wilderness.
Other parts of the range contain higher and more difficult mountains
in austere surroundings, but for me, this alpine playground possesses
a sublime combination of ice, meadow, and rock, and is the scenic climax
of the North Cascades. This is also a region of grand traverses, a place
where the excellence of alpine travel generally exceeds the quality of
the climbs available. Trips like the Ptarmigan Traverse, the Bath Lakes
High Route, High Pass and the Napeequa, Image Lake and Miners Ridge attain
a standard rarely matched elsewhere.
Ed Boulton and I took a side trip to Dome Peak while doing the Ptarmigan
Traverse with a party of Seattle Mountaineers back in 1971. The climb
came early in my career, and I was very impressed with the grandeur of
the peak. The actual summit point was a large boulder perched atop the
mountain's crest. The grandeur of Dome remains; but the summit boulder
disappeared during the winter of 1981-82.
The Lizard has been fortunate to stand atop pre-eruptive Mt St. Helens,
Trigger Finger before its fall, and the Dome summit boulder. Our mountains
are not as enduring as they seem!
Up until recently, Dick Kegel had only dallied with the Top 100. Even
though his support had been enlisted on many of the tougher climbs, the
Kangaroo professed total indifference to the rest of the hundred. All
that changed at the 1986 fall celebration held in honor of that year's
three finishers. Dick's total was then less than 50, and he was gently
chided for not having reached the Bulger "Threshold of Respectability." The
criticism must have irked Regal Richard, for the following year he went
on rampage and collected an incredible 41 Big Boys! The Kangaroo who
would be king then vanquished his final 13 and ascended to the throne
of Dome on October 2, 1988.
The Bulgers have enjoyed a very pleasant association with Sinister Peak.
The Koala finished his whirlwind odyssey of the Top 100 with Sinister
in 1980. Silas Wild accompanied Rus to the summit, while a sick Lizard
was left behind on the south side of Dome. I returned with the rest of
the crew two years later and bagged the peak by the narrowest of margins.
We climbed Dome (sans boulder) in dense cloud but did not dare cross
the fractured Chickamin Glacier without better visibility. After a few
hours the situation seemed hopeless and the Bulgers were ready to retreat
down Bachelor Creek. Then miraculously, we were shown the way! A "sucker
hole" clearing appeared for a few minutes, then closed; but that
was enough. We set our course across the glacier and got our peak.
Our not-so-Sinister climb also ended on a rather amusing footnote. Since
Bette's 10mm perlon rope was not needed for the climb, it was left behind
at the Dome saddle. Its bright green color must have attracted the interest
of the resident marmot, for the rope was gnawed into three pieces by
the time we returned!
Fortress and Buck make a nice combination. Our party went in over Buck
Creek Pass and exited via the Napeequa and Little Giant Pass. The steep
bushwack down Louis Creek to the Napeequa River parallels a spectacular
waterfall and requires some caution. Also, the old bridge over the Chiwawa
River is out, necessitating a deep and possibly difficult ford. Buck
Mountain has three summits and some confusion exists over which is the
highest. An Alpine Roamers register resides on the north summit, but
a Bulger consensus gives credit to the central peak. The Koala might
be well advised to return to Buck Mountain someday; for his 1977 effort
included ascents of only the north and south summits.
Chiwawa Mountain was climbed from Trinity via Spider Pass in poor visibility
and fresh snow. The Zookeeper forgot her ice axe and had to use an improvised
stone adze on some of the tricky sections of the south spur. Near the
summit, we broke through the dense clouds and were treated to a fantastic "Ships
at Sea" view. The topsails of a few peaks were visible, but the
rest of the world seemed smothered in a white blanket of foam. Loop trip
requirements were met by way of the Chiwawa River.
Clark and Luahna can be conveniently climbed as a pair from either Boulder
Creek or the White River. The Thunder Creek route is brutal, and is best
left for the descent. Luahna's climbing history is uncertain. The remnants
of an old summit cairn were visible at the time of our 1979 ascent, but
no evidence of recent climbs was apparent. Luahna is unnamed on the Holden
quadrangle and was overlooked in early versions of the Big Boy list.
The unofficially named peak meets the 400 foot rule; nearby Chalangin
9. The Pasayten Peaks
Jack Mtn 9066 Mt Carru 8595 Lake Mtn 8371
Mt Lago 8745 Monument Peak 8592 West Craggy 8366
Robinson Mtn 8726 Osceola Peak 8587 Amphitheater Mtn 8358
Remmel Mtn 8685 Big Craggy Peak 8470 Windy Peak 8334
Ptarmigan Peak 8614 Lost Peak 8464
Cathedral Peak 8601 Blackcap Mtn 8397
Jack Mountain stands apart from the rest of the peaks in the Pasayten.
It is a tough peak with comparatively few ascents. Our climb of the Nohokomeen
Glacier in May of 1981 bordered on the heroic. Heroic leadership coupled
with an amusing personal embarrassment have made Jack an unforgettable
climb for the Lizard.
May Creek and the Nohokomeen are climbed to a point where Jack's north
ridge can be gained. The continuation of the route to the summit tower
is along a narrow arete. May 24th was a warm day marked by continuous
avalanches, and our passage along the snow-crested arete seemed foolhardy
in the extreme. In places the north ridge is no more than a bootwidth
across, literally forcing one foot to be carefully placed in front of
the other. The old joke about saving a falling ropemate by jumping off
the opposite side of a knife edge ridge was no joke on this trip.
The summit tower was equally intimidating and had everyone but Silas
cowed. Silage trailed a double rope to the summit and belayed everyone
else up. Our ascent was the 15th since 1967, and only the third up the
Nohokomeen Glacier. The register also recorded Joe Vance's imposing climb
of the integral north ridge.
My moment of embarrassment came on the rappel. A tight fitting seat
harness split my pants at the crotch and exposed my reproductive vitals
to the friction of the snow encrusted rope. The rappel was a free overhang
and I had no choice but to continue on down at a v-e-r-y slow rate of
descent. The humor of that unpleasant situation became apparent to me
only after we were safely down off the ridge!
The area east of the Cascade Crest, bounded by the Methow and Chewack
Rivers, contains 15 Big Boys. This 1200 square mile region of open vistas
and grand peaks is also the highest in Washington with an average elevation
of almost 5400'. The Pasayten peaks are also fairly remote and generally
require a full day or more for the approach. The Bulgers have traditionally
reserved the first week in October for their visits. The area is especially
beautiful after the first snowfall of autumn. The bugs are gone, the
larches have turned golden, and the peaks themselves become a pretty
Lizard's first visit to the Pasayten came in 1974 with Joanne Williams,
Frank King and veteran climber Phil Dickert. We got a few possible first
ascents along the Wildcat-Rolo ridge and collected most of the major
summits in Eureka Creek Basin. Phil had a rough time on the trip. He
became hypothermic on Osceola and fell on Carru. Two days later he was
suffering from such severe stomach pain that he had to be rescued by
helicopter from Lake of the Woods. We later learned that he had been
suffering in silence from a stomach ulcer since the start of the trip.
Phil is one of the most stubbornly tough characters I have ever met;
and it is of no great surprise to me that he got the first ascent of
Mount Challenger back in 1936!
In 1978 I caught note of an article by USGS geologist Rowland Tabor
suggesting that Monument Peak might still be unclimbed. The unstated
basis for that curious assertion was probably a helicopter landing by
the flying geologist. A similar helicopter ascent by a USGS survey team
was noted in the Star Peak register at the time of our 1977 ascent.
The lure of a BBFA (Big Boy First Ascent) was irresistible, and the
following May a group of Bulgers went in over Pistol Pass to claim the
prize. We had a successful climb on nearby Lake Mountain and Rus got
a probable FA on Lake Pinnacle. Unfortunately the weather turned sour
the next day and everyone except the Koala retreated. Rus got Monument,
but returned to camp mildly hypothermic and very disappointed. A 1978
first ascent had already been claimed by Beckey and Roper. Fred must
have read the same article -- and responded quicker!
The Bulgers returned to Monument Peak the following year for the third
ascent, and suffered one of their rare injury accidents. Mike Bialos
got hit by rockfall and broke a hand while leading a rope up Monument's
steep southeast escarpment. The Buf was belayed to the top of the ridge
at 8200' and left behind as the rest of our party went on a short distance
to the top. The stoic Buffalo never complained, and managed to downclimb
the technical stuff with only one good arm. Like Phil Dickert, the Buffalo
is one tough climber.
If I had to pick one trip as a personal favorite it would be our 1978
Trans-Pasayten Patrol -- a four-day cross-country sweep of the Okanogan
that included ascents of Windy, Amphitheater, Cathedral, and Remmel.
For me, that trip had a special magic that has never quite been equaled.
I still recall clutching Rus's outstretched leg as I struggled with the
exposed step-across at the summit of Cathedral; and I will never forget
cooking that 100 ton boulder at the base of Remmel Mountain.
The Bulgers rarely built campfires, but that night was an exception.
Our 7000', mid-October bivouac required more than a space blanket and
half-bag for warmth; and as the evening chill began to set in, Rus and
I piled timbers beneath a massive boulder and started a roaring fire.
After an hour or so of intense heating the rock began to crack and explosively
shed large granite flakes. We continued to add more wood in hopes of
splitting it, but eventually grew weary of the effort and fell asleep
comforted by the warm glow of embers and reradiated heat that lasted
most of the night. I still savor the comradeship, adventure, and pure
fun experienced on that trip. Those events are enduring personal treasures,
and best represent the spirit of the Big Boy experience.
Three years after...
Is there life after the Big Boys?
The Bulgers have been actively climbing together for more than a decade,
and in the course of pursuing the Top 100 have visited nearly every corner
of the Cascades. Their collective climbing record and knowledge of the
range is substantial and matched by very few others. Most of the group
have now completed their mission, and perhaps inevitably the fellowship
is beginning to fade. New interests, family responsibilities, and other
obligations are drawing the Bulgers apart.
Silas and Long John are now busy raising families and climb with less
intensity. Bruce and Bette remain fairly true to the Bulger credo, but
Rus and Big Bob have discovered other passions in life. Ken now lives
in Anchorage, and between trips to Nepal, pursues his alpine recreation
in Alaska's untrammeled mountains. John Roper's long term goal is to
climb every named peak in the Skagit and Stillaguamish drainages. This
HFK is currently only four peaks away from every named summit in North
Cascades National Park; and he, together with Dick Kegel, are well on
their way to the second hundred. Of all the Bulgers, only the Buffalo
has remained immune to the competitive aspect of climbing the one hundred.
The Buf marches to his own drummer. His commitment to climbing is a lifetime
affair, and he intends to save a few Big Boys for his dotage.
And the Lizard? He's back on his bicycle; but now it's a fat-tired model.
Bike mountaineering is entering its Golden Age, and every difficult or
unusual ascent is probably a first. The Lizard, now known as Shock Wave
Rider, has already placed his bicycle atop more than 400 summits, including
a fair number of Big Boys, and is planning ever more audacious climbs.
Is there a point to all this frenetic activity? Have the Bulgers attained
enlightenment on mountain tops or found answers to ultimate questions?
According to the Galactic Hitchhiker's "Deep Thought" computer,
the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
is forty-two. I personally prefer the Socratic answer to the question
of why we climb:
"... it is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness
before seeing what manner of man you may become by
developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest
limit. But you cannot see that you are careless, for it does
not come of its own accord."
-- Socrates, rebuking a young man in poor physical condition.
Socrates smiled when Reinhold Messner finished his eight-thousanders;
he smiled when Don Forest got every 11,000' peak in the Canadian Rockies;
and I believe he smiled when the Bulgers got their one hundred.
Ten Years After...
The Bulgers found their identity on the summit of Silver Eagle Mountain
on April 23, 1977. That date was the occasion of Koala's first soul-stirring
recitation of Henry Lawson's bawdy "Bastard from the Bush." The
poem is possibly apocryphal and generally considered too repugnant to
be included in Lawson anthologies. Rus, with the help of a King County
librarian, had to search the Australian Archives in Sydney for an unexpurgated
As the shades of night were falling over city, town and bush
From a slum in Bludgers' Alley slunk the Captain of the Push.
He scowled towards the north and he scowled towards the south
Then crooked his little finger in the corner of his mouth,
And with a long, low whistle woke the echoes of The Rocks
And a dozen ghouls came sloping round the corners of the blocks.
Bludgers came out Bulgers, but no matter. Our group had a mission, and
now it had a name.
Then the Captain crooked his finger at a stranger on the kerb,
Whom he qualified politely with an adjective and verb,
"Who is this that's come amongst us?" asked the Captain of
"Gorstrike me dead -- it's Fuckin' Fred, the Bastard from the Bush!"
And he begged the Bloody Bludgers that they wouldn't interrupt
Till he gave an introduction -- it was painfully abrupt.
"Here's the bleedin' push, my covey -- here's a bastard from the
Strike me dead, he wants to join us!" said the Captain of the Push.
Said the stranger: "I am nothing but a bushy and a dunce,
But I read about the Bludgers in the 'Weekly Gasbag' once.
Sitting lonely in my humpy when the wind began to whoosh,
How I longed to share the dangers and the pleasures of the Push!"
Early on, individual Bulgers got dubbed with alliterative appellations
of the animal kind. Giraffes are tall contradictions, Koalas live on
leaves, and what Buffalos lack in finesse they make up in power; Lizards
lay naked on warm rocks, and Zookeepers are needed to keep the wildlife
in line. To a non-Bulger, such animal designations may appear derisive;
however, the names were given in affection and have become part of our
Name & Rank Last Peak Best Year
0. Bulgers Storm King - 24 Aug 80 1978 - 91
1. Rus Kroeker Sinister Peak - 4 Oct 80 1978 - 24
2. Bruce Gibbs Ptarmigan Peak - 13 Jul 86 1982 - 17
3. Bob Tillotson SE Twin Spire - 10 Aug 86 1982 - 24
4. Bette Felton SE Twin Spire - 24 Aug 86 1977 - 17
5. John Roper Lost Peak - 24 May 87 1986 - 24
6. John Lixvar Goode Mountain - 2 Aug 87 1978 - 19
7. Silas Wild Dark Peak - 4 Aug 87 1985 - 25
8. Joe Vance Katsuk Peak - 23 Aug 88 1986 - 13
9. Dick Kegel Dome Peak - 2 Oct 88 1987 - 41
10. John Plimpton Dorado Needle 1979 - 12
11. Dave Creeden Jack Mountain - 13 Jul 97 1994 - 24
12. Jeff Hancock Goode Mountain - 15 Jul 97
13. Mike Bialos Ptarmigan Peak - 19 Jul 97 1978 - 12
14. Johnny Jeans SE Twin Spire - Aug 97 1994 - 26
Throughout this account of the Top 100 I have tried to recount some
of the early climbing history of the Big Boys as recorded in the summit
registers. A summary of these statistics appears in the comments column
of the Top 100 list attached to this appendix.
If I could make an appeal on behalf of register integrity, it would
be to leave original material of historical interest on the mountain.
A few well intentioned climbers have been removing old registers with
no thought to those who come after them. Finding a Fred Beckey first
ascent note or an old Ida Darr record is a thrill worth saving.
Duplicating old records for preservation is acceptable only if the originals
are left on the mountain. The replacement registers that I have found
have never been true to the original. These hastily prepared field copies
are often incomplete and invariably careless with important details.
More than one counterfeit Becky [sic] first ascent note has been encountered.
This practice should stop even if it means the eventual destruction of
historically significant material.
I confess to losing Fred's first ascent notice on Warrior Peak -- a
wind gust unexpectedly blew the note away as I was trying to dry it out.
Yet somehow I feel this end is more fitting than letting old records
moulder away in some unknown repository.
The Top 100 List:
Which are Washington's hundred highest mountains? This seemingly simple
question has no simple answer. The Bulger Big Boy list is only one of
many possible compilations; and other listings, based on different rules
or requirements, may have greater merit. However, since I am more or
less responsible for this version of the list, I will try to explain
some of the reasoning behind it.
The 400 foot rule is probably the most defensible of the three rules
that govern Big Boy eligibility. A larger elevation requirement, say
1000 feet, gives greater geographic diversity to the list, but does so
at the expense of many commonly recognized mountains. A 500 foot rule
has some numerical appeal, and has been applied to summits in Colorado
and elsewhere. However I feel the rule is flawed, since it cannot be
rigorously applied to peaks mapped with 40 or 80 foot contour intervals.
Since 400 is a common multiple of 40, 80, and 100; a 400 foot rule can
be applied to 7.5 and 15 minute series maps without interpolation. A
400 foot rise also seems sufficient to meet ones visual requirement for
a distinct summit. The USGS-approved names rule is somewhat less defensible
and suffers from a theoretical inconstancy. Mountain names are frequently
submitted to the Washington State Board on Geographic Names, and future
decisions could add new peaks to the list. Fortunately the Washington
Board operates with reasonable restraint, and in the past fourteen years
only one peak, Mt Rahm, has had to be added to the Big Boy list as a
result of a names board decision.
The names rule is only advisory, and I have chosen not to apply it to
named features on the major volcanoes, such as St Andrews Rock or Kennedy
Peak, or to collective names like the Crescent Creek Spires or the Tepeh
Towers. On balance, this rule seems desirable, since it allows the inclusion
of a few well known peaks whose rise above adjoining saddles falls somewhat
short of 400 feet.
The final rule is designed to deal with volcanic sub-summits. Very few
people perceive Liberty Cap on Mt Rainier as an individual summit --
its 472 foot rise notwithstanding. Lincoln and Colfax on Mt Baker are
more distinct, yet many people refer to them only as Baker's Black Buttes.
Only Little Tahoma seems to have established an identity independent
of its parent peak.
Applying an 800 foot rule to major volcanoes satisfies the above requirements,
but gainsays the perceptions of some discerning climbers. In particular,
the omission of Lincoln Peak is troublesome; and John Roper, among others,
has amusingly called this rule the "John Wilkes Booth" proviso.
I have examined some of the published antecedents to my 1976 compilation
of Washington's highest mountains and found them fascinating, but woefully
deficient. However this is not surprising, since the old lists are invariably
based on inconsistent criteria and incomplete topographic information.
The earliest listing I have found for Washington appears in Henry Gannett's
1906 "Dictionary of Altitudes in the United States." Gannett's
book lists 12 Washington peaks over 8000 feet, and includes a fascinating
discussion of some of our state's more unusual benchmarks. For example,
back at the turn of the century, Tacoma's official USGS B.M. was a crosscut
on a step at the entrance to McDaniels Cigar Store; while Marblemount's
313 foot altitude reference was marked by a nail driven into a cedar
stump west of the blacksmith's shop. One of the most comprehensive lists
of that era was compiled by state geologist, Henry Landes. Landes was
also president of the Seattle Mountaineers, and his list of 31 peaks
over 8000 feet first appeared in the November 1908 issue of the club
annual. The Washington Geological Survey reprinted his work in 1917,
in the now classic "Geographic Dictionary of Washington". 9400'
Bonanza Peak was still known as North Star, Mt Rainier's elevation was
given as 14,363', and Mts St Helens and Shuksan were estimated at 10,000'.
Landes's list omitted such notables as Goode, Logan, Jack, Forbidden,
and Eldorado; but included some relatively obscure summits such as Abernathy,
Bauerman Ridge, Hozomeen, and an unidentified 8250' Whatcom County peak
called Big Horn.
More recently, earth scientist Stephen Fry has directed his attention
to the problems of mountain mensuration. Steve has rigorously defined
all of Washington's major and sub-major mountains, computed their volumes,
measured their steepest faces, and enumerated the hundred highest using
250, 400, 500, 1000, and 2000 foot rules. Steve's work is comprehensive
and his lists certainly represent legitimate alternatives to the Bulgers'
My involvement in the Big Boy list stems from a strong personal interest
in mountains, maps, and numerical minutiae. In addition to identifying
the two hundred highest mountains in Washington, I have catalogued the
state's hundred largest glaciers, and have compiled a 82 year database
for Cascade mountain snowfall. My private collection of topographic maps
exceeds 6000 sheets, and includes the entire USGS historical collection
for Washington and Alaska on microfilm. Using the resources of such a
comprehensive map library to catalog the state's highest mountains and
largest glaciers was great fun and an extraordinary cartographic experience.
John Plimpton was a key contributor to the concept of the Top 100, and
John's careful scrutiny of early versions of the list helped to ensure
its accuracy. John Roper's thoughtful criticisms have also been helpful,
and had he been involved with the Bulgers during the first years of the
list's creation, its final form might very well have been different.
Until recently, distribution of the Big Boy list was restricted to Bulgers
and a few other trusted friends; and in fact, our list of the second
one hundred is still classified. However, as knowledge of the Top 100
enters the public domain, I hope other climbers will be drawn to the
considerable challenge and manifold pleasures of the Big Boys of Washington.
John Lixvar -- January 1990
First Revision Date: August 1993
Second Revision Date: October 1997
WASHINGTON'S 100 HIGHEST MOUNTAINS
RANK PEAK FEET METERS MAP DATE CLIMBED COMMENTS
1 MT RAINIER 14410 4392 MT RAINIER WEST 19 JUL 68 GUIDED ASCENT, 4:15
2 MT ADAMS 12276 3742 MT ADAMS EAST 19 SEP 71 HIGH WINDS DEFEAT MOST
OF THE PARTY AT PIKERS PEAK
3 LITTLE TAHOMA PEAK 11138 3395 MT RAINIER EAST 23 JUL 78 CAMP ATOP
THE 8800' FRYINGPAN NUNATAK
4 MT BAKER 10775 3284 MT BAKER (1972) 11 MAY 69 SNOWSHOE ASCENT VIA
5 GLACIER PEAK 10541 3213 GLACIER PEAK 4 JUL 71 2 DAY CLIMB VIA SITKUM
6 BONANZA PEAK 9511 2899 HOLDEN 29 AUG 82 #132(1961-1982) VIA MARY GREEN
7 MT STUART 9415 2870 MT STUART 6 JUN 82 8000' DAY CLIMB VIA CASCADIAN
8 MT FERNOW 9249 2819 HOLDEN 6 JUL 79 #3(1979) A LONG TRIP FROM ICE
9 GOODE MTN 9200+ 2804+ GOODE MTN 2 AUG 87 #3(1987) GET HURT IN BEDAYN
10 MT SHUKSAN 9127 2782 MT SHUKSAN 10 AUG 69 VIA FISHER CHIMNEYS. MEET
11 BUCKNER MTN 9112 2777 GOODE MTN 15 OCT 78 #7(1978) VIA HORSESHOE
12 MT LOGAN 9087 2770 MT LOGAN 26 JUL 81 #3(1981) 3RD ASCENT OF BANDED
13 MT MAUDE 9082 2768 HOLDEN 20 JUL 74 SOUTH SHOULDER WITH JOANNE WILLIAMS
14 SEVEN FINGERED JACK 9077 2767 HOLDEN 21 JUL 74 SW SLOPE WITH JOANNE
15 JACK MTN 9066 2763 JACK MTN 24 MAY 81 #15(1967-1981) 3RD ASCENT OF
16 MT SPICKARD 8979 2737 MT SPICKARD 20 AUG 83 SIGN A TWO DAY OLD REGISTER
17 BLACK PEAK 8970 2734 MT ARRIVA 19 OCT 76 WITH HELP FROM JOHN SPEZIA
18 COPPER PEAK 8966 2733 HOLDEN 31 AUG 86 #9(1979-1986) A RUGGED 8HR
19 NORTH GARDNER MTN 8956 2730 SILVER STAR MTN 29 APR 79 INTERESTING
EXIT FROM (AN INTO) HUCKLEBERRY CK
20 MT REDOUBT 8956 2730 MT CHALLENGER 19 AUG 82 #11(1980-1982) VIA CANNONHOLE
EAST OF SUMMIT
21 DOME PEAK 8920+ 2719+ DOME PEAK 8 AUG 71 WITH ED BOULTON ON PTARMIGAN
22 GARDNER MTN 8897 2712 MAZAMA 28 APR 79 INTERESTING SNOWSHOE APPROACH
UP HUCKLEBERRY CK
23 BOSTON PEAK 8894 2711 CASCADE PASS 25 JUL 82 #58(1966-1982) UP SE
FACE, DOWN SOUTH RIDGE
24 SILVER STAR MTN 8876 2705 SILVER STAR MTN 30 APR 77 GET BOTH SUMMITS
25 ELDORADO PEAK 8868 2703 ELDORADO PEAK 15 MAY 76 A 17HR, 9100' DAY
CLIMB. BIVOUAC IN A WIND CIRQUE.
26 DRAGONTAIL PEAK 8840+ 2694+ MT STUART - NE 9 JUN 79 GET EAST DRAGONTAIL
27 FORBIDDEN PEAK 8815 2687 FORBIDDEN PEAK 9 JUL 80 A 16HR, 6000' DAY
CLIMB. MOST DIFFICULT BB TO DATE.
28 MESAHCHIE PEAK 8795 2681 MT LOGAN 15 JUL 79 #7(1966-1979) TRAVERSE
TO EAST KATSUK
29 OVAL PEAK 8795 2681 OVAL PEAK 12 JUN 77 #7(1962-1977)
30 MT LAGO 8745 2665 MT LAGO 3 JUL 74 TRAVERSE TO CARRU
31 ROBINSON MTN 8726 2660 ROBINSON MTN 27 APR 80 #7(1971-1980)
32 COLCHUCK PEAK 8705 2653 MT STUART 9 JUN 79 VIA COLCHUCK COL
33 STAR PEAK 8690 2649 OVAL PEAK 10 JUN 77 #4(1968-1977)
34 REMMEL MTN 8685 2647 REMMEL MTN 9 OCT 78 UNMARKED TRAIL LEADS TO
1932 LOOKOUT SITE
35 KATSUK PEAK 8680+ 2646+ MT LOGAN 13 SEP 81 #5(1968-1981) GET BOTH
36 SAHALE MTN 8680+ 2646+ CASCADE PASS 16 JUL 72 ENJOY THE SEA OF PEAKS
37 FORTRESS MTN 8674 2644 HOLDEN 24 JUL 77 #4(1976-1977)
38 CANNON MTN 8638 2633 CHIWAUKUM MTS 20 MAY 78 A 12.5HR, 7000' DAY
39 'MT CUSTER' 8630 2630 MT SPICKARD 21 AUG 83 #5(1971-1983) NEARLY
STOPPED BY A GAP IN THE RIDGE
40 PTARMIGAN PEAK 8614 2626 MT LAGO 4 OCT 77 NO CAIRN
41 SHERPA PEAK 8605 2623 MT STUART 4 SEP 83 TRAVERSE A COLD NORTH FACE
TO THE SUMMIT
42 CATHEDRAL PEAK 8601 2622 REMMEL MTN 8 OCT 78 #3(1978) 1941: IDA DARR
43 KIMTAH PEAK 8600+ 2621+ MT LOGAN 20 JUL 80 #2(1979-1980)
44 CARDINAL PEAK 8595 2620 LUCERNE 21 AUG 77 #5(1971-1977)
45 MT CARRU 8595 2620 MT LAGO 3 JUL 74 PHIL DICKERT GETS INJURED ON
46 MONUMENT PEAK 8592 2619 MT LAGO 25 MAY 80 #3(1978-1980) 1-1978:BECKEY-ROPER,
47 OSCEOLA PEAK 8587 2617 MT LAGO 1 JUL 74 A FOUL WEATHER CLIMB
48 'LIBBY MTN' 8580 2615 MARTIN PEAK 8 JUL 78 NO CAIRN. GET BOTH SUMMITS.
49 CLARK MTN 8576 2614 HOLDEN 13 JUL 77 THUNDER CK BUSHWACK IS HARDER
THAN THE CLIMB
50 BUCK MTN 8573 2613 HOLDEN 25 JUL 77 #3(1976-1977) GET THE NORTH AND
51 STORM KING 8520+ 2597+ GOODE MTN 24 AUG 80 #2(1976-1980) CLIMBED
WITHOUT A ROPE
52 ENCHANTMENT PEAK 8520 2597 MT STUART 10 JUN 79 HAD TO SEARCH FOR
53 REYNOLDS PEAK 8512 2594 SUN MOUNTAIN 2 SEP 79 #3(1978-1979)
54 MARTIN PEAK 8511 2594 HOLDEN 15 JUL 78 #20(1936-1978) 1-IDA ZACHER,
55 PRIMUS PEAK 8508 2593 FORBIDDEN PEAK 7 JUN 86 #5(1980-1986) 7800'
BRUSH BASH FROM McALLISTER CK
56 DARK PEAK 8504 2592 AGNES MTN 30 MAY 82 #2(1980-1982) VIA SWAMP CK
57 CASHMERE MTN 8501 2591 CHIWAUKUM MTS 6 OCT 74 WITH DAVE MUELLER AND
58 KLAWATTI PEAK 8485 2586 FORBIDDEN PEAK 31 JUL 78 #8(1945-1978) VIA
59 HORSESHOE PEAK 8480+ 2585+ CASCADE PASS 5 SEP 82 #3(1980-1982) LIZARD'S
FOLLY: 80 FEET OF 5.3
RANK PEAK FEET METERS MAP DATE CLIMBED COMMENTS
60 MOX PEAK (SE SPIRE) 8480+ 2585+ MT CHALLENGER 24 AUG 86 #16(1941-1986)
SPEND 14HRS ON THIS DANGEROUS MTN
61 MT RAHM 8480+ 2585+ MT SPICKARD 21 AUG 83 THE EAST SUMMIT (PT 8478)
62 BIG CRAGGY PEAK 8470 2582 BILLY GOAT MTN 12 SEP 77 #4(1974-1977)
63 HOODOO PEAK 8464 2580 HOODOO PEAK 9 JUL 78 CAIRN, NO REGISTER
64 LOST PEAK 8464 2580 LOST PEAK 27 MAY 79 1961 USGS MARKER. BUILD BRIDGE
OVER MONUMENT CK
65 CHIWAWA MTN 8459 2578 HOLDEN 13 AUG 78 BETTE USES AN IMPROVISED STONE
66 ARGONAUT PEAK 8453 2576 MT STUART 14 JUN 76 A STRENUOUS 12HR CLIMB
67 TOWER MTN 8444 2574 WASHINGTON PASS 12 JUN 82 #2(1980-1982) A TENSE
13.5HR CLIMB OF THE WEST FACE
68 MT BIGELOW 8440+ 2573+ MARTIN PEAK 7 MAY 78 CAIRN, NO REGISTER
69 DORADO NEEDLE 8440+ 2573+ ELDORADO PEAK 30 JUL 78 CLIMB FINISHES
WITH AN EXPOSED CHEVAL
70 LITTLE ANNAPURNA 8440+ 2573+ MT STUART - NE 9 JUN 79 VIA WITCHES
71 SINISTER PEAK 8440+ 2573+ DOME PEAK 19 JUL 82 #29(1964-1982) LOSE
BETTE'S ROPE TO A MARMOT
72 EMERALD PEAK 8422 2567 LUCERNE 21 AUG 77 NO CAIRN
73 DUMBELL MTN (SW) 8421 2567 HOLDEN 12 AUG 78 #15(1936-1978)
74 DUMBELL MTN (NE) 8415 2565 HOLDEN 6 OCT 79 #2(1937-1979) 1: RALPH
TITERUD, 4 JUL 1937
75 SASKA PEAK 8404 2562 LUCERNE 20 AUG 77 #5(1956-1977)
76 PINNACLE MTN 8402 2561 LUCERNE 26 AUG 78 #2(1974-1978) 1: JIM PRICE,
26 AUG 1974
77 AZURITE PEAK 8400+ 2560+ AZURITE PEAK 11 MAY 80 #3( ? -1980) 2: JIM
PRICE CLAIMS A 2ND ASCENT
78 'LUAHNA PEAK' 8400+ 2560+ HOLDEN 26 AUG 79 REMNANT CAIRN
79 BLACKCAP MTN 8397 2559 MT LAGO 2 OCT 77 #2(1976-1977) A TREACHEROUS
80 BUTTERMILK RIDGE 8392 2558 OVAL PEAK 11 JUN 77 NO CAIRN
81 SPECTACLE BUTTE 8392 2558 HOLDEN 5 JUL 79 #3(1953-1979) 1:CROWDER-TABOR,
2:BULGER "A" TEAM
82 MARTIN PEAK 8375 2553 MARTIN PEAK 7 MAY 78 CAIRN, NO REGISTER. SKI
83 LAKE MTN 8371 2551 MT LAGO 26 MAY 79 #5(1948-1979) RUS GETS 1ST ASCENT
OF LAKE PINNACLE
84 GOLDEN HORN 8366 2550 WASHINGTON PASS 19 MAY 79 #4(1978-1979) GET
BOTH HORNS, ONE VIA CANNONHOLE
85 WEST CRAGGY 8366 2550 BILLY GOAT MTN 12 SEP 77 CAIRN, NO REGISTER
--- MT ST. HELENS (pre) 9677 2950 MT ST. HELENS 15 JUN 69 UP THE LIZARD,
DOWN THE DOG'S HEAD
86 MT ST. HELENS (post) 8365 2550 MT ST. HELENS - NW 8 FEB 87 SKI ASCENT
87 MCCLELLAN PEAK 8364 2549 MT STUART 10 JUN 79 #14(1978-1979)
88 DEVORE PEAK 8360+ 2548+ MT LYALL 15 JUN 86 #12(1940-1986) SIGN THE
DARR'S WY'EAST REGISTER
89 AMPHITHEATER MTN 8358 2548 REMMEL MTN 8 OCT 78 VIA CATHEDRAL LAKES
90 SNOWFIELD PEAK 8347 2544 DIABLO DAM 7 SEP 81 #4(1980-1981)
91 AUSTERA PEAK 8334 2540 FORBIDDEN PEAK 31 JUL 78 #4(1965-1978) INTERESTING
92 WINDY PEAK 8334 2540 HORSESHOE BASIN 6 OCT 78 NO CAIRN
93 COSHO PEAK 8332 2540 MT LOGAN 19 JUL 80 #5(1970-1980)
94 'BIG SNAGTOOTH' 8330 2539 SILVER STAR MTN 18 MAY 80 #7(1946-1980)
HEARD THE EXPLOSION OF MT ST. HELENS
95 MT FORMIDABLE 8325 2537 CASCADE PASS 19 SEP 82 #17(1981-1982) BASH
UP FROM S FORK CASCADE RIVER
96 ABERNATHY PEAK 8321 2536 GILBERT 3 SEP 79 #5(1949-1979) 1:RONALD
97 'COONEY MTN' 8321 2536 MARTIN PEAK 6 MAY 78 SKI ASCENT
98 MOX PEAK (NW SPIRE) 8320+ 2536+ MT CHALLENGER 21 AUG 82 #11(1941-1982)
A 14HR EPIC ON THE NORTH RIDGE
99 TUPSHIN PEAK 8320+ 2536+ STEHEKIN 12 SEP 86 #15(1940-1986) SPEND
26HRS ON 2 CLIMBS OF THIS PEAK
100 FLORA MTN 8320 2536 LUCERNE 8 JUN 80 REACH SUMMIT AT 6:00AM
1) Unoffical peak names are placed in single quotes.
2) The number of summit register entries at the time of Lizard's earliest
ascent are summarized in the comments column. For example, #132(1961-1982)
indicates 132 ascents of Bonanza from 1961 through 29 August 1982 inclusive.
3) This is the original Big Boy List as compiled in 1976, and modified
in 1980 for Mt Saint Helens. The 15' quads for Mts Baker, Challenger,
Shuksan, Glacier Peak, Holden, and Lucerne have since been superseded
by provisional edition 7.5' sheets. The composition of the Top 100 List
remains unchanged; however, the 1988-89 resurvey has resulted in some
elevation changes for summits in that region. However even these measurements
are now outdated by the recent adoption of a new vertical datum (NAVD88)
for North America. This general adjustment of the sea level reference
for the North American continent increases the elevation of most Washington
mountains by 110 - 130 cm. The impact of this change is so pervasive
(-40 cm to +150 cm in the conterminous United States, and up to +240
cm in Alaska) that USGS has yet to announce a revision policy with regard
to the new datum. It should also be noted that NAVD88 values are now
given in Helmert orthometric height units (computed using geopotential
differences based on observed, not modeled gravity) -- a change that,
in mountainous terrain, accounts for much of the difference between NAVD88
and the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929. The new reference station
for Canadian-Mexican-U.S. leveling is a tidal benchmark at the mouth
of the St. Lawrence River known as Father Point/Rimouski, Quebec, Canada.
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.