FKT: Ashly Winchester - Abernathy Peak (WA) - 2021-06-22

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 41m 24s
GPS track(s)

Photos on Strava.

This was the first peak that I was able to join Jason Hardrath on during his Washington Bulger FKT, hence the supported style.

It was kind of a spur of the moment decision to join him. It was a hot day and I was worried about my fitness because I had spent the better part of the year injured.

I struggled a bit to keep up with Jason on the way up, but the scenery was stunning. The burned portion of the forest was full of fireweed and lilies. Scatter Lake is phenomenally beautiful. There was some snow around the south and east sides of the lake. Jason had pulled ahead of me and I found him on the North edge of the lake resting in the shade waiting for me. The scree slope at the head of the basin looked ridiculously steep. We followed a faint use trail and started making our way up the scree. It was the kind of scree that looks lose but is actually quite solid. I wasn't looking forward to coming back down alone.

My breath caught in my throat as I made my way into the summit. It was my first Northern Cascades peak, and the views were breathtaking. Jason tried taking to me and I don't even remember what he said, I just remember responding, "give me a minute." The summit was a special experience for me, and sharing it with Jason made it even more amazing.

From there, Jason left and headed to climb Gardener and North Gardener. I stood on the summit for a long time watching him make his way towards Gardener. I didn't want to leave, but eventually started making my way back down the scree. I veered towards descenders right on the way down to see if there was a better line, but the scree was terrible over there too and there wasn't enough snow for glissading, so I ended making my way back left to rejoin the route that we took up.

I filled my water with some snowmelt and started a leisurely jog back to the trailhead.