2017-05-28 Nihahi North peak and Compression ridge - BradOrr


Our route.. We'd gotten a bit off track in the forest on the ascent and ended up more on the front side of Nihahi. The common routes either come up the north ridge or circle further around the base and ascend to the col. From our location, we found a drainage and make our way above a couple cliff bands before re-joining the trail below Nihahi's summit.

Once on the summit the ridge walk along compression ridge was quite enjoyable. About half way round there is a big rock fin that blocks the way. To get around it we carefully descended some steep loose terrain before making our way back up to the ridge line which would lead to the Compression ridge summit.

Just before the summit the ridge became fun.. much narrower and more exposed!. At this point a smallish black cloud had gathered over the cirque and was starting to rumble. Conor felt his pole buzzing and the hairs on his hand were starting to stand on end. We ditched all of our equipment and moved away from it and waited for the cloud to move on.

When it did, we continued on to some ribs that intersected the trail just before the summit. We tried to avoid a short down climb by traversing down and around the rib which was probably more trouble than it was worth as we ended up down climbing some sketchy terrain anyway. From there we made the summit of Compression ridge.

Leaving the summit the trail led around another outcrop on the ridge that housed the first 'window' (hole in the rock) After passing by the window, we missed picking up on the trail, which should have regained the ridge.. It was starting to rain/hail again and it looked like another cloud was coming.. We decided to make our way down to the valley below and walked towards a gully that still had some snow in it. Once in the gully we were able to glissade and made some good time. Once the snow ran out, we hopped back onto the scree/rock and worked our way down towards the forest again, following the creek.

Later dark clouds formed and the sky was rumbling with thunder for quite some time it was hard to see because of the trees. We felt like we were on the proper trail now. Soon, it opened up into a big field and we could see the sky.. Then it started to hail a bit, which turned to rain.. and for the next hour we walked out in the rain on spongy moss covered ground.. It was reasonably pleasant and not too cold. The clouds were moving on in the west and the sun came out and a rainbow formed.. Just as we got to the car, the rain stopped. It was so beautiful.