With an iffy forecast most places in the area, but clearer skies expected over the Olympic Peninsula on Saturday, Erica and I decided to head over to climb The Brothers South Peak via the South Couloir in a day. Our primary goal was to have fun doing the route and our secondary goal was to finish in time to hit the Hamma Hamma Oyster Saloon before close at 5:30pm. My guess for the 15 or so miles and a little over 6,000 feet of elevation was that we could do it in about 10-11 hours.
We drove out on Friday night, slept in the car at the trailhead, and got started on the trail just shy of 5:30am. We expected some snow, so we went in trail runners with boots and crampons in our packs. We didn't run on the way in, but did walk pretty fast, getting to the camp in the Valley of Silent Men in about 2.5 hours and then the base of the couloir in about 3.5 hours (at 9am), where we dropped our trail runners and put on our sharps.
The snow section was pretty short before we started scrambling rock next to a family of mountain goats. We wove our way up to the hourglass before encountering snow again. This section got a bit steeper, but the snow was nice and soft with a bunch of steps in it already. We transitioned back to scrambling near the top and arrived at 11am, 5.5 hours after starting, sharing the last bit with a couple of guys who were doing the same as us but traveling a bit lighter and going a bit faster. We had a good time chatting them up.
We hung out on the top for a little over a half hour and had lunch before scooting back down. The snow was great for descending and we made quick work of it, especially the lower bit that boot-skied nicely. The hike out was uneventful and we decided to slowly jog from Lena Lake back to the car, reaching it at 4pm, about 10.5 hours after we'd started. We quickly changed and headed for the saloon, which was just as good as it had sounded while we were on the move all day!