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needtoclimb

[TR] Guye Peak - Improbable Traverse 6/1/2009

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Trip: Guye Peak - Improbable Traverse

 

Date: 6/1/2009

 

Trip Report:

Every time I drive over Snoqualmie, Guye peak looms overhead and smirks, whispering in my ear "you don't have the balls to climb me." Well, Deron and I decided to show Guye who's the man.

 

We started at the base of the talus field around 10:00, and it was all still in the shade. The lower half of the talus is pretty solid, but the higher we got, the looser we got until most of it was just scree. Take two steps up, slide back one, but we were determined. We got to the base of the climb and it looked easy, so we started scrambling.

 

The first pitch is 4th class straight up, taking the path of least resistance until you reach a series of small ledges, and in front of you looms a head wall. We then took the 4th class ramp to the left, with a couple of feet of very airy exposure. The rock here is lose to the point where you test every hold before trusting it, but there are tons of holds, so if one looks suspect, grab the pullup bar next to it.

 

We reached the second dihedral, where the low 5th class climbing starts. After studying it for a minute, it appeared to be the same loose rock with the same huge holds, just a little steeper. There were very few cracks, and seemed pointless to try to rope up, since it wasn't very protectable. We solo'd up a pitch until we reached a short, overhanging crack. This part looked a little bit more committing, so we roped up here and built a little belay.

 

Deron lead the crack, which was about 5.7. After 30 meters, he reached lunch ledge, which is obvious since it is a gigantic ledge and impossible to miss. Just make a belay anywhere here.

 

I got the Traverse pitch, which rocked. There is decent pro about every 30 feet, and the two pins are still there, though rusty and ugly. Had to clip em though, since there wasn't much in between. Nelson's guide shows this as two pitches, but I did the entire traverse in one 58m pitch. Just use double slings on every piece of pro, and you are fine. The traverse isn't hard, it is the spaced out pro and incredible exposure that gives it a 5.8 rating. The rock across the traverse is bullet-solid, a far cry from the lose blocks up to this point.

 

Deron followed to my belay, which was set in the obvious left-learning ramp visible from the ground. Here is was all 3rd, with very little 4th class, the rest of the way. We put away our climbing gear, donned the approach shoes, and followed the ramps as it zig-zaged the rest of the way up. Very easy.

 

We dropped down to the Snoqualmie-Guye saddle, and never did find the climbers trail heading down. Too much snow. We just booted down till the snow ran out, then bushwacked the rest of the way, coming out right at the lower Alpental parking lot. Got back to the car at 4:00 pm. A great climb.

 

Unfortunately, no pics. We both forgot our cameras.

 

Gear Notes:

Set of nuts. Cams from green alien size to 2" (yellow camelot.) Nothing bigger needed. Lots of slings. 10-12 slings, with half of those 48".

 

Approach Notes:

Take Oberstrasse road and drive up until you hit a huge pull out just below the talus field. Drop down 10 feet, and you are on the talus field.

 

The return is simply walking from Alpental parking lot back up Oberstrasse road. Took maybe 20 minutes.

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By far, the best beta on Guye that I have ever seen - good trip report!

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Thanks for the detailed TR, but can you explain why is this a "great climb"? Every time I read TRs it sounds like wading through nasty scree, soloing easy 5th class on super loose rock, one good traverse pitch, and then a whole bunch of scrambling and schwacking.

 

I suppose I should do this route someday, but there are too many other things on the list that seem miles better. Maybe pics will convince me otherwise someday.

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Thanks for the detailed TR, but can you explain why is this a "great climb"? Every time I read TRs it sounds like wading through nasty scree, soloing easy 5th class on super loose rock, one good traverse pitch, and then a whole bunch of scrambling and schwacking.

 

I suppose I should do this route someday, but there are too many other things on the list that seem miles better. Maybe pics will convince me otherwise someday.

 

It's 45 minutes from Seattle and has a 15 minute approach, but I'm not sure that qualifies it as great, just easy to get to.

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it is a "great climb" because it is highly visual to every snoq pass visitor so after a while, the thought of going up it just nags on the mind. Yeah, it is not a great rock climb but a good "alpine"-ish climb. Which means it must have a little of everything; looseness, some solidness, some scrambling, and topping out.

 

Been on it once and I thought is was pretty good. Not one to go back to every year though, unlike the tooth in winter.

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"Great climb" is one where I enjoy the entire day, have no epics, and get home in one piece.

 

Agreed, it is not a climb I would do every year, but I would do it again. It is close to Seattle (so doesn't take 4 hours of driving for a one day route.) It is a prominent peak over I-90 in that you see it every time. It had a little bit of everything; fun and exposed 3-4th class scrambling, couple of fun pitches on solid rock, incredible views, good approach and okay decent (a little bush-whacking, but not too much.)

 

It is just hard enough to make you think, especially with several hundred feet of air below you, but not hard enough to need 5.l1 skills or a new pair of underwear. At no point did I think "I am going to die today." (I am getting too old for those type of routes.) It has a definite alpine feel to it and technical enough that you feel like you are actually climbing a peak.

 

Hope this helps.

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"Great climb" is one where I enjoy the entire day, have no epics, and get home in one piece.

 

Agreed, it is not a climb I would do every year, but I would do it again. It is close to Seattle (so doesn't take 4 hours of driving for a one day route.) It is a prominent peak over I-90 in that you see it every time. It had a little bit of everything; fun and exposed 3-4th class scrambling, couple of fun pitches on solid rock, incredible views, good approach and okay decent (a little bush-whacking, but not too much.)

 

It is just hard enough to make you think, especially with several hundred feet of air below you, but not hard enough to need 5.l1 skills or a new pair of underwear. At no point did I think "I am going to die today." (I am getting too old for those type of routes.) It has a definite alpine feel to it and technical enough that you feel like you are actually climbing a peak.

 

Hope this helps.

 

The after work factor on this route is sweet!

 

 

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Nice TR. Sounded like a fun day. I'm told the steep crack directly above lunch ledge is a good variation. Anyone know about that?

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Nice TR. Sounded like a fun day. I'm told the steep crack directly above lunch ledge is a good variation. Anyone know about that?

i've done that - 5.9ish - skerry belay at top as there's essentially no gear to belay from - made my partners improptu decision to prusik the pitch shortly after falling repeatedly at the starting crux exciting!

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Nice TR. Sounded like a fun day. I'm told the steep crack directly above lunch ledge is a good variation. Anyone know about that?

i've done that - 5.9ish - skerry belay at top as there's essentially no gear to belay from - made my partners improptu decision to prusik the pitch shortly after falling repeatedly at the starting crux exciting!

Oh wow. Sounds like an epic waiting to happen. I remember that no-gear belay. I think I cleaned a crack and smashed a couple small aliens in somehow.

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The only reason it didn't become an epic is because Ivan is one hellavu good counterweight. ;)

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I love the belay one gets on the traverse. They can’t see you and that old pin is something I would rather not test. That pitch is a classic with the exposure IMO.

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