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#1069291 - 05/23/12 12:59 PM [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012
danhelmstadter Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 409
TRs: 88 Photos: 22
Loc: pnw
Trip: Black Peak - NW face

Date: 5/19/2012

Trip Report:
In a collaborative effort, Eric Wehrly and I climbed and skied the NW face of Black Mountain. There are ski lines that when viewed from a deceptive perspective, or through some camera trickery appear to be truly steep when in fact they are only moderate in slope angle. The Northwest face of Black mountain is not one of those lines. Steep, sustained, exposed, are words that come to mind when contemplating a description. Snow conditions were scary in places, but good enough for a complete descent in proud style. Rocks and holes shallowly buried with sugar snow, slick ice crusts lurking under variably meager depths, these conditions added spice to both the climbing and skiing. Little in the way of progress came easy, the ground we gained was fought hard for in places, and entailed many white knuckled / no mistakes hours of fun. As I write this days later, I am still in a daze of emotions and memories that will be long to fade.

We got some good pictures, this is my favorite one, Eric shreds the knar


John Scurlock photo Black peak NW face (left), and Black peak western summit (right).


This was our first view of the NW side of Black, we had to make a long steep downslopeing traverse on variable snow to get to the beginning of the NW face (far right). Eric Wehrly photo


On the traverse, Eric Wehrly photo


E$ climbing lower face


Eric Climbing steep sugar over rock and ice high on the face.


cruxin


Looking down on our route from the summit. Eric Wehrly photo


$


$


$


Eric Wehrly photo


Eric Wehrly photo


Eric Wehrly photo


$


$


$


Eric Wehrly photo


E-Money crossing a runnell mid-face


E-Money


Eric Wehrly photo


Eric Wehrly photo


Eric Wehrly photo


Eric Wehrly photo


Looking back on the traverse


Edited by danhelmstadter (05/23/12 09:50 PM)

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#1069293 - 05/23/12 01:04 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
skykilo Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/04/02
Posts: 1251
TRs: 25 Photos: 8
Loc: SF, NM
KUHL

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#1069294 - 05/23/12 01:06 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
jon Offline

sprayer

Registered: 10/04/00
Posts: 5891
TRs: 4 Photos: 14
Loc: Plabville
holy shit
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There can only be three Stuntaz.

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#1069297 - 05/23/12 01:29 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
downey Offline
member

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 112
TRs: 5 Photos: 72
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I thought you were probably being overly dramatic with the opening description... after looking at the pics, that's definitely not the case. Holy shit dude.. hats off.

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#1069298 - 05/23/12 01:37 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
Tyson.g Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 986
TRs: 7 Photos: 133
Loc: Bellingham
Right on Dan!
WOW!
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Please note I am posting this as a joke.


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#1069320 - 05/23/12 02:22 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
NoBoltsNoBeta Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 4
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: The Daks
holy crap.
that is crazy steep.
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disclaimer: do not use nut tools as sky hooks or pitons.

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#1069323 - 05/23/12 02:31 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
AlpineK Offline

Spray Master

Registered: 11/08/00
Posts: 11330
TRs: 69 Photos: 907
Loc: Seattle, WA
Kick Ass tup

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#1069326 - 05/23/12 02:34 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
SeanO Offline
member

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 120
TRs: 0 Photos: 1
Loc: Seattle, WA
That's just insane. Wow. shock

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#1069338 - 05/23/12 03:27 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
powdherb Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 58
TRs: 26 Photos: 0
When we skied Black last May, right after we saw you, I took a look down the NW face. While potentially skiable, I thought, it was improbable. It's a proud face; really steep, sustained, committing, and by the looks of it technical.

Good work. This is a significant line.

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#1069351 - 05/23/12 04:22 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
j_b Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 7639
TRs: 0 Photos: 22
Wow! Your posts have a tendency to leave me speechless.

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#1069360 - 05/23/12 04:41 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
Atraslin Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/21/09
Posts: 17
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: North Vancouver,BC
Hours of white nuckled fun, good to see you guys pulled it off.

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#1069366 - 05/23/12 05:28 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: Atraslin]
JasonG Online   sleepy
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2067
TRs: 83 Photos: 1228
Loc: Mount Vernon
Had this face even ever been climbed before? Strong work!
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#1069372 - 05/23/12 05:42 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: JasonG]
ZimZam Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1850
TRs: 1 Photos: 61
You guys smoked it! rawk

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#1069375 - 05/23/12 05:46 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
YocumRidge Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 1230
TRs: 44 Photos: 634
Loc: PDX
Is that for real? brew
_________________________
"Dragged by the force of some inner tide" ~ David Gilmour

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#1069400 - 05/23/12 08:30 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: JasonG]
Lowell_Skoog Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/25/00
Posts: 2511
TRs: 4 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: JasonG
Had this face even ever been climbed before?

The first ascent was made by my brothers Gordy and Carl in August 1978. Gary Brill and I did the second ascent in May 1979 under snowy conditions similar to the ski descent.

When Gary and I climbed the face, we were climber's left of the central rib. Our route had a step that I don't think would be skiable. I'm guessing that you guys were skier's left of the rib. Correct?

Glad you had a safe trip...

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#1069403 - 05/23/12 08:34 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: Atraslin]
Pete_H Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 2717
TRs: 7 Photos: 188
Loc: Der
Originally Posted By: Atraslin
Hours of white nuckled fun,


For Dan to say that, shit must have been real.

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#1069412 - 05/23/12 08:55 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: Pete_H]
telemarker Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/17/01
Posts: 1578
TRs: 68 Photos: 1029
Loc: Wenatchee, WA U.S.A
Eric and Dan. The Lebron James and Duane Wade of the skiing world. I'm just fascinated you guys were able to take one hand off a pole and maintain an edge to take photos!


Edited by telemarker (05/23/12 08:59 PM)
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#1069414 - 05/23/12 09:02 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
mountainsloth Online   content
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 783
TRs: 25 Photos: 571
Loc: Seatte, WA
you guys are crazy.... crazy skilled.... and well... just shock

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#1069418 - 05/23/12 09:39 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: mountainsloth]
JasonG Online   sleepy
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2067
TRs: 83 Photos: 1228
Loc: Mount Vernon
Thanks for the history Lowell. I saw the original summer line on the rib, but didn't know if it had been ascended in spring conditions. I should have known!
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#1069426 - 05/23/12 10:22 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
justcallmegary Offline
n00b

Registered: 07/30/11
Posts: 40
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Hood River
Holy shit! Almost peed my pants from here!
_________________________
"Climbing is hard to give up, it's just as hard to give up as cigarettes." Layton Kor.

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#1069427 - 05/23/12 10:22 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: JasonG]
mick_scott Offline
n00b

Registered: 02/04/11
Posts: 30
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
NIce work guys! thanks for all of the inspiring pictures -

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#1069428 - 05/23/12 10:29 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: mick_scott]
Noodle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/01/07
Posts: 60
TRs: 9 Photos: 95
Woah, awesome!

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#1069430 - 05/23/12 11:05 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: Noodle]
Sol Online   devil
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 1673
TRs: 30 Photos: 404
Loc: leavenworth
Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick!

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#1069432 - 05/23/12 11:29 PM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: danhelmstadter]
Whatcomboy Offline
member

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 188
TRs: 14 Photos: 82
Loc: hwy 542
Another amazing TR Dan.

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#1069436 - 05/24/12 01:09 AM Re: [TR] Black Peak - NW face 5/19/2012 [Re: Whatcomboy]
Josh Lewis Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 566
TRs: 43 Photos: 68
Loc: Lynnwood, WA
I usually don't read trip reports. But when I do, they are usually of pretty cool routes. Good work folks.
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