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#1143237 - 09/24/15 02:08 PM [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper *****
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Trip: Mile High Club - a new alpine rock route near Vesper, Sperry and Morningstar Peaks. 7 pitches, 5.10a.

Date: 9/12/2015

Trip Report:
Mile High Club is a new alpine rock route that Darin and I put up this year. We hope you will climb it and enjoy it. The purpose of this TR is to provide information on how to find and climb the route. First ascent stories can come later.

We believe this route has all the ingredients of a modern classic: excellent climbing, solid rock, a striking feature and summit, grand alpine views, and a quick and easy approach and descent. The route ascends the southwest-facing buttress of a striking 5280 foot sub-summit of Morning Star Peak. The buttress is a very prominent feature on the east side of Headlee Basin, and it dominates the view from Headlee Pass. The rock, part of the Swauk formation, is metamorphosed sandstone, littered with positive holds, and devoid of continuous cracks.

Mile High Club offers seven pitches of excellent face climbing and exposure on the crest of the buttress. Its low elevation and southwest exposure should give it a long season compared with other alpine rock routes. Although this route is fully bolted, climbers must be prepared to handle steep snow in spring, multiple rappels on the descent, and some loose rock on ledges. Care should be taken to avoid knocking rocks off the right side of the route as these will shoot down the approach gully. For this reason, climbers are advised to wear helmets for the short scramble in the approach gully and avoid lingering there.

Hikers on the Sunrise Mine trail can hear and see climbers on the route. They could misinterpret shouts among climbers as calls for help and might even activate an un-necessary rescue. This is exactly what happened to the first ascensionists, who were greeted at the base of the route by a hovering helicopter with a spotlight and at the trailhead by a full search and rescue operation.

Season: May through October.

Approach: ~2 hours, 2100 feet elevation gain.

Drive about 28 miles east on the Mountain Loop Highway, turn right on FR 4065 (1 mile past the Dickerman trailhead), and follow it about two miles to the Sunrise Mine trailhead. NW Forest Service pass required. Follow the Sunrise Mine trail approximately two and a half miles to the last major switchback (~4300 foot elevation) before the trail begins zig zagging up to Headlee Pass. Leave the trail and begin a surprisingly easy traverse northeast across talus toward the Mile High buttress. Pass just above a large flat-topped boulder near the first set of trees. Follow a natural passage through the small stand of trees to a second open talus field. Continue across open heather and talus, cross a strip of trees near a rocky bluff, and ascend to the obvious red gully right of the Mile High Buttress. A convenient seep just before the Mile High gully provides water through mid-season and for a few days after rain. Scramble up and left on rubble-strewn ledges to a lone fir tree. Pass the tree on a ledge to a single belay bolt at the beginning of the route.

Route:

Pitch 1: Hero climbing up and left on steep jugs leads to a beautiful face and aręte. 115 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 2: Continue up the featured face to a belay on the crest. 70 feet, 5.9.

Pitch 3: Cross a large ledge and ascend a 30 foot headwall with some cracks and good holds. Easier climbing leads to the base of the next headwall. Note that an intermediate anchor about 15 feet right of the climbing line and 10 feet above the lip of the lower headwall is used on the descent. 150 feet, 5.9.

Pitch 4: Step right and climb a clean face to the base of a dihedral. 70 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 5: Climb the stunning dihedral and exit up and right to an airy belay. 80 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 6: Head up the lower aręte, balance on top of a large flake, and climb a beautiful face to a spectacular aręte. 115 feet, 5.10a.

Pitch 7: Make a tricky move or two on a vertical face, cross ledges to the final headwall, and follow a clean ramp to the summit. 100 feet, 5.8

Summit: According to USGS maps, the peak is 5280 feet above sea level. This inspired the route’s name. There is a summit register with a secret. Please do not post photographs online or otherwise spill the beans. The idea is that only those who have visited the summit and become members of the Mile High Club will know its secret.

Descent:
Rappel the route using the pitch 3 intermediate anchor. Avoid a pendulum on the Pitch 7 rap by lowering down to the large flake before walking left to the belay. The starting ledge is several hundred feet above the ground and rather exposed. Climbers might want to traverse back to the starting bolt before unroping. It's possible to pull the rope on the final rappel from that position.

Gear:
One 70 meter rope, 12 quick draws, and a few shoulder length slings.

First Ascent:
Darin Berdinka and Rad Roberts, September, 2015.

View from the point where you depart the Sunrise Mine Trail. The 5280 peak is on the left.


View of the approach from the route. The trail is in the sun in the upper right. The MHC gully is in the lower left of the frame.


Route overlay


Another route overlay


The start of Pitch 1


The top of Pitch 1


Pitch 2


Pitch 3


About to head onto moderate terrain on Pitch 3.


Pitch 4


Start of Pitch 5


Nearing the top of Pitch 5


Approaching the arete on Pitch 6


Arete on Pitch 6


Arete on Pitch 6


Pitch 7 just below the Mile High summit


On the summit at sunset with Sperry and Big Four in the background.



A taste of the alpine ambience:















Mile High Club is the right profile in this photo taken from the road.



“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” - John Muir.
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Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143238 - 09/24/15 02:40 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17396
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
congrats - can you go back and make it not be 5.10 please? smile
_________________________
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery

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#1143239 - 09/24/15 03:18 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: ivan]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: ivan
congrats - can you go back and make it not be 5.10 please? smile



Think of it as old school 5.9 and you'll be fine. Besides, you can always french free if needed.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143240 - 09/24/15 03:48 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Apdavids Offline
n00b

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 33
TRs: 2 Photos: 15
Loc: Everett, WA
Wow, a 7 pitch Alpine SPORT Route? Good work guys.
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Lost all respect and you look like a fool.
You should call Black&Decker, I hear they sponsor tools.

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#1143242 - 09/24/15 03:59 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
benmurphy Offline
member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 161
TRs: 17 Photos: 262
Loc: bardo pond
Looks sweet, can't wait to check it out!!

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#1143243 - 09/24/15 04:54 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: benmurphy]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2700
TRs: 103 Photos: 1645
Loc: Mount Vernon
Love it!
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#1143244 - 09/24/15 05:14 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Tyson.g Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1000
TRs: 7 Photos: 136
Loc: Bellingham
Right on! tup
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Please note I am posting this as a joke.


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#1143248 - 09/24/15 06:44 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Trent Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 165
TRs: 14 Photos: 170
Loc: Stanwood
Awesome! Thanks for all the effort and work!
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Walking is SO underrated!

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#1143249 - 09/24/15 07:16 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17396
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
i'm sure someone will be asking soon enough - hand drilled? ground-up? worry not, my ethics are thoroughly bottom shelf smile
_________________________
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery

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#1143254 - 09/24/15 08:23 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2195
TRs: 44 Photos: 639
Loc: Bellingham
It was done with a lot of grueling effort. Enjoy.

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#1143256 - 09/24/15 08:41 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: dberdinka]
lunger Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 402
TRs: 20 Photos: 149
Loc: see atoll
looks cool!

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#1143259 - 09/24/15 10:01 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: ivan]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: ivan
i'm sure someone will be asking soon enough - hand drilled? ground-up? worry not, my ethics are thoroughly bottom shelf smile


I will respond by writing a separate TR on the story of the FA. Actually, there are at least two good stories. So save your style questions and comments for that thread.

You'll have to wait a bit, though, because I have work to do, dishes to wash, and will be taking my 7yo to Camp Orkila this weekend.

Meanwhile, the weather is looking good for repeats this weekend. The summit register is ready for your entries.

And remember, the first rule of Mile High Club is you don't give away the secret. The second rule of Mile High Club is.....YOU DON'T GIVE AWAY THE SECRET. wink
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143261 - 09/24/15 10:09 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
OlympicMtnBoy Offline
Marilyn Monroe

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 1294
TRs: 39 Photos: 79
Loc: Kirkland (Seattle)
Damn, looks fun!

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#1143263 - 09/24/15 10:59 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
kurthicks Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 04/22/03
Posts: 2567
TRs: 26 Photos: 316
Loc: Seattle
I had the pleasure of doing the second ascent of the Mile High Club with Rad. Simply, this is a great route with good climbing, solid rock, an excellent position, and a unique location in the Range. There were numerous moments when I was grinning from ear-to-ear from the pure joy of this alpine gem. That said, the route is not without hazards and should be viewed as an alpine climb.

Go climb this thing and you'll be psyched! I was.

_________________________
http://www.kurthicks.com

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#1143281 - 09/25/15 12:30 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3531
TRs: 14 Photos: 111
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Looks pretty sweet and doable in a day for desk jockeys.

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#1143311 - 09/25/15 04:10 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
isn't there a route on that already? star something? 5.8ish put up in 80s. or does it vary from that? FA NED GILLET?


Edited by kukuzka1 (09/25/15 04:11 PM)
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train hard climb harder

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#1143312 - 09/25/15 04:19 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: kukuzka1]
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2195
TRs: 44 Photos: 639
Loc: Bellingham
You're thinking of Vega Tower located a couple hundred yards further south. Starbird Ridge 5.8,put up by Reese Martin and Jerome Eberharter back in the 80's. It's the right skyline in the second to last photo. Great looking summit and line, wonder if it's ever been repeated?

Reese Martin was apparently a well know climber and paraglider married to Charlotte Fox who died in a paragliding accident sometime ago.

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#1143317 - 09/25/15 05:12 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
ah ok thanks
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train hard climb harder

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#1143319 - 09/25/15 05:14 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
me and marko tried it years ago and I believe we got off route cause we ran into some 10ish stuff and bailed off it rightward
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train hard climb harder

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#1143320 - 09/25/15 05:19 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
Looks like a "modern" route with a lot of bolts next to some available protection, but im sure will be popular
_________________________
train hard climb harder

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#1143324 - 09/25/15 05:40 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Pete_H Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 2783
TRs: 7 Photos: 188
Loc: Der
Nice job! Looks like a fun route and cool rock.

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#1143341 - 09/26/15 09:52 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
rat Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 599
TRs: 13 Photos: 17
cool. i was wondering about that buttress when a friend and i climbed ragged edge earlier this summer. seems like that cirque might have another line or two. cascadian "plaisir" climbing...

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#1143363 - 09/27/15 02:17 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
mountainsloth Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 818
TRs: 26 Photos: 593
Loc: Seatte, WA
Cool! I have spent a lot of time in that area and always admired that line! Nice work Rad and Darin!

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#1143378 - 09/28/15 09:12 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
bmyers427 Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/13/15
Posts: 17
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Seattle
I went up this on sunday. We had a climber get injured on the rappel and as a result we had to leave a 70 meter rope on a horn above the gulley to get him down. If anybody is going up i would really appreciate getting it back. On a side note, this was an awesome route. I'm glad we could get on it before it gets crowded. I wouldn't want to be in the gulley with climbers on the upper part of the route.

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#1143380 - 09/28/15 09:46 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: bmyers427]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: bmyers427
I went up this on sunday. We had a climber get injured on the rappel and as a result we had to leave a 70 meter rope on a horn above the gulley to get him down. If anybody is going up i would really appreciate getting it back. On a side note, this was an awesome route. I'm glad we could get on it before it gets crowded. I wouldn't want to be in the gulley with climbers on the upper part of the route.


Sorry to hear that. I'll send a pm about your rope and injury. Yes, that gully is a bad place to be if people are knocking rocks off up high. We've put in a lot of work to remove most loose rock where it's likely to come off, and the gully scramble is short (3-5 minutes max). But there is some danger and helmets and speed in the gully are recommended.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143387 - 09/28/15 11:26 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17396
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
if you promote it, they will climb smile
_________________________
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery

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#1143398 - 09/28/15 05:43 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
bmyers427 Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/13/15
Posts: 17
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Seattle
to clarify for everyone else, the injury was simply an accident and not really related to the route itself. the climb seems pretty safe. most of the belays are protected from rockfall and we got rid of a couple blocks since we knew nobody was in the gully. overall it's a great new route. the grade seemed about right, it's well bolted and the pitches are all good enough that you don't need to fight for who gets which (although we did anyway).

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#1143403 - 09/28/15 08:06 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Two simple cautionary comments based on our experience and what I've heard:

1 - Top rappel (p7). If you try to rap straight to the p6 anchor from the summit anchor you set yourself up for a short pendulum across the lower face that may swing you into a flake. Instead, rap down to the obvious flake climber's right of the belay, lower yourself along it, then walk left to the belay. Don't un-rope until you're connected to the anchor.

2 - Bottom rappel (p1). The ledge at the start/bottom of the route is still several hundred feet above the talus and there are some exposed spots near the base of the route. It might be wise to walk back to the starting bolt while still on rappel. You can pull the rope from the starting bolt position.

Be safe. Have fun.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143434 - 09/29/15 04:05 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
fuzzy11287 Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/29/15
Posts: 3
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Based on the length of the pitches and the fact that you specified a 70m rope, I assume this cannot be safely rappelled with a 60m? Was thinking of heading up there this weekend to give it a go, but I think I'll need to find a rope to borrow.

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#1143436 - 09/29/15 05:51 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: fuzzy11287]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: fuzzy11287
Based on the length of the pitches and the fact that you specified a 70m rope, I assume this cannot be safely rappelled with a 60m? Was thinking of heading up there this weekend to give it a go, but I think I'll need to find a rope to borrow.


You cannot rappel the route with a single 60 meter rope unless you use some variation of tag line techniques.

Basically, you tie slings or cord on one end of the rope (in this case you'd need >10 meters worth), tie a knot in the rope at the new mid-point (35 meters if you've added 10 meters of slings/tagline to a 60 m rope). Wedge the knot against the anchor rings (all Fixe ring anchors on this route). Clip the knot to the other strand so you don't somehow pull the knot through the anchor. Clip your rap device onto the full length rope segment (weight to test BEFORE unclipping from the anchor) .Rap on a single strand of rope on the long rope end (not the tagline end)(tie a knot so you don't go off the end accidentally). Rap. Clip into the next anchor. Pull the tag line/sling end to retrieve your rope. Easy. But if you screw it up you could die. You should NOT try it for the first time 6 pitches up an alpine route. Go get it wired in a safe setting and find a better source of information than me. This is a useful trick to have in your toolkit anyway.

Or just borrow a 70 meter rope.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143450 - 09/30/15 08:42 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
fuzzy11287 Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/29/15
Posts: 3
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
That's what I figured. Thanks for the reply, and yeah, knowing how to use a tag line is a good skill to have for sure. I think I'll just borrow a rope though.

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#1143456 - 09/30/15 09:44 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: dberdinka]
joe_catellani Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/25/00
Posts: 40
TRs: 3 Photos: 0
Loc: ballard
This tower could be called "Vegan" since it it just N of Vega Tower.

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#1143476 - 09/30/15 07:36 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Trent Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 165
TRs: 14 Photos: 170
Loc: Stanwood
A great route with thoughtful protection. The rock was mostly solid with some really fun movement. A future classic for sure! Thanks to Darin and Rad for the vision and work!
_________________________
Walking is SO underrated!

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#1143486 - 10/01/15 08:29 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Choada_Boy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 2432
TRs: 4 Photos: 39
Loc: Your Mom's House
Looks like a great line, and a lot of hard scrubbing for both of you

I don't want to arm chair quarterback here, but I see in the pictures that there seems to be plenty of spots for gear next to some of your bolt placements. Perhaps a mixed line on such a route might have discouraged eager folks with less experience from perhaps getting in over their heads up there. Pretty committing location for alpine sport climbing, in my humble, unsolicited opinion.

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#1143506 - 10/02/15 07:35 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Choada_Boy]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: Choada_Boy
I don't want to arm chair quarterback here


As I mentioned above, I'll write up more on this route in a separate thread. Feel free to express your opinions there. Thank you for keeping this thread clear of bolting debates.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143572 - 10/03/15 02:03 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Choada_Boy]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
Quote:
I don't want to arm chair quarterback here, but I see in the pictures that there seems to be plenty of spots for gear next to some of your bolt placements. Perhaps a mixed line on such a route might have discouraged eager folks with less experience from perhaps getting in over their heads up there. Pretty committing location for alpine sport climbing, in my humble, unsolicited opinion
tup
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train hard climb harder

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#1143575 - 10/03/15 09:28 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
ewhittaker Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/31/10
Posts: 8
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
3 more ascents today, Oct 3rd. Great time was had by all. Super fun route. We did watch some natural rockfall occur at random from the top of the gully to the right of the route. Exploded all over that approach gully, but all three teams were on the route and safe. Take the FA team's advice and wear a helmet and move quickly through there.

And the secret at the top... very provocative and titillating. I'll say no more!

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#1143576 - 10/03/15 09:37 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17396
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
is there a popcorn maker up there w/ a 2 mile extension cord on it? smile
_________________________
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery

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#1143579 - 10/04/15 02:29 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1143637 - 10/05/15 12:54 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: ivan]
kukuzka1 Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 506
TRs: 5 Photos: 119
Loc: county jail
Originally Posted By: ivan
is there a popcorn maker up there w/ a 2 mile extension cord on it? smile
rocken lmao
_________________________
train hard climb harder

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#1143640 - 10/05/15 01:21 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
benmurphy Offline
member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 161
TRs: 17 Photos: 262
Loc: bardo pond
Thanks guys for all the work on an awesome route! We were one of 3 parties that summited yesterday (10/4). Given the shorter days we reached the summit just before sunset and had fun rapping down with headlamps!

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#1143644 - 10/05/15 03:09 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
alpine et Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 242
TRs: 4 Photos: 33
Loc: Maple Leaf
glad you guys made it down...we were rambling down the trail after being party number... 5 or 6(?) up Ragged Edge. Saw you guys rapping (pre-headlamp) silhouetted against the sunset.... looked like a long way down yet!
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Erik

http://www.highpressurephotography.com

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#1143667 - 10/05/15 10:50 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: alpine et]
fuzzy11287 Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/29/15
Posts: 3
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Yep, it absolutely was a long way down. The raps went pretty slow so it turned into a longer day than we were expecting, but all the stations were easy to find in the dark so it wasn't too bad. I will say that the climb doesn't seem to handle heavy traffic well due to limited space at a few of the belay stations, so if you're planning on climbing this factor in some padding for delays on busy days.

Other than that my partner and I had a blast climbing it.

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#1149595 - 06/23/16 01:10 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Steph_Abegg Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 269
TRs: 52 Photos: 204
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Here's my trip report for June 2016 (first party up there this season):
https://sites.google.com/a/stephabegg.co...es/milehighclub

If you are looking for a pretty low commitment day of "alpine cragging," this is a good route to consider.

Starting up Pitch 1:


Climbing en route:


Edited by Steph_Abegg (06/23/16 04:25 PM)

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#1149614 - 06/23/16 06:31 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2195
TRs: 44 Photos: 639
Loc: Bellingham
I'm honored and surprised you would dump my route overlays right into your website. But then again I learned everything I know from (imitating) you.
_________________________
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!

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#1149619 - 06/23/16 11:43 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Nice! The forecast is for 6" of snow on top of Vesper in the next 24 hours, so it might be even more alpine tomorrow...
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1149736 - 06/27/16 07:41 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: dberdinka]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25249
TRs: 47 Photos: 893
Loc: In Love with You
This looks pretty fun!

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#1150281 - 07/17/16 08:50 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Wellman Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/23/15
Posts: 5
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Seattle, WA
Just climbed this today. It certainly scratched all of the alpine itches: exposure, wildness, views, solitude (only party up there). Really fun pitches with the dihedral topping the cake for me. There is still a good amount of loose holds and flakes (P4 flake that you stand on isn't long for this world).

It has the alpine weather too. We charged up it while MHB was shrouded in mist and didn't feel a drop of rain through the partly sunny sky until the summit. By the end of the first rappel it had begun to rain. By the second rappel it was hailing and thundering. Third and fourth rappel we were rapping in a waterfall with the sky lighting up within a mile of us. At one point my partner felt a warming in his arms and his hair started to stand. Not my favorite place to be covered in metal doo-dads. The descent gully was also a waterfall and some pretty powerful flash streams washed out some upper portions of the main trail.

We made it down fine and with all the storming and drenched rappels we were car to car in 9 hours. 2 hours each way hiking, 3.5 climbing, 1.5 wet rappelling (didn't need the intermediate rappel on P3 either, a 70m got us to the ledge where we could walk to the next station).

Thanks for putting this up! It's a pretty stellar route and I really don't think it would make sense as a mixed route. The few natural protections spots are a pretty dicey mixture of unattached blocks and flakes with some excellent cracks.

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#1150653 - 08/01/16 09:45 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
BootsandPants Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/02/11
Posts: 292
TRs: 16 Photos: 48
Loc: under there
Climbed the route a few days ago and had a great time getting into an area I often overlook. Those moves out onto that arete were awesome! Fun stuff, thanks for the vision and hard work.

Quick note; a nut on one of the anchor bolts at the top of the dihedral pitch is loose. I tightened it down the best I could with what I had on hand, but it could use a proper tightening down if anyone is heading up that way and is inclined to carry a small wrench.
_________________________
Left Coast Livin'

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#1150878 - 08/10/16 03:10 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
eggplantalpinism Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/11/16
Posts: 4
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Looking to do this pretty soon, I have a 70m that a buddy hit with a pick on a mixed route...causing it to be a 66m. Are any raps going to be too long for a 66m rope?

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#1150946 - 08/12/16 11:18 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2195
TRs: 44 Photos: 639
Loc: Bellingham
Unfortunately the second rappel is basically a full 35 m. If you're comfortable rigging a Biner block you could use your slings and webbing to pull the rope. If you've never done it before just make sure to rappel on the correct side of the rope. Biner blocks create a situation that provides a really easy way to screw up and die.
_________________________
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!

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#1150961 - 08/12/16 03:40 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: dberdinka]
eggplantalpinism Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/11/16
Posts: 4
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Originally Posted By: dberdinka
Unfortunately the second rappel is basically a full 35 m. If you're comfortable rigging a Biner block you could use your slings and webbing to pull the rope. If you've never done it before just make sure to rappel on the correct side of the rope. Biner blocks create a situation that provides a really easy way to screw up and die.


We *barely* made it with my 66m, but this is correct. Biner blocks would probably work with 5m of tag line and a 60m. Would not recommend anything less than 70m without that knowledge though. Also, there are at least 8-10 bolts on route that are hand-loose. I dunno how they were attached, but we had to use our ATCs to screw them tight (they conveniently fit the lightening hole profile of the BD guide ATC perfectly). Little scary to see so many loose bolts though, they might need a different style of nut.

Also, the intermediate rap anchor next to P3 is very well hidden, keep looking on the big dirt ledge 4ish bolts up P3. Fun route!

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#1151652 - 09/13/16 09:28 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
A week ago nuts on all bolts were checked and tightened as needed. I hope to get up there before the fall rains fly and will check then as well.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1155472 - 07/05/17 08:48 AM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
MrGecko Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 319
TRs: 3 Photos: 187
Loc: Seattle
Rad - all bolts seemed to be in good shape less that eye sore which is hanging loose and well beaten but not removed on the start of pitch 3. Have you considered a separate rap line down the buttress?

RAPPEL ADVICE
If you end up bringing two ropes then you will only need them for rapping pitch 6 and pitch 1. Backpack the second rope for all other rappels and save yourself the trouble of getting the knot stuck.

Ideally use a 70m rope.

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#1155591 - 07/11/17 11:35 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2432
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Yes, a single 70 meter rope is ideal.

Thx for the update. Sadly, I'm recovering from an injury, so I won't make it out there.
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1155611 - 07/12/17 10:09 PM Re: [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper [Re: Rad]
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2195
TRs: 44 Photos: 639
Loc: Bellingham
Where are people getting jammed up on the rappel? I think adding a rap anchor (on route) 5-10m above the dihedral belay could allow rapping the route with a 60m rope and probably avoid the one really awkward station to avoid another group. (I think it's possible P1 could be rapped with a 60m but haven't tried it so watch those ends if you do!)

A seperate rap route would entail an equally massive amount of cleaning if not more since the arete seemed like the most solid rock on the peak. Not that I have the time or interest in doing so, but if the routes gotten popular would need to shut down traffic for awhile.
_________________________
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!

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