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#1150845 - 08/09/16 01:04 PM [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016
bellows Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 152
TRs: 29 Photos: 315
Loc: Seattle
Trip: Yellowjacket Tower - Standard

Date: 8/6/2016

Trip Report:
My wife and I haven't gotten out together much this summer now that we have a nine month old baby girl in the house. But Saturday we got our au pair to cover a longer day and we set off for Der Town first thing in the morning.

The goal was to get on something with an alpine feel. Something new. Something with a little bit of a hike in, some mellow climbing, and getting us on top of a peak or feature or something. And the crux: it had to be round trip from Seattle in 12 hours. A friend recommended Yellowjacket Tower. In retrospect I'm not sure if I'd totally recommend YJT due to the looseness in the approach gully but it fit the bill on Saturday.

View from the road:

Distances in the Icicle are deceptive. It looked pretty close from the road but ended up taking us almost two hours at a leisurely pace to get up to roped terrain territory. Lots of unpleasant scrambling and a few quick belays got us to the nicely bolted belay station at the base of the actual climbing. Katie tries to give me a kiss for good luck before I set off up the first 5.4 pitch:

Katie following the first pitch:

The second pitch to the top was short and sweet. Nice exposure to the valley below and a single 5.4 boulder move to the top. Katie showing off:

A single big overhanging rappel from the upper belay station got us back to the base of the first pitch:

A couple more raps and scrambling down the unpleasant gully got us to the base and then a quick descent back to the car. Back to Seattle by 5:30 with plenty of time to play with the kiddo before bedtime:

It was overall an enjoyable day. Any day in the mountains with my wife is a good day in my book. For future reference, does anyone have recommendations for easy alpine climbs doable in ~12 hours round trip from Seattle? The Tooth is the obvious answer. We're looking for less obvious answers. Slippery Slab Tower looks like it could be a good less obvious option...

Gear Notes:
Light rack. Apparently a pink/red tricam will protect the top boulder move but it's not much of a move and solid pro at your feet protect against anything catastrophic.

Approach Notes:
Icicle creek mile 6, walk across the bridge & go up

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#1150846 - 08/09/16 01:44 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Ragged Edge? True Grit? Mile High Club? Those may be pushing it a bit depending on how much rushing you want to do.

You could also do the first part of Infinite Bliss on Garfield.

....maybe Silent running or Total Soul on 3 O'clock Rock in D-town.

Or you could just go hiking and eat lots of chocolate and drink wine. And cheese, don't forget the cheese.

#1150851 - 08/09/16 04:23 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: JasonG]
bellows Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 152
TRs: 29 Photos: 315
Loc: Seattle
Good recommendations. Vesper routes could be perfect if we get up and get on the road earlier. The 12 hour restriction is more of a "be home by 5:00PM for the baby" restriction.

#1150853 - 08/09/16 05:34 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
canela Offline

Registered: 05/08/16
Posts: 30
TRs: 5 Photos: 12
Yeah, Ragged Edge was great, but definitely get to the base of the route early otherwise you will be waiting in line (or go on a weekday).

#1150887 - 08/10/16 07:53 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
JeffreyW Offline

Registered: 05/11/15
Posts: 28
TRs: 10 Photos: 155
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sweet trip you two! Lookin good! Gotta put this on our Wish List

#1150891 - 08/10/16 10:10 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: JeffreyW]
bellows Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 152
TRs: 29 Photos: 315
Loc: Seattle
You mean put a kiddo on your Wish List? smile This climb would be a walk in the park for you two.

#1150913 - 08/11/16 12:19 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
chucK Offline

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 5935
TRs: 20 Photos: 67
Loc: the ruthless 9 to 5
Chair Peak NE Butt, Lundin W Ridge are both fun and easy. North Face of Vesper is pretty fun too (the big slab to the right of Ragged Edge), in case Ragged Edge is full of people. Just keep heading North on the ledge past all the people queued up for Ragged Edge.

Edited by chucK (08/11/16 03:56 PM)

#1151843 - 09/25/16 07:12 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
spotly Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 872
TRs: 34 Photos: 50
Loc: Mead, WA
I'm a glutton and actually enjoy the approach. Done it a few times now smile I like how you avoided the pitchy tree on the rappel.

#1151854 - 09/26/16 11:39 AM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
Kyle_Flick Offline

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 327
TRs: 19 Photos: 17
Loc: Cashmere,Washington,USA
I'd recommend Spontaneity Arete on Petit Cheval near WA Pass before the snow flies. Since it's below 6000' no snow on it currently. Good easy approach trail--45 min. hike to the base of short cliff bands, fixed lines through the bands, 2 hours max to base of climb, 4-6 hours climbing with 1-2 pitches of nothing any harder than 5.7. Rap the route with a single 60m--2 hours and back at the car for a total package under 10 hours.

#1151911 - 09/28/16 08:30 PM Re: [TR] Yellowjacket Tower - Standard 8/6/2016 [Re: bellows]
KaskadskyjKozak Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 17069
TRs: 112 Photos: 1037
Loc: Above Treeline
E ridge of Ingalls
49% Motherfucker - 51% Son of a Bitch


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