Sloan Pk. - Fire on the Mountain - 2nd Ascent?Date:
Last week my friend Robert Lewis and I were able to repeat Blake and Rad's Fire on the Mountain
route on Sloan Peak. It's been an exciting couple of weeks for Rob. He climbed his first alpine climb ever the previous week when he followed me up Dragons of Eden in a long 19 hour car-to-car day. With Fire on the Mountain being his second alpine climb, it should be interesting to see his reaction when he gets on something a bit more standard. Nice job Rob!
We both thought the route was great. Impressive effort on the first ascent, especially pulling off the crux 1st pitch onsight Rad! Overall the rock was quite clean and very high quality. The dikes that riddled the face were super cool, at times they were so big it felt like climbing at Lovers Leap.
Highlights included the idyllic approach through old-growth forests and boulder strewn meadows. The amazing first pitch, the pitch that keeps on giving. The sixth pitch (our fifth) which start out with bona-fide overhanging run-out face climbing on giant dikes above a big ledge (exciting!) and finishes with a challenging steep corner. The summit of a peak in a part of the cascades I rarely visit. And the mostly chill descent. I highly recommend the route for those looking for a little adventure off the beaten path.
Unfortunatly our significant others were off on a Mt. Stuart adventure so no pics of this very aesthetic route.
A bit more beta:
When we hit the meadow with the large obvious boulder that blake and rad are climbing in their TR we went sraight up the scree field to the W Face and contoured over through some pretty lame terrain up and down a ridge that seperates the W and SW faces. The better approach is to start up the scree field for a bit and then break off right (south) and ascend to a low grassy shoulder on the ridge, that leads to open meadows below the SW face.
Pitch one is more like 50-55m long.
We easily linked p2 and 3 in a full 60m without simulclimbing.
The pin in the corner on P6 is no longer there. I was a bit above it, cruxing out, and went for a big reach right and it popped out of the crack merely on its own. The next few moments were "exciting".
We thought we botched the last pitch as we never found the roof that their beta described. Rather we went left at a bulge and made a traverse around a headwall on positive flakes. In the description of their climb it sounds like this is in fact what they did. Also it took two pitches for us to top out here. A better description would be:
P8: From the heather ledge tackle the main gendarme directly. Begin by climbing a steep boulder problem through dirty handcracks and a big chockstone. Move right to easy handcracks. Upon reaching the headwall either tackle the gnar directly for the unclimbed direct finish or move left traversing on positive flakes, belay at the end of the traverse or continue straight up to the top of the gendarme and easier ground.Gear Notes:
Doubles from blue alien to #2 single #3 and single #4, single nuts including micros.