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#490806 - 08/23/05 01:24 PM [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Climb: Bear-DNB

Date of Climb: 8/22/2005

Trip Report:
Climbed the Direct North Buttress on Bear Mountain with Sky. We decided on doing a two day trip. Leaving Seattle early in the morning and doing the approach the first day, then doing the climb and hike out on the second. Sounded like a great plan to the both of us.
So...we leave Seattle around 4am on Sunday and headed for the border with our friends to the north. We were slightly apprehensive, and Sky had a few butterflies as we neared Sumas, due apparently to some run-ins with the RCMP and Whatcom Co. Sheriffs Office from a few years prior. However we were greeted by a very friendly Canadian beauty who's only question was what took so long coming back up to visit...
Once through the crux of the route everything else seemed like a breeze...we were home free now.
Except...true to form we lost the trail as soon as we were on it and found ourselves in a marshy wasteland cursing as we sunk ankle deep into the murk. This was followed by some nice hiking in old growth cedar forest, and then by some seriously heinous bushwhacking through more murky swampy vinemaple and devilsclub thickets.
After a few miles we located the trail again shortly before Bear Creek. Up the ridge and into amazing blueberry grazing grounds where we, and especially Sky, indulged in natures bounty.

We weren't sure if there was going to be water up at camp, but Ruta Lake seemed out of the way, so we decided to chance it and head straight to camp. At the saddle we could hear a water trickle coming off a buttress a little higher and went to water up.
The next morning we awoke at 4:45 to clouds and fog, and slowly ate and got shit ready. Decending the scree/talus slope down and around the NW Buttress was easy but tedious, and as we rounded the buttress the immense N side of Bear became visible.


Shrouded in swirling fog and cloud it looked ominous, feeling super tiny with this enourmous wall with huge buttresses dropping down around us I felt truely in the hall of the mountain king.


We put on crampons to cross and ascend the glacier to the toe of the buttress, up a little farther we found a nice place to access the slabs. We didn't waste much time getting off the glacier with all the ice popping and creaking and Sky and I both standing on a precarious looking/feeling block of ice.
I started up the slabs while Sky made himself a bit lighter. I tried to kill him with a 30lb trundle but failed because Sky even while squatting has the reflexes of a cat and quickly jumped out of the way to safety. With that excitement over we made our way up the slabs and did a bit of spicy moves in the tennis shoes before stopping to belay.
Sky led a pitch up to the top of a pedestal and then up to the base of the prominent dihedral. I got the dihedral pitches which went as one long rope stretcher. Super fun climbing with a little bulge to pass. We did one pitch for every two on the Kearney topo and quickly found ourselves on the big snow patch ledge.


We continued linking pitches up improving rock and climbing. Sky got the great corner fist crack pitch which we both thought was the best of the route...not technically difficult but nice and sustained on probably the best rock of the route. Up up up, and soon enough we were on top after 8.5 hours on the rock.

My first thought after topping out was "That's it?" WTF?...I had come expecting sustained hardish climbing and instead found mostly moderate climbing with a couple little cruxy spots. The only thing I could think of was the great line from Chuck D. and Flava: "Don't Believe the Hype!"
Quickly back to camp for a feast of smoked sardines, trout and crackers and we were ready for the long haul out.
This time we were able to actually follow the trail most of the way which makes life way better....then it got dark.
We took turns intermittently following and then losing the trail,backtracking,bushwhacking and generally wandering in circles until we stumbled out and onto the end of the abandoned road...phew! What a relief.
Back in Chilliwak we hit the pub for beers and Miccydees for burgers and fries and headed for home.


Gear Notes:
60m 9mm
Largish rack including some tiny stoppers

shoulda had: more tequila

Approach Notes:
Trail was hard for us to follow cause we're retards and bushwhacking is way more fun.
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490807 - 08/23/05 01:47 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
j_b Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 7639
TRs: 0 Photos: 22
it isn't a 'hard' climb but i think most people find the place a little ominous.

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#490808 - 08/23/05 02:21 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
Alpinfox Offline
Tebow Believer

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 5220
TRs: 22 Photos: 320

Damn, you guys are rockin' it this summer.

Nice work and great pictures.

_________________________
let's spank this pony and see where she goes

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#490809 - 08/23/05 02:46 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
Dru Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 30032
TRs: 29 Photos: 304
Loc: Collapsing State Vector
Is that a red Action Suit? like the real hardmen wear?

_________________________
t3h v01d, b1 d3f1n1t10n 4mless, there4 pr3d8s 4ll 4m & w1ll r3m41n

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#490810 - 08/23/05 04:17 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
pms Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 493
TRs: 3 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA 98105
or maybe a Devil suit.

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#490811 - 08/23/05 04:38 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
AllYouCanEat Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 587
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Tacoma, WA, US
We just call him the mountain peacock, but the devil is close enough. Seeing all of these rad trips going down from the saftey of my armchair demands death defying acts of standing up and walking. Only a devil would set me on that god aweful course. Instead of raising arizona, the mountain peacock is raising the desk jockey. The copy machine traverse is truly exposed. And the fax machine crack offers no protection? Yet, I managed to survive another day. Whew.

...Nice work guys.
_________________________
Photos
TR's

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#490812 - 08/23/05 04:48 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
ashw_justin Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 2562
TRs: 3 Photos: 20
Loc: Behind the Sev'
Quote:

I started up the slabs while Sky made himself a bit lighter. I tried to kill him with a 30lb trundle but failed because Sky even while squatting has the reflexes of a cat and quickly jumped out of the way to safety.




headline caption, NWMJ#3.
_________________________

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#490813 - 08/23/05 04:52 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
JoshK Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 5967
TRs: 27 Photos: 237
Loc: Seattle
Smoked sardines and trout? EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Nice climb guys. I've often thought about doing it, and yes, like you said, I figured it would be hard and sustained. Sounds worthwhile anyway...

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#490814 - 08/23/05 06:16 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Don't believe the hype Josh, it's super cruiser fun action.
It is definitely a damn fine, big route, but I've got to say that whomever Kevin Mclane is referring to in his Alpine Select book in the quote "likened in quality by one ascensionist to the Beckey-Chouinard in the Bugaboos" is clearly smoking crack or has not climbed both routes or both. Because the DNB on Bear IMHO does not even belong in the same class as the B/C route. But that's just me.
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490815 - 08/23/05 07:44 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
ryanl Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 176
TRs: 19 Photos: 424
Loc: shoreline
Nice report and photos. I've got alot of repsect for you guys.

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#490816 - 08/23/05 08:24 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Quote:

Smoked sardines and trout?




Yeah dog, you take those bad boys and roll them up in a little tortilla...funky fish taco. Make your breath smell for days. But damn, so good, ultimate summit food.
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490817 - 08/23/05 08:57 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
eric8 Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 851
TRs: 1 Photos: 28
Loc: uw
is the Beckey-Chouinard harder or just better rock/ better climbing.

How did you climb kearneys wandering 5.9 pitch?
_________________________
me you can't blame that on a snaffle squid I can if there is a snaffle in my ass...

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#490818 - 08/23/05 09:56 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
j_b Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 7639
TRs: 0 Photos: 22
Quote:

is the Beckey-Chouinard harder or just better rock/ better climbing.




both. but how many moderate alpine rock climbs are better than the Beckey-Chouinard on Howser in NAmerica?

Bear DNB is more remote and has more of a wilderness feel.

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#490819 - 08/24/05 08:09 AM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Beckey-Chouinard I thought was generally more sustained all around, and the rock is waaayyy better and the climbing more aesthetic.
I agree with jb that Bear does have a certain "wilderness" feel that the Howsers do not. Probably because there are so many people in the Bugs.

On the "wandering 5.9" pitch we kinda went straight up for a bit then around left and up some wild face climbing.
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490820 - 08/24/05 11:34 AM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
Question Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/21/04
Posts: 2
TRs: 0 Photos: 2
Loc: ?
Did you summit or just top out on the ridge?
_________________________
?

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#490821 - 08/24/05 11:40 AM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
skykilo Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/04/02
Posts: 1250
TRs: 25 Photos: 8
Loc: SF, NM
Hit the ridge and go on summa (cum laude) dat in-a-hurry bullshit. Beer or Bear? Beer.

That's cool you decided to post for such a crucial matter.

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#490822 - 08/24/05 11:58 AM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
lunger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 368
TRs: 12 Photos: 131
Loc: see atoll
Nice work gents. Doing the climb and the de-proach in one day is burly. We didn't have enough Knob Creek to pull that off.

Yeah, that corner fist crack pitch stands out, though many of its inferior kin offer stupendous position. A couple weeks ago we had clear skies (and hot!) which afforded spectacular views of Redoubt, et. al. Glad you guys enjoyed the route; I agree an outing on Bear has a wild feel, but even better, wild huckleberries!

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#490823 - 08/24/05 01:25 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Damn, those huckleberries were soooo good. Sky stopped and munched them by the fistfull for about half an hour while I napped on a large boulder.
The weather came and went while we were up there...mixed clouds/fog and sun. Mox Peaks were looking awesome poking out above the fog like a couple of huge fangs. Yeah!
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490824 - 08/24/05 04:05 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
JoshK Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 5967
TRs: 27 Photos: 237
Loc: Seattle
Berries are the best. The abundent blueberries were the only thing that kept me sane during the day of hellish thirst on Index and the hungry walk out. It is actually pretty surprising how much moisture those things contain if you eat them in a large enough quantity.

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#490825 - 08/24/05 04:08 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
Winter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 2372
TRs: 20 Photos: 188
Loc: freshiez!
and they make your shit blue on top of that.
_________________________
chriswinter.blogspot.com

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#490826 - 08/25/05 11:19 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
specialed Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 3466
TRs: 7 Photos: 56
Loc: Ripped and Gripped
Two days is fast!

Eric and did that route a couple weeks ago too. You guys are stalking us.

Nice tights, by the way.

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#490827 - 08/26/05 08:45 AM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
Lowell_Skoog Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/25/00
Posts: 2495
TRs: 4 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:

Beer or Bear? Beer.




Too bad you missed the opportunity to peer down the north face from the summit. That's one of the best parts of climbing Bear Mountain.

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#490828 - 08/26/05 02:46 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
Quote:

Too bad you missed the opportunity to peer down the north face from the summit. That's one of the best parts of climbing Bear Mountain.




If that's what I wanted to do I would have done the walk up.
_________________________
All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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#490829 - 08/26/05 04:08 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
JoshK Offline
sprayer

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 5967
TRs: 27 Photos: 237
Loc: Seattle
Yeah, it is still pretty cool to top out tho, even after climbing a technical feature. The thing I would have found most interesting would be if there was a summit register, and, if so, what kind of stuff was in it. That is always kind of neat to check out when you are on mountains that get climbed much less often.

Looks like even walking up that thing would be a bitch. All and all, it's hard to question a decision to just get off and go enjoy some .

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#490830 - 08/26/05 04:23 PM Re: [TR] Bear- DNB 8/22/2005
TeleRoss Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 696
TRs: 37 Photos: 288
Loc: green room
From camp to the top of the NB is cruiser hiking across talus and meadows. From the top of the NB it's a fair ways to the summit via easy ridge walking/scrambling.
Like Sky said, all we wanted was to get down and
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All I do is surf now...but might make a guest appearance on a mountain or two near you wink

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