Trip: Darrington, Squire Creek Pass - Pass the Nut's (FA)
I finally got up to Squire Creek Pass with Karen and Carsten to climb the wall to the north of the pass. Of course I forgot the camera:-(
I wanted to try to climb it ground up and clean.
We took a line straight up the center of the wall, starting with an amazing steep knob field with a dirty crack in the middle of it (5.9). An easy ramp leads to a perfect 5.8 finger crack in a shallow corner and then a comfy belay ledge. The second pitch traverses right under some bushes and then up, with a slabby crux. The moves are probably 5.9 but with no pro at the crux I'd swear it was 10a :-) The third pitch goes left around a steep bulge on a really cool natural stair case and then up cracks and flakes to the top (5.7).
Descent is a scramble down the back side.
Although there was surprisingly fun climbing it's not the family friendly route I was hoping for. There are a lot of expanding and detached flakes and you have to be really careful where you go and where you put gear. Some of the route is pretty run out and a lot of the gear you do get is marginal. I don't have any plans to put in anchors or bolts. If someone wants to put bolts in have at it. I climbed it the way I wanted to.
I'm calling it "Pass the Nuts" in reference to Squire Creek Pass and the fact that you have to be nuts to climb those flakes ;-)
All in all I'm really glad I finally got up there and did it. It was an accomplishment for me and the view from the top just blew me away.
00 tcu up to #4 C4. doubles on micro, fingers and single or doubles on hands depending on how much you want to carry up there.
60 meter half ropes.
South on Mt Loop Hwy from Darrington 2 miles, then right on the forest service road 6 miles to the Eight Mile Creek trailhead. Hike past Three O'clock rock to Squire Creek Pass (5 miles total).
From the pass bush whack north and a little west to the boulder field at the base of the wall. Follow the base north several hundred yards to the knob field.