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#893003 - 07/07/09 11:58 PM [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) 7/4/2009
John Frieh Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 6192
TRs: 52 Photos: 1185
Loc: PDX
Trip: Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA)

Date: 7/4/2009

Trip Report:
Summary: First Ascent of the west ridge of Burkett Needle on July 4th 2009. Dave Burdick and John Frieh: "Smash and Grab" 5.8 M4 IV.

Burkett Needle courtesy of the great John Scurlock. The west ridge is the left hand skyline:


Alternative view from north; west ridge is the right hand skyline:


Itinerary
July 3: SEA -> Petersburg, AK -> Burkett boulder -> High camp
July 4: High camp -> west ridge -> summit -> rapped South Buttress Route -> high camp
July 5: High camp -> Burkett boulder -> Petersburg

Burkett Needle climbing history to date:
1964 - North Buttress (5.6) - Layton Kor and Dan Davis. August 9th. (1st Ascent and 1st Free Ascent)
1982 - attempt on the west side by Steve Monks and Damian Carroll. April/May
1995 - attempt on the South Face (V 5.9 A3 difficulty) - Joe Reichert, Gardner Heaton. March-April
1995 - South Pillar (V 5.10 A3+) - Greg Collum, Greg Foweraker, and Dan Cauthorn. May (2nd Ascent)
1999 - Le Voyage des Clochards Celestes (VI 7a+ A3+, ca. 1200m) on the south-east face - Lionel Daudet, Stbastien Foissac. May 29th (3rd Ascent)
2005 - attempt on the South Pillar by Carl and Bill. July
2006 - attempt on the South Pillar by Carl and Kale. July
2006 - attempt on the West Ridge by Dave Burdick and Micah Lambeth. July
2008 - South Pillar ascent to base of final 5.7 pitch by Zac and Nick
2009 - South Pillar ascent with a new three pitch free variation + 1 rappel that rejoins the South Pillar route above the aid pitch (5.10+) - Jens Holsten & Max Hasson. June 10th (4th Ascent)
2009 - West Ridge (IV 5.8 M4) - Dave Burdick, John Frieh. July 4th (5th Ascent)

Pictures and prose:
This trip was all Dave. Dave had the approach dialed from his last trip in 2006, stalked the daily NOAA updates and always immediatly called the both the chopper pilot Wally and local climbing guru Dieter Klose at the first sign of high pressure. It only took 3 years but he finally nailed a solid window crosseye laf

I wasnt expecting a second trip to Alaska this year but the phone rang the Tuesday prior and in a little over 48 hours later I was sorting gear in Dave's garage.

We were in Petersburg around 10:45 am on the 3rd... following a quick stop at the grocery story and lunch with Dieter we loaded up the chopper and a half hour later we were deposited at the Burkett boulder. We grabbed enough supplies for a few days, cached the rest and headed for a high camp on the ridge climbers left of the glacier.

Drop point; Needle in the background


One bag of chips or two?


Approach stoke


High camp. Radio tunes courtesy of a well positioned MSR windscreen


We left camp the following morning @ ~6:30 am and minus a few crevasses to avoid and an almost lost ice tool were @ the base of the ridge with out incident around 9:30 am or so.

Fat kids make better post holes


Dave drafting; Devils Thumb in the background


Can you feel the stoke yet? rawk


At the base of the ridge




The ridge started with a mixed pitch before leading into clean granite. We changed into rock shoes and started simuling

Let's get this party started


More please


Dave loving it... can you tell? smile


Following a nice simul block we encountered enough snow on the ridge to warrant changing back into boots (this becomes a theme)

From hand jams to ice tools




A few mixed pitches took us to the top of the false summit. To be completely honest when I pulled over the top of the false summit I wasnt sure if the ridge was going to go. It looked hard... at least to this sucky climber.

View from the false summit


We rapped in to the low point in between the false summit and the true summit for a better look... from below it didnt look as bad and Dave stepped up to give it a go smile

We changed back into rock shoes yet again crosseye


It turned out the climbing was significantly easier that it appeared and Dave made quick work of the best pitch on the entire route

Dave! rawk


Dave was nice enough to let me have the next one

My turn


Dave following


I brought us to the final snow summit where guess what! We changed shoes yet again laf

Boots for the summit


5th Ascent!




We rapped the south buttress route per Zac's recommendation and the suspicion Jens and Max had beefed up all the rap anchors.

Even though the rope got stuck 3 times this descent is the way to go IMO. We found the south buttress route topo was invaluable in assisting locate the next rap anchor.

Hi jinxs


Rapping the golden slab


The highlight of the descent was rapping the severely overhanging A3+ aid roof pitch.

Love the exposure


Dave's turn



We reached the base just after sunset. Speaking of...



Done smile


A quick stroll back down the glacier brought us back to the tent and a late dinner.

Headed home


The following morning we packed up and headed back down to the Burkett Boulder were we signaled Wally who promptly picked us up and whisked us back to Petersburg.

Love the 3 day weekend!


Shouting Out:
- Dave for putting this together. He made it happen! tup
- Dieter Klose for the beta, a place to dirt bag, rides and letting us browse his black book of climbs and history for the Stikine area. tup
- Emily for the airport service and tracking the spot tup

Gear Notes:
We took:

1 tool per person
crampons
pins
picket
double rack to a #3 + 1 #4 c4
double set of nuts (one set was burned getting down)
50' of rap tat (used all of it + both our cordelettes)

I'd recommend
Double set -> 1 camalot + 2, 3, and maybe a 4 c4
double set of nuts (keep one set in the bag for getting down)
lots of rap tat
tool per person
pons
picket maybe??? better safe than sorry?

Approach Notes:
Wally is the man

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#893005 - 07/08/09 12:23 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) 7/4/2009 [Re: John Frieh]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2122
TRs: 23 Photos: 569
Loc: The Emerald City
The memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime (Floyd).

rocken rawk brew

And for Max and Jens: tup moondance toad
_________________________
Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#893006 - 07/08/09 12:23 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: John Frieh]
olyclimber Offline

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 24457
TRs: 31 Photos: 838
Loc: In Love with You
Nice weekend juant fellows. Saw maxs pic and John scurlocks of the needle, what a cool place. Congrats to the both of you and to Dave for persevering.

Thanks for the tr. rawk yoda
_________________________
SNACKS!!!!!

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#893012 - 07/08/09 12:47 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: olyclimber]
Maxtrax Offline
member

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 157
TRs: 0 Photos: 34
Loc: Seattle
Way to get at it fellas. That ridge between the false and true summits looks pretty sweet.

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#893018 - 07/08/09 06:15 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: Maxtrax]
genepires Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 3426
TRs: 8 Photos: 59
Loc: monroe-ville
damn that is cool!
_________________________
climbing is good enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not good enough for climbing.

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#893019 - 07/08/09 06:21 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: Maxtrax]
ScaredSilly Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/01/06
Posts: 961
TRs: 8 Photos: 25
Loc: Ootah, USA
Did ya even break a sweat?? Props.

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#893020 - 07/08/09 06:56 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) 7/4/2009 [Re: Rad]
Sol Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 1639
TRs: 30 Photos: 401
Loc: leavenworth
rocken

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#893023 - 07/08/09 07:46 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) 7/4/2009 [Re: John Frieh]
billcoe Offline
Spray Master

Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 11673
TRs: 4 Photos: 870
Loc: pdx
In case you need one more dude to step and relay how awesome this is: consider me that dude. What kind of elevation/distance are we talking about here? Say base to summit and shoulder to summit?

Awesome job and TR.

Dave: tup tup for having his shit together.

John: tup tup for that and sharing the stoke with us cube farmers.

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#893025 - 07/08/09 07:53 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) 7/4/2009 [Re: billcoe]
TrogdortheBurninator Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1931
TRs: 20 Photos: 101
Loc: no longer between Ricks and th...
Awesome!
_________________________
"Burninating the Country Side, Burninating the Peasants"

http://www.zclipped.com

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#893029 - 07/08/09 08:10 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: TrogdortheBurninator]
climbaround Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 81
TRs: 12 Photos: 63
Loc: Lake Stevens
Yowza! Cooler than a moose and twice as hairy!

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#893032 - 07/08/09 08:36 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: climbaround]
crackers Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 769
TRs: 0 Photos: 9
Loc: PDX
rocken

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#893038 - 07/08/09 09:03 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: crackers]
marc_leclerc Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 1397
TRs: 40 Photos: 49
Great Job Guys... nice looking route.

In your little history of the needle I think you missed something, Zac Hoyt and Nick Elson did a route (FA?) in there a couple years ago.. I will get more info and post back to you...

okay.. this is Nick's Quote about B-Needle : "23 days of bad weather! Alaskan hardman Zac Hoyt and I climbed to within 100 feet of the summit of Burkett Needle via the South Buttress (5.10+, A3+) before being turned back by a fierce storm."

They didn't get an FA I guess..


Again, good work on your route!


Edited by marc_leclerc (07/08/09 09:07 AM)
_________________________
I prefer to remain 'signature-less'

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#893040 - 07/08/09 09:05 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: crackers]
Stefan Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 2167
TRs: 7 Photos: 9
Loc: the circus
ummmm. Wow!!!!
_________________________
Namaste - Whatever your outer appearance, I see and greet the soul in you.

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#893064 - 07/08/09 09:54 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: Stefan]
rmncwrtr Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/20/06
Posts: 1219
TRs: 2 Photos: 127
Loc: SW Washington
Awesome John and Dave!!!! Congrats! You guys rawk
_________________________
"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!" - Lucy Van Pelt

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#893068 - 07/08/09 10:04 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: marc_leclerc]
John Frieh Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 6192
TRs: 52 Photos: 1185
Loc: PDX
Originally Posted By: marc_leclerc
Great Job Guys... nice looking route.

In your little history of the needle I think you missed something, Zac Hoyt and Nick Elson did a route (FA?) in there a couple years ago.. I will get more info and post back to you...

okay.. this is Nick's Quote about B-Needle : "23 days of bad weather! Alaskan hardman Zac Hoyt and I climbed to within 100 feet of the summit of Burkett Needle via the South Buttress (5.10+, A3+) before being turned back by a fierce storm."

They didn't get an FA I guess..


Again, good work on your route!


Yeah... we met Zac in town... he was on the South Buttress route also so even if he did make the summit it wouldnt have been an FA. Super cool super motivated climber. They were turned back due to rime ice! mistat I did include it in the history up there.

Thanks everyone for the props! Something I may or may not have forgotten to add in to the TR here:



The rap off the A3+ pitch is so overhung one has to swing over and in to reach the next rap station... I had the bulk of the gear as being the fat kid was always first to rap to test the anchors and as you can see more or less suck at swinging around laf laf Dave was kind enough to capture it on video blush

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#893077 - 07/08/09 10:22 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: John Frieh]
layton Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7393
TRs: 39 Photos: 811
Loc: Stony Brook, NY
nice job!

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#893088 - 07/08/09 10:40 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: layton]
wfinley Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/27/04
Posts: 1201
TRs: 9 Photos: 12
Loc: anchortown
Awesome!!!! Way to dial in the weather!!! brew

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#893091 - 07/08/09 10:44 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: wfinley]
Alpinfox Offline
Tebow Believer

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

Super sweet guys.
_________________________
let's spank this pony and see where she goes

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#893092 - 07/08/09 10:50 AM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: wfinley]
Dan_Miller Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 445
TRs: 0 Photos: 1
Loc: Seattle/Heronwood
Up on the Stikine, it's all about the weather. Which is frequently very wet for long periods of time (hence the Icecap) even in the summertime. Obviously Alpine Dave and Dieter Klose had it pretty well sussed out.

Thirty years ago on this date I sat for weeks under the Burkett Needle and only fairly briefly did we see it. Luck with the weather gods plays strongly into making ascents in the Coast Ranges.

Really strong effort guys. I'm mightely impressed.
_________________________
'What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above.'

Rene Daumal

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#893137 - 07/08/09 12:04 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: Dan_Miller]
JensHolsten Offline
member

Registered: 12/17/03
Posts: 186
TRs: 2 Photos: 8
Nice work guys...love the route name! A couple of clarifications on John's info. The SB of Burkett Needle went all free at 10+, there is no rappel. Also, we did not beef up any of those anchors you rapped off. Original webbing all the way...nice work again!

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#893145 - 07/08/09 12:26 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: JensHolsten]
jon Offline

sprayer

Registered: 10/04/00
Posts: 5865
TRs: 4 Photos: 14
Loc: Plabville
Totally Baller!
_________________________
There can only be three Stuntaz.

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#893158 - 07/08/09 12:53 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: jon]
NoahT Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 211
TRs: 5 Photos: 68
Loc: Seattle
Geez, two PNW teams within a month of each other--that probablly counts as crowded up there.

Well done!

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#893160 - 07/08/09 01:05 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: JensHolsten]
John Frieh Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 6192
TRs: 52 Photos: 1185
Loc: PDX
Originally Posted By: JensHolsten
Nice work guys...love the route name! A couple of clarifications on John's info. The SB of Burkett Needle went all free at 10+, there is no rappel. Also, we did not beef up any of those anchors you rapped off. Original webbing all the way...nice work again!


Original webbing!?!? You guys are brave! You guys need to ask your sponsors for rap tat next time laf wink

I'm fairly certain you or Max's entry in Dieter's book mentioned a rappel...? confused

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#893163 - 07/08/09 01:15 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: John Frieh]
JensHolsten Offline
member

Registered: 12/17/03
Posts: 186
TRs: 2 Photos: 8
Max and I climbed two new pitches around the aid and then tried to continue a much more difficult variation on the SE face. We were turned back by steep, poorly protected rock and made a rappel back down to the top of our second pitch before shooting left (third pitch variation)back onto the SB. Future parties will not need to rappel, the only reason we did was to get back to the route.

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#893165 - 07/08/09 01:17 PM Re: [TR] Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Gr [Re: JensHolsten]
John Frieh Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 6192
TRs: 52 Photos: 1185
Loc: PDX
Ahhh... cool! I knew I remembered reading something about a rap so that makes a lot more sense... very cool you guys found a way to make it go free! Congrats again on all your ascents up there! tup rawk

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