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Gumby (1/14)



  1. Somehow missed this post until now. Nice trip and great TR! Here's what the register looked like on our visit in 2009. We could barely make out the 2004 trip on the bottom three lines. Looked like your name there John 2nd or 3rd line from the bottom under what looks like June 24,2004. Anyway, here's to climbing Olympic obscurities! Bob
  2. Thanks. No sign of a register, but I only looked around briefly as we could see clouds rapidly approaching.
  3. Trip: Petunia Peak and Sweat Spire - Date: 9/1/2012 Trip Report: With summer break coming to an end for my high school age son, he and I decided on an adventure in the Olympics. Our goal was to climb Sweat Spire (7580' according to the Olympic Mountains Climbing Guide) in the Needles above Royal Basin. Unfortunately no permits were available on Labor Day weekend in the upper or lower basins so we added to our fun by approaching from outside the park via Goat Lake and added Petunia Peak to our itinerary. This is on the ridge to the east of Royal Basin. Mid-day Saturday we headed up the Dungeness Trail to Camp Handy (3100') and then crossed the meadow there towards the Dungeness river. After some brush bashing we found a log across the river: We headed north along the west side of the river looking for the way-trail that heads steeply up toward Goat Lake. This trail climbs 2800' in 1.8 miles, much of the time alongside a large gash in the hillside which is visible from the vicinity of Camp Handy. Much rock debris in the woods indicated we were below the landslide-caused gash and soon we found the trail. Goat Lake (5922') was beautiful but we pushed on to the tarn at 6320' just below Petunia Peak. Goat Lake: Here's the northeast side of Petunia Peak from the tarn: The OMCG route is up class 2 scree from the northwest. But it looked like we could head up class 3 ledges on the east face and with some class 4 moves gain the north ridge: Easy scrambling led to the summit by about 6pm: After a quiet night camping at the tarn we arose in the dark and got ready for the descent to Royal Basin down steep scree slopes. We climbed up away from the tarn and reached the ridge at 6520' as day broke. The view across the basin toward the Needles revealed the spire which appeared impossibly distant (right of center on horizon above a snow field). We both spoke of the definition of "adventure" which includes the concept of an uncertain outcome. Sweat Spire: After some traversing across rock below Petunia,down we went: We arrived at Royal Lake a little after 8AM. We took the camp trail past the ranger's tent towards the water cascade west of the lake. We ascended boulder fields, talus, and scree towards the moraine at the end of Surprise Basin. Cresting the moraine revealed that the basin was full of hard snow. We stashed our packs, donned crampons and set off for the upper end of the snow just below the head of the basin. Picture is taken from upper end looking back down Surprise Basin at the moraine: We left our ice axes and crampons at the start of OMCG route 1B for Mt Johnson. Following the obvious ledge that ascended southerly across the lower slopes of Johnson led to a couple of loose rock-filled gullies alternating with 3rd class climbing to the first 5th class pitch below Sweat Spire and Gasp Pinnacle. (It appears the names of the two are switched in a few of the pictures of these spires. If Sweat Spire is the higher of the two as stated in OMCG, then it is the slender spire to the south of pitch 1 and Gasp Pinnacle is to the north.) This pitch was 30m of low 5th climbing with one move that was mid-5th. The holds were pretty solid but the route was littered with loose rock. I brought my son up and it was 2pm-- the latest that we had agreed we would start up the spire itself. "Should we go?" he asked. "Sure," I said. Our drop-dead for-certain turn around time was 3pm. Surely we could climb this last pitch in an hour. We headed towards the flake that starts the 90' class 5.2 route up Sweat Spire. This follows the rib above the southwest facing gully. The climbing was probably harder than listed in the OMCG which is not unusual. The rock was good, and there were adequate protection options but it took some excavating of loose rock at times to reveal them. Once on top, I brought my son up and he reached the belay at exactly 3pm. The webbing and cord on top looked quite old-- maybe even 10 years old. I placed my own webbing around a horn and we rapped off. I thought of cleaning the old webbing up but clouds were starting to come in we were going to be hiking out in the dark as it was. I left the mess for the next climbers. We cramponed down Surprise Basin as clouds enveloped the peaks, picked up our packs and started the hike out reaching the trailhead at 11pm. It was a fine adventure. On summit of Sweat Spire: Surprise Basin and Upper Royal Basin from the summit: Cramponing down with clouds chasing us: Gear Notes: 60m rope, light alpine rack, extra slings, crampons, ice axe. Approach Notes: Upper Dungeness Trailhead - 2500' Camp Handy - 3100' Tarn below Petunia Peak - 6320' Petunia Peak - 6953' Royal Lake - 5100' Sweat Spire - 7580'
  4. Yahoo. This is really needed. Climbers and campers can not always plan their poops optimally and the result is unsanitary! Let's keep this project moving forward. One question: Why is Fish & Wildlife charging access fees and providing nothing? On the bright side, one can visit a third-world type environment without big travel expenses. ;-)
  5. Took ax and crampons and used both last weekend on West Ridge. Crossed several steep snow patches on the route. There's a hard layer just below the softer surface that made me glad to have both. Climbed same route last year at about the same time of year (a couple of weeks later) and there is a lot more snow this year.
  6. Please see http://www.nwac.us.
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