Trip: Mamie Peak - Ellation
What an excellent summer of climbing it has been despite some really hot days, fires, high winds, rain, sleet, and way too much work. For a busy daddy like myself, there might be a chance to squeeze in 1 or 2 more days of solid multi-pitch climbing in before chalking up another wonderful NW rock season.
Elation had been on our checklist for a while now and we were determined to NOT overlook it for ventures further from home. Elation did not disappoint as it offered 8 solid pitches of climbing practically in the backyard.
Since Thad and I live in Mount Vernon and Stanwood, we usually flock to Darrington to get our clean granite, slabtastic fix. While Mamie Peak has a "Darrington like" feel, it also has a flavor of its own. Be sure to have your comfy shoes on for the friction crux but also take comfort in knowing you'll get to put your hands on some facial features too.
There are already some great TRs and topos for this route on MP and cc.com so no need to get too detailed, but it should be said that if you live in Bellingham, climb at this grade, and have not done this route.....you should be ashamed of yourself
Pitch 2, thin fingers, don't plug up your jams with cams. This pitch felt harder than 10- to me. It didn't help that I kicked a cam out as I stood up thus scaring the piss out of me. Fun stuff never the less.
Pitch 3 10+ friction Of course the friction pitch is the crux for me. It's reasonable if you climb it smart. I was not smart the first try but then wised up.
Pitch 4 The best pitch of the climb. Super cool and strange moves. At one point both Thad and I let both feet go swinging off of monkey jugs. We thought we were at the gym for a moment but then felt our sunburned faces and only then realized we were slab climbing
Thad starting up Pitch 5. A little grainy bit of rot but who cares you're climbing
Pitch 6. Cool ramp, easy run-out to some well protected 5.10...sweet. Note: don't be surprised if you have to climb this pitch twice. There was a bail biner on an upper bolt which was kinda weird but we found out why it was there on our way down.
Pitch 7 10+???. Cool friction on the edge. This pitch felt easier than pitch 2 to me but then again I was on a top rope. Sorry to crink your neck, not sure why these last two pics are sideways.
Pitch 8 11b. great way to cap it off. The opening moves are steep and juggy and the crux is short lived. It took me a while to figure it out but you get a nice stance right before pulling the move. There is a tree stump that is too inviting to not pull on but everybody knows that trees are IN in the NW whatever....super cool finale to a super cool climb.
Rack of singles to 3", wires, 1 70m rope...60m will be short on rappels.
Drive to Hannegan Pass trailhead, Mamie is the big, terraced cliff to the left. A good topo and approach notes can be found on MP. Approach is short and steep, only takes about and hour.