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Found 31 results

  1. Trip: Squeah Mountain (1798m) - NE Couloir to N Ridge (FA?) Date: 4/1/2007 Trip Report: Jordop, J_Mace, Stemalot, Dr.Hook and I climbed this route on Sunday via Deneau Creek. We could 4wd to the first fork in the road at around 540m elevation. From there it's maybe an hour and a half of walking to get to the road end in the bowl east of Squeah. The most obvious couloir imaginable leads to the col north of Squeah. Good potential for a ski descent. (550m vertical, 35 to 40 degrees). From the col we wandred up the north ridge of Squeah (NTD) in a whiteout until we reached a highpoint that could have been the summit. With visibility about 2m in all directions, we decided that it was, and descended rapidly. Da route In da gully. Summit ridge whiteout. jordop froze an eye shut. Stemalot doing some extreme jeeping on the way out with jmace giving guidance. Gear Notes: One ice axe and crampons sufficient. No technical climbing. Approach Notes: Deneau Creek requires 4wd-hc and narrow vehicle to fit past large stump (see photo). Snowline currently 600m +/-. Road driveable to 540m.
  2. Climb: Back of Beyond Buttress 2nd Ascent-Original Route Date of Climb: 8/19/2005 Trip Report: Longpause and I did the much coveted 2nd ascent of Back of Beyond Buttress last friday. She said she'd write the TR, if I posted the photos and wrote a little, so here i go. I'll be boring so she'll have to fill in the details with lies and hyperbole. After 3 years of multiple failed attempts by other parties on Jordan Peters and my route which we wholeheartedly attest to be one of the best alpine rock climbs anywhere (forest fires, road issues, lost, broken bones, as has been reported to us) Longpause and I serendipitously strolled in and out and had a wonderful time. Better than I remember actually. Here is the original TR http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/threadz/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/61928/page/0/fpart/all/vc/1 have fun cutting and pasting that link Anyway...what can i say. Longpause was SOLID. She fucking soared up her pitches, and ran it out a little to boot. Made me feel like a total pussy. I'd belay at the end of the 5.8 section just above the fun overlap move on the 1st pitch. 2nd pitch is long and steep with a spicy traverse. Go straight up from the belay on p.1, go up for a long time until you are bear hugging a detached flake and traverse left into the next crack on face holds. go up a few feet (10 feet?) and do an even scarier traverse left into the 3rd crack system. you'll see a white cleaned out crack that takes a blind #1 camalot. this is your belay too. save two #1's and a .75 for this belay. go straight up again on pitch 3 until a thin sharp ledge is reached just below the top of the enduracne slab. good place for a belay. the rock is whitish yellow here. there's a tree to the right (don't go there to belay, bad rock) and above are bottoming grooves you need to pinch. the 4th pitch is short. after the slab you'll see a bunch of dead snags. go left past the one directly above the slab, and into a corner system with the next dead snag. amazingly fun and steep cracks and jugs. a 5.9 pitch (finally!) 6th pitch goes up and right into a hopefully obvious thin 10b corner that is super pumpy and technical. after that it's a 5.8-4th class ridge for a while on great rock and fun exposure and cracks. walk off...go down and right hugging the edge. avoid the 1st gully, it blanks out into a cliff, go down to the 2nd in a grove of trees and you should easily see the ground. walk out. no raps. stash your crap at the base of this so you don't have to go back to he base of the climb. take a compass bearing on the hike out b/c the valley bottom gets confusing in the dark if you left the car at noon and screwed around on the summit. The Playa's Longpause on the 1st pitch. Purrrfect! Looking down atop pitch 2 on the only rest i could find. Longpause follows the most amazing of pitches Longpause 1/2 way through the traverse yup, she hogged the camera time... Longpause on top, scopin' routes. And, rounding out the exerience with some mellow squamish craggin! so any camera tilt was unintentional, i was busy belaying or climbing at the same time. i did rotate the photos as best i could, but had to crop some after doing so. it's way steeper than it looks from a distance or the base especially so before you go screaming "camera tilt" go climb it 1st. you'll never complain about tilt or soft grades or crappy rock on any inch of this climb. Gear Notes: tripple set of camalots .5 to 1, double set of cams yellow alien or metolius tcu and #2 camalot. single set blue alien, green alien, red alien (or grey tcu, blue and orange tcu), and a #3 and #3.5 camalot. small selection of nuts, 10-14 slings and draws. one rope cuz bailing isn't much of an option until the top of the slab (one rope rap off to climbs left atop the slab to bail into gully)...it's straight in hand for most of the route with few constrictions...pumpy! water year round in the talus if you want to camp, great bivy spots, lots of bouldering proj's too. lake at top of cirque. many many 1-3 pitch climbs everywhere. amazing bivy opps on summit! lots of mountains to climb everywhere. B.O.B. is about 9 pitches III 10b..should take a solid party 6-7 hours up from base. the slab is ultra sustained jamming on pure granite joy. the upper ridge is super fun. Jordans topo isn't that great. The 10b pitch on the ridge is on the crest as is the rest of the climb, not to the left. p1 5.8 1/2 rope legnth p2 sustained and long 10b, most of the rope. best single pitch in the alpine i've ever come across p3 same p4 1/2 rope 10b p5 full rope 5.9-10a var p6. 10b corner full rope p7. 5.8 steep but ledgy cracks on ridge crest full rope p8-9 sections of short steep cracks on mostly easy ridge. simul or solo if you got this far without freaking out. the summit is a ways from here, but well worth the hike. great bouldering proj's on white sierra granite. BRING BIKES JUST IN CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hint hint hint hint hint Approach Notes: 1.5 no more to base. 45 min schwack, 45 min talus. Boston Bar on Hwy 1, left to North Bend. Cross Fraser River. Go N, left on Nahatlich (sp?) FSR for a while, Left on Kooapi creek FSR just after crossing the creek, drive a bit, right off spur road after 10-15min that crosses river and has a yellow gate, cross bridge with yellow gate and turn right (head north) road wraps around into the valley, you'll see a double summit mountain. park car. walk road across massive cross ditch (impassible) for 1/2 mile, BOB should become clear within minutes from car. Go directly across from mtn. Sorry again for the boring TR. I wanted to spray more, but it's your turn damnit! Found jordan's original TR from Bivouac.com...a bit less harrowing than the story goes... "With the summer drawing to a close I was still itching to get out and do some nice rock routes. I had some nice trips here and there but had mostly wasted my time wandering around looking for elusive stone, becoming quite proficient at bushwacking and "terrain finding" but also not doing very much climbing. I was also wearing thin the patience of my partners and my typical "bushwacks to nowhere" were beginning to earn me a bit of a reputation among my friends! So it was that I called on Mike in the hope that his ability and energy would get us up something. We had originally planned to head into a corner of the Chehalis for a poke around but weren't all that blown away with the bushwacking involved. After stopping way up a spur off the Harrison West FSR, Mike noticed that his water bladder had exploded during the rough drive and had completely drenched all his belongings in his duffel bag, clothes, guidebooks, everything. So we resigned ourselves to driving around looking at possible routes to do, one by one finding something wrong with each of them until I was starting to wonder if the trip wasn't destined to turn into one of those drinking tours of far flung southwest BC rec sites. We then decided to find some rec site for the night, check out one last area in the morning, and then likely head into the Anderson Range in the afternoon, hike up to a bivy below Springbok Arete in the evening, and then flail up it as fast as we could the next day, and since the daylight was down to about 13 hours, probably end up bivying on the summit to avoid doing the notoriously bad descent off of Les Cornes in the dark. Well when we awoke at 5:30 near the Nahatlatch River the next day, we decided that it was getting a bit cold to try to bivy without gear on the summit of Les Cornes. So without any real plan, we headed up the Kookipi Creek FSR to have a look at a modest peak which Drew had needled me about previously. It looked okay, but not spectacular. The cracks looked dirty, but since we were out of ideas, we thought we would go for it anyway. Well then we rounded the corner of the road and saw this sweeping buttress of beautiful proportions. We were blown away at the beauty of the line. We stopped short though at the blank and hard-looking slab at the base of the ridge. It looked hard, but through binoculars from the road it looked as if there might be cracks somewhere on it. We quickly packed up food and bivy gear in case we ended up spending the night and headed off down to the end of Kookipi West, passing a old guy working on the tree harvesting equipment who seemed humbly non-plussed at our plans but offered to "send some boys in" if we weren't out by the next night. We struck down to the river through open forest, crossed the river and plunged into some pretty physical bush, emerging at a boulder field after about an hour to discover blueberries and wild raspberries growing all over the place. Fearful of the "berry runs", we had to stop ourselves from gorging and promised to feast on the way back. We headed up easy boulder fields towards the base, trying not to look up because we feared we would vomit instantly if we looked directly at what we could feel in our peripheral senses to be breathtaking. Strange, guttural sounds (mountain orgasms?) soon came from our mouths as we looked up and drooled. Here was a slab, 400 feet high, that if transported to Squamish would be the centre stage. Brilliant finger and tip cracks darted out here and there, but none appeared to be continuous or go the full height of the slab to gain the buttress crest. Blank roofs blocked passage at the right end of the slab. After half an hour of sussing and "what ifing", we found the line. A perfect crack at the left end of the slab went straight up and just when it died out a second opened up to its left. The second crack died out in ten feet and a third continued for a rope length where it looked as if we would be forced right to the edge of the roofs to gain the crest. Getting across the crack systems was my greatest fear, so I quickly offered to do the first pitch to leave Mike with the traverse! I started up the Yosemite quality hand and fist crack which led out left where a small roof is passed on bomber jugs to gain the "real crack". It had been some time since I had climbed hard, probably two months since I had been on a crack this imposing, so I set off jamming as hard as I could, Mike below me yelling encouragement as I "shit" and "fuck"ed my way up, throwing cams in everywhere, just wanting to get to the belay before I died. I got to the end of the first crack, threw a cam in, yelled "take" and spent a good fifteen minutes gasping and shaking my arms out. One of the finest pitches I have ever done or seen. Seeing that the crack was the same size for the entire slab, I knew that we would need to be creative with the belays to save the gear for the leads. I banged and bent two shallow knifeblades into a seam, equalized them with the cam, tied off, and belayed Mike up. Belays on steep slabs with no ledges are always cozy affairs with elbows in teeth, farts in the face; sorta like two cats with their tails tied together strung over a clothes line! Now the crux began. Mike heads off left on a blank undercling to try the next crack over -- no gear and I'm watching my knifeblades bounce, lookin down at the air and thinking, "man, please don't fall!" The second crack bottoms and has no gear, so Mike gingerly reverses back to the belay and sets off up the main one for another twenty feet, more 10b grunting at the limit, stuffs in a cam, rests on edges, and then begins one of the hairiest looking traverses I've witnessed in the mountains. Ten feet to the second crack, shit, it's still thin and discontinuous. Ten more feet to the third crack and it's good. Mike gets fifteen feet up it, runs out of gear and dies. A short pitch, but you'd need lots of gear, long slings (falls!) and cojones grandes to go much further. I follow, crapping myself on the traverse -- good feet but no hands so you're leaning into the wall, milkin it -- to another "cat fight" belay. We feel like we're on a miniature Lotus Flower headwall but without the chickenheads to save you from jamming! By taking the first pitch, I was hoping to leave the brunt of the hard stuff for Mike, but with the short second pitch I was once again contemplating the battle ahead. I set off and my mind starts trying to shut me down, corrupting me into yelling at Mike, "shit, man, this crack's gonna end, we're screwed," and him yelling back words that were less encouragement than threats! I felt like I was some fourteen-year-old Eastern Bloc gymnast training for the Olympics, the coach constantly reminding me of the consequences if I failed! At least if I were a gymnast then I would be able to get some shady performance-enhancing drugs! I'm hanging there from slipping jams on stuff that would be my crux at a road-side crag, with nary a belt of Scotch or a pull of "special" to ease the mind. I can only go about twenty-five metres and I'm done. Arms and gear give out. Luckily the crack has eased off a bit and I can get some nuts into the belay. Mike pulls out the guns to finish the crack and is forced to head right on a nice traverse over to meet the left edge of the roof that cuts across the slab, finishing up rough and licheny flakes to belay from a boulder on the crest. Seconding from a hanging belay is always stirring: I pulled the gear and had to go straight into the jams, zero-to-sixty! Up I go, thankful that this was Mike's lead cause it's just as hard as everything before. We flop down in the sun, heads spinning and thankful to get off what we could only call "The Endurance Slab". It would look possible to retreat from this point down the shrubby east face, but you won't want to. We agreed that if the rest of the route was fourth class crap, it would still be a classic. Well, it wasn't. Crap, that is. I take what is now the fifth pitch and head up fun corners, grooves, and flakes, pulling on stuff that should by all means be death blocks, but here in candy land are completely solid. Features everywhere, I just chose the most direct and appealing line, aiming for the crest of the buttress. I set up a good, three piece anchor and admire the view. A full 50m, 5.7 with 5.9 near the end. Mike dislodges a block seconding and we watch it sail down in one swoop to the boulders below, emitting a large, thundering crack. We hoped the guy across the valley didn't hear that and send in some boys! The sixth pitch was more fun 5.7 up to a corner (right of an off-width) so imposing that Mike just had to try it. He shook and swore but made it up about thirty feet of solid 10b, too thin to get a good foot in, and then rode the exposed arete with edges to a belay. Seconding was a challenge as the pack wedged against the right wall and kept me from getting onto the arete. The seventh pitch relented to mid-fifth on nice features, with some loose stuff on ledges now, but was cut short by rope drag. But we had now gained the crest and knew that the battle was over. One last, almost trivial, obstacle remained. From the seventh belay ledge rose a mean, vertical hand crack, only about 12 feet high, but to be sporting we tried it anyway. Mike threw himself at it, fell once and then jumped for the rounded lip. Probably 10c, but it looks like you can avoid this on either side. The last two pitches were both fourth class with some minor fifth class steps, easy all the way. We unroped and scrambled up to the top of the buttress, placing a small cairn before we began the heather and dirt descent back down. We gained a notch at the top of a rock gully that in 45 minutes led back to the base where we picked up our unnecessary bivy gear, pausing to admire the purity of the line and only then noticing that in nine hours we had only eaten about two energy bars with one litre of water each! We walked back out down the boulder field, missing the berry bushes entirely and encountering some bad bush, but it didn't matter, we were too out of it to care! In fact, when we hit the Kookipi mainline, we were so disoriented that we had to get out of the truck to find the sun setting in the west to figure out where we were. This was a beautiful climb, one of the finest I can remember doing. It took us eleven hours round trip from the car and could easily be done in a day from Vancouver. A great way to end the summer; I'd been swinging for a while, it was nice to finally hit one! "
  3. Climb: Lesser Wedge-North Face - FA Date of Climb: 4/24/2006 Trip Report: I have a bad habit of being too optimistic about alpine conditions in the spring. No matter how good the ski season has been I always start to crave alpine climbing by mid March. This year has been no different, so after two days of cragging in Squamish with Nick Elson and a large group of VOCers I managed to convince Nick that the North Face of James Turner would be “the thing to do.” After all, the alpine lows were getting below zero around Whistler and the highs were getting into the mid teens so there would be plenty of melt thaw right? With the forecast looking good for the upcoming week and only one more exam left on Nick`s schedule we made tentative plans to climb the North Face of James Turner and leave late on Monday morning. Alpine climbing plans are never set in stone. While Nick was making great use of his “study time” late Sunday night he was busy on bivouac.com where he found a great photo of the North Face of Lesser Wedge contributed by Jordan Peters. This sparked his interest and we hatched a plan to scope out the peak on the way into James Turner. Into the pack went a large rack mainly of rock gear but with several ice screws “just in case.” On Monday morning Nick was back at his Westside home by 11am and we finished packing. We decided to go as light as possible taking only mountaineering boots, skis, avy gear, tools, crampons, the rack, and sleeping bags. We made sure that the mountaineering boots worked with our bindings and after a few adjustments we were ready to roll by 12pm. Not exactly an alpine start but considering that Nick had been writing his last exam just an hour and a half before we felt it was a pretty good effort. We made two more stops along the way, one for groceries at Save-On in Squamish and one at Valhalla to buy a single knifeblade after Nick realized he had forgotten the pins at home. The girl at Valhalla was very friendly. She seemed to be stuck in her decision of whether to make tea or coffee for the afternoon and asked Nick to choose. Nick helped her through this extremely difficult decision by suggesting the Earl Grey. I hope she liked it! Unfortunately there is still quite a bit of snow on the road to the Wedgemount Lake Trail and we were only able to get a few hundred meters up the road before being stopped. We poked around a bit more with our packs and I did a few more tweaks to my bindings to make sure they would work with my Scarpa Alphas. The sun was blazing and Nick decided to go John Clarke style because he had no shorts and only long underwear. Nick reminded me that John`s marks had suffered during his last year at UBC because the weather in the mountains had been so good during the Spring. He also reassured me that he had done well in his film studies exam and that his grades had not been affected by his love of the mountains! Nick going “John Clarke” style over the broken bridge on Wedgemount Creek On the way to the trail a kind fellow in a sturdy 4 wheel drive jeep helped us get almost all the way to the trailhead. Thanks for the lift and I hope you were able to get out OK. After a 3.5 hour slog we were finally at the hut. There had been a lot of postholing but we were able to ski half of the trail in our mountaineering boots which had helped us in our effort to move fast and light. We had planned to continue all the way to the Wedge-Weart col but it was already 7:30pm and the sun was starting to go down so we decided to crash at the hut. After all, the hut was amazingly warm and Nick noticed that it smelt a bit like a sauna with the smell of cedar (?) lingering. It was warm enough for shorts in the hut and we slept well, especially Nick who had been going all day on only 2 hours of sleep. Sunset over the Coast Mountains The next morning dawned cold and clear, just the conditions we were hoping for! The snow was very hard and our edges scraped across the icy snow as we made our way down towards the Wedgemount Glacier at 4:30am. We skied as far along the east side of the glacier as we could just to be extra cautious and avoid crevasses. The conditions were very fast and we arrived at the Wedge-Weart col by 6am. The sun was starting to come up, exposing James Turner and Lesser Wedge in all their glory. The route looked steep and technical, following the central couloir directly to the summit. We hoped to climb the route while the snow stayed hard and the avalanche conditions remained low. James Turner from the Wedge-Weart col Nick and Lesser Wedge from the Weart-Wedge col the line of ascent We skied to within a few hundred vertical feet of the route and we slogged up through powder to the base. As the angle steeped and we entered the couloir proper the snow conditions became much better and we were able to kick steps up the firm snow. We simul soloed what would have been two or three pitches and then built a belay at the start of the first steep runnel. setting up the first belay This was my pitch to lead and I was delighted as the climbing looked fantastic. The climbing was mixed with just enough ice for some delicate pick placements. I worked my way up to a belay at the beginning of the next rock section and took this photo of Nick seconding. Nick seconding the third pitch The 4th pitch started off quite difficult with lots of frozen blocks and tricky pro. Nick did a great job leading it and then went up out of sight. He didn`t move for very long time and judging by the huge amount of spindrift shooting down the gully he had to be doing some significant excavation at the top of the pitch. Turns out Nick had indeed been busy and had to remove the snow mushroom at the top of this pitch to continue climbing through a steep, overhanging chimney. He had also left his pack clipped to a piece of gear to pull the final moves through the chimney with some delicate dry tooling. Seconding the 4th pitch The final pitch to the summit brought me out into the sun and I set up a rock belay on the summit ridge. Nick led the final 20 meters onto the true summit where we sat, took in the views, and enjoyed a nice warm lunch in the sun. Descending proved to be quite pleasant as we belayed the narrow ridge to the west and then dropped down some snow slopes on the Northwest side of the mountain. This section of the ridge kind of reminded me of the North Arete of Wedge except it was much shorter but steeper on both sides. Nick on the summit Skiing down the Wedgemount Glacier was “interesting” in mountaineering boots. It definitely put my skiing abilities to the test and I made more than a few faceplants with my heavy pack. By late-afternoon we were back at the hut brewing tea and making soup for dinner. We also enjoyed some imported coca matae tea I had brought back from Peru and had been saving for a special occasion. At 6pm I went for a “nap” and never woke up. Perhaps I was “coming down” from my matae high but I ended up sleeping for 14 hours! One of the longest sleeps I can ever remember having. Nick apparently crashed out by 7pm so at least he didn`t wait around for me to cook the proper dinner! Wednesday morning was very cloudy and snowy so we were reluctant to leave our warm hut. The visibility was also poor and the snow had turned to concrete without the warm afternoon sun. We skied down the upper trail with much trepidation. The combination of the steep trail, poor skiing conditions, and lack of ski boots made us take off our skis part way down the trail and post-hole down. We were happy to see the car that afternoon and we finally made it to the Brew Pub in Squamish by 3pm. The India Pale Ale tasted delicious and after being disappointed by their burger on the last few occasions I came away feeling satisfied with my meal for a change. Route Summary: 5-6 pitches, 50 degree snow, AI3, M4 Gear Notes: tcus, small nuts, #1 and #2 camalots Approach Notes: Wedgemount Lake Trail then skis to the Wedge-Weart col
  4. Climb: Welch Peak-NE Face FA/FWA Date of Climb: 3/13/2005 Trip Report: The relatively poor rock in the Cheam Range is best enjoyed when nicely frozen together, and it's no surprise that the few hardish routes that exist in the group are mostly winter climbs. And given the fact that the 15km of approach road via Jones Lake is usually impassable because of snow from December thru March or April, it's no news that such ascents are very rare. It does surprise me some, however, that the biggest face on the highest summit in the range has apparently passed thru the 80 years since the first ascent of the mountain without (so far as I am aware) a single attempt, especially since the discerning eye can pick out a pretty reasonable-looking line weaving around and between impregnable cliffs. With a high snow-line, several weeks of warmish daytime weather to consolidate the snow-pack, and a solid weekend forecast, it was obviously time to go. Andrew Rennie and I relaxed out of town mid-morning and started the walk up the Lucky Four trail at 1 p.m. Actually, the first hour-and-half of the walk is on old back-filled logging road [from about 750m to about 1220m], but after that the trail is remarkable pleasant. At 5 p.m. we pulled into camp, on a super-scenic knoll at about 1650m. We could see Fern and Jesse camped about 200m higher, but we were headed off on a traverse next morning, so there was no point in climbing further. We set the alarm for 2 and got away at 3:15. We surprised ourselves by reaching the glacial basin beneath the face in only 1 hour - fast cramponning on hard-frozen crust, but a considerable strain on our ankle ligaments. We had a bite and put on the harnesses on the flats [about 1700m], then started up the still-dark initial slope at 4:45. There were two or three crevasses to cross/bypass, and a sorta sketchy bridge at the schrund, but the snow was good and the frost inspired lots of confidence. We gained about 250m, then left the major snow-cleft leading to the col between Welch and the eastern gendarme and angled up right maybe 50m or so to confront our first significant challenge, a 10m Grade 3 waterfall step. 5:45, the ropes and gear came out, a belay went in, and the fun began. I got the first lead, placing both our screws in the ice to back up the rather mediocre belay, then climbing a right-angling snow-gully beyond to a good rock belay on the left at full 60m length. Andrew climbed the remaining 20m of the gully, then fought thru a short squeeze chimney, then continued up snow with intermittent ice beyond. I abandonned the belay and moved up about 10m to allow him to reach a secure stance - it pays to be sure of your partners in this kind of climbing, cuz you can't really communicate effectively, and you need to understand what is going on at the other end of the rope, and to have confidence that the other guy is not going to fall off for no good reason. My practise is simply to give a big yell when there is 10m of rope left, to give another big yell when the rope runs out, and if tension stays on the rope for a couple minutes, to tear down the belay and start climbing. I popped around the corner from Andrew into a left-angling gully, the key to the upper face, not visible from the campsite, but plainly visible from back down the valley. This had a tricky, thinly-iced exit, then we had to move together nearly 30m for me to reach a belay on the left side of a snow trough. Andrew continued right up the trough, passing above a little promontory and climbing a couple ice-steps. I moved with him about 20m to allow him to reach the rock-wall at the top of a major snow "Y". Here we needed to choose. We could continue right up and across a snow shelf maybe 2 pitches, then break back left thru the final significant rockwall to reach the summit snow-slopes, or we could go left and kinda end-run the rockwall. I went left, and in 60m just reached a flow which took 3/4 of a screw, backed up with a poor nut, for a belay. Andrew climbed the flow and disappeared around the corner. The rope fed out slowly while I got colder in the intermittent north wind, so I knew there was "interest" to the pitch. He finally ran the rope out and eventually a call came to follow - and what a fine pitch it was, with considerable ice, and two short vertical steps. Unfortunately, there wasn't much gear, most of what there was was poor, and since we only had two screws and one of those was most of my belay, his belay consisted of his two tools buried into a snow-fluting. Most uninspiring, but you can't be going falling off on these things anyway. The cornice beckoned a ropelength above, and I got a pretty good screw into ice after maybe 10m and another at 30m, then 3 rock pieces into a wall 5m below the crest. The snow under the cornice was horrendously powdery, and collapsed away underfoot to reveal slabby rock, but I managed to squirm my way up to where I could reach the crest by kinda semi-chimneying between the snowy slabs and the underside of the cornice overhang. There was a crack that I had convinced myself would be easy to enlarge to enable exit, but I fought and hacked and pulled and struggled and swore and came close to pitching off a couple times over the next half-hour before finally managing to belly-flop out onto the sunny east ridge. It was 2:45, and we were up. We were tired, and it was late, so we declined the pleasures of trudging up thru the sun-softened snow the extra couple hundred metres to the summit. We rapped once on the east ridge, into the first south-facing gully, then the descent and trudge back to camp were uneventful. By 8:30 we were well-fed, well-hydrated, and soon deeply asleep. Fern and Jesse must have cruched by sometime in the dark (ah, the perils of Monday to Friday work...), but we didn't hear them, and after a fine breakfast and a relaxing morning, we wandered out to rejoin the world Monday afternoon. Seldom can I recall a climb of such seriousness coming together so smoothly and - despite wishing it otherwise - I'm sure it'll be quite some time until the next such event. Isn't it just so great to be alive when these special climbs and special times happen though? Gear Notes: 2 screws (4 woulda been nicer) 6 nuts (smallish to medium) 5 cams (finger to wide hand) 7 pitons (2 long thin LAs - don't ever leave home without them! 1 medium blade and 1 long blade. 1 baby angle. 2 Leepers, which we did not use. Approach Notes: the Lucky Four Mine trail is a delight! go there!
  5. "Back of Beyond Buttress" -North Face/Buttress of Unnamed Peak. First Ascent Sept 14th, 2002. Jordan Peters and Mike Layton. III+ (or D+) 10b. 9p. Apporox 1500' (maybe less). Approach time 1.5 hours. Climbing time 5-9 hours? Descent time 30-40 min. Suggested Rack (not our rack though):small set medium nuts, camsn to 3" plus double or tripples on the hand size cams(red alien to yellow camalot), one 50-60m rope. Tired after a long day at WA pass, I drove to Abbotsford to meet "Jordop" for the 1st time. We were planning on doing the route Dru was hidding in the chehalis range. We saw it and turned it down, and drove to another place to look at another mtn. It looked neat, but far and not so steep. We had one more option that was feasible so we drove into Kookipi creek to look at the mountain Dru was teasing Jordop with. It looked ok, but we turned that one down too. Kookipi creek is a "new" area that just recently opened due to logging. I can't tell you how to get there yet, becuase I don't know myself. Jordop will surely provide us w/driving direction. It is 3 hours from Vancouver, however on a 2wd road out of Boston Bar. My only problem was a flat tire from the previous drive, and I barely got it inflated w/a can of old tire sealant. Anyway, we turned the mtn down after turning our heads to the left. We both nearly shit ourselves. ACross the valley lay an unnamed, unclimbed, and beautiful granite peak! Granite flanks came down on all sides as it swept around a cirque headwall into another higher summit. It's unglaciated north side has a razor ridge coming down (looks like a Mohawk) to an unbelievably steep perfectly clean blank granite headwall slab. I'm talking super clean, and super blank looking. We quickly packed for a 2-day adventure and headed straight down from across the mountain for 300 feet to the river, and straight up open timer w/a couple dense sections (w/wild raspberries and blueberries!) for an hour to a bivy sport. A nice little stream ran along the base of the talus at a high meadow, where we ditched our packs and grabbed our ropes and gear. I need to mention that this is GRIZZLEY bear country and you MUST be careful! Blinded by the magnificance of this north buttress, I kept my head down (to keep the puke in) and charged up the talus to the base of a 4-500" near vertical apron of perfect, flawless granite. When I looked up, my heart sank. It was almost blank. Almost. On the very left hand of the wall were 4 thin crack that ran parallel up the entirety of the face. They seemed to peter out just as one started up again, but there looked to be a few scary blank sections. We started up! Jordan took the first pitch. The first part was a fist size perfect splitter of lengandary beauty. Then awesome moves over a small roof to a PERFECT handcrack. I cheered him on as he struggled and sweated up this imposing crack. Off belay! Shit, I guess I had to do the next pitch. I followed up and couldn't believe this crack. Perfect! Amazing! I was laughing while climbing. Damn nice lead! My turn. The crack continued straight out of the belay but looked like it ended. The crack to the left looked like it started thin and continued higher where the belay crack ended. Okay, so I travered over 15' w/no pro nearly shitting my self to the crack and it bottomed out and turned into a seam, so I travered back to the belay already pumped and scared. I was excited to continue up the original crack becuase it look like something right out of a 4 star squamish pitch. It was! It was soooo sweeet and fuckin' hard. It petered out and I did a traverse left to another crack and belay Jordan over. He seemed equally impressed and was pretty pumped (especially after one section). He lead up another perfect perfect hand crack that lead straight up until he too ran out of gear (why I belayed there). My turn again, another perfect crack, to a traverse right to another crack that got kinda weird at the very end, right unde a huge undercling block. Luckily it was only 10 or 20' of not perfect, but pretty good rock to the top of what were are calling the "Endurance Slab" since I wanted to name the climb the Endurance Buttreess, but that seemed a bit much for the whole climb. Anyway it was 4 pitches of absolutely amazing 10b climbing on every pitch. It could be done in 3 pitches, but you'd need a lot more pieces and have to be really good. The exposure is unbelievable, I was petrified on my hanging belays, and while leading. IT's just straight down 400 or more feet! Gulp! We topped out on the Endurance Slab and were now on the main ridge crest. I looked like it was gonna be easy going on low fifth to the summit, but we thought wrong! It turned out to be challenging and tons of fun. Lots of little 10-40' cruxes. Jordop will post a topo and I suggest you follow our line. We did a lot of scoping around and this should be the best way to go. Jordan's fist pitch on the ridge was an super-awesome 5.7 groove jam to a 5.9 corner on totally solid granite (n.ridge of stuart solid). My pitch was some fun moves to a 20-30 foot 10b corner that was soooo hard! No feet for every other move. It may be harder if it was any longer. I continued pulling a fun and easy roof block (I almost tunneled under it!). The next pitches got easier and easier on super solid rock. Near the top the rock was still very solid, but loose rock was on some ledges. The 2nd to last pitch sported a wide, vertical crack easily avioded on the left. We thought it sporting to do it anyways, and I totally flailed up it. 10c/d, but contrived and not part of the route. It took us 9 pitches to get to the unclimbed summit. We made a cairn and enjoyed to view of unclimbed peaks and walls an few hours drive from Vancouver. And as if we didn't have all the luck that day, the desent only took 30 minutes to the bivy site. Walk down from the summit towards the car, make a right into a grove of trees, and walk down a low angle talus gully. You'll see it going up. Very easy and no routefinding. We packed up our useless packs full of food and camping gear and got back to the car. The hike out is very quick, and the slog uphill at the end is much easier than say, the one at the Wine Spires at WA pass. What a fantastic route, day, and a partner! This route has the makings of a classic, and it's easily done car to car (or house to house) from Vancouver or Bellingham. I'm sure Jordop will post our topo and photos once we get them developed and you'll understand that I'm not overexaggerating just b/c we were the ones who did it that this route really is this good. One more thing. Should we write to the CAJ and how, and same goes for McLane if he updates his guide? Can we name the peak? If not, is it unethical to give it an un-official name? [ 09-15-2002, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: michael_layton ]
  6. Here is a link to the trip report. Click here for chestbeating. [ 10-21-2002, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: Dru ]