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Found 55 results

  1. Climb: Abiel Peak-North Face Possible FA Date of Climb: 3/11/2006 Trip Report: I have been intrigued by this peak, the “Ben Nevis of the Northwest”, since reading the brief description of its many unclimbed lines in Washington Ice, by Jason Martin and Alex Krawrik. Jason shared his take on the peak’s potential, and gave me beta on the line he and Gene Pires attempted in 2002. My usual partner was un-amused by my cryptic midnight ravings about this “sick line”, and excused himself with a newfound interest in geo-caching. So Mark Bunker agreed to join me on what would turn out to be a great adventure. After a scenic bus ride, I met Mark in Federal Way, and we were off. The approach hike was straightforward, if long. A ton of fresh powder needed to be blazed through, and we kicked in a nice trail to Lake Annette, across its frozen surface, and up to the base of the Peak. Our route in red, North Face Couloir entrance marked in green. We hiked up the highest snow finger right of the summit, left the snowshoes and my pack, and headed up to the fun stuff. Mark offered me the first lead, which clocked in about WI3 and ended up at a rock belay on the right side. After grabbing the rack, Mark traversed onto the main flow, approx 80degrees, and ran the rope out to a tree belay, just below the ridge. Swinging up the second pitch in great neve! This second pitch was great, two steep pillars connected by 60degree neve…sweet! We unroped on the ridge, wallowed up to the summit amid snow flurries and took in the seldom seen (for me) view of the peaks south of Snoqualmie Pass. Summit Shot, with Granite Mountain We descended the route via two double-rope rappels, and hiked out, where Mark was gracious and patient enough to occasionally wait for me to catch up. Headlamps stayed warm and dry in our packs on the descent, so we are not sure if it really counts as a winter ascent, ha-ha! This was a fun line, guarded by a slightly longer approach than other Snoqualmie Pass climbs. There is, as noted in Washington Ice, several awesome, unclimbed lines across the breadth of the north face. Many burly mixed climbs await their first suitors, so go check it out! Thanks for a great climb Mark! Gear Notes: Black Sabbath, large malnourished rabid dog to guard car and aforementioned Black Sabbath, screws, slings, and a small rock rack. Approach Notes: Hide your car in a ditch then snowshoe/ski up Lake Annette Trail (exit 47 off I-90)
  2. Climb: Coquihalla Ice-FA - The Drool In The Lotus (100m WI3) Date of Climb: 2/18/2006 Trip Report: After driving out to Hope yesterday and scoping the available ice I spent last night hunting for a partner. One friend was flying in from Edmonton for the weekend but I thought it would be cool to go as a party of 3... many partners had other plans. Finally my friend got off the plane and called me "Uh, yeah... I looked at the temps online and thought it was too warm so I didn't bring my ice gear." So this morning I woke up late grabbed some tools and drove out to checkacheckacheck it out and maybe find something I could solo. There were a couple lines out by Sowaqua Creek I had been eying for a while. This thing is still unclimbed. It is what I had hoped to climb. It catches a lot of sun and might be rotten but it looks real purty. Seemed too hard to solo. Hidden in the gully north of the next buttress north there is more ice. I parked and walked to where I could see it. It looked pretty thin. I decided to bail. However, while I was driving to the turnaround I got a better view and saw more ice. OK, I'll go take a look. The route from the highway. red dots are bottom and top of the ice. The approach was the usual one hour plod uphill through talus and vine maple. I saw quite a few deer and coyote tracks and one set of what might be bobcat. Seems like a popular spot for the wildlife. When I got to the base of the ice it seemed climbable so I racked up. I had carried two ropes up in case it might be a rap descent but it seemed like I could walk off or downclimb so I left the ropes at the base. There was a WI2 start on the left but some fun mixed bouldering straight up so I climbed that. Thin ice and good turf sticks, probably M3 or so. Route from the base with mixed boulder start visible, before I knocked half of it down. Once above the bottom mixed step I climbed onto the ice. There was 30m or so of thin WI2 with some snow and running water, then a terrace. Above the terrace was a fun, narrow WI3 corner with some good stemming off the rock behind and generally thin shitty ice. I was glad I was climbing solo because there weren't many spots where the ice would have taken screws. The last section was about 35m and was a wider curtain with options ranging from a WI4 looking pillar to a soaking wet WI2 gully. I picked a dry line between the two extremes that featured a body length vertical step and some thin ice bulges, good WI3 with nice rests. The ice emerged from some munge at the top so I turf-tooled and bushwacked through the prickle bushes into the forest above. I figured I could walk off climbers' right. So, I wandered over that way with my crampons still on. After traversing a bunch of ledges I got into another gully system that had a beautiful, overhanging black-and white streaked basalt rock wall covered with wind-whipped icicles growing out in crazy directions. It was also catching sun and running with water and ice was falling off regularly. It had been -6C when I left the car but was considerably warmer in the sun. I stuck to the base of the overhanging wall and all the ice fell away from me instead of on me. Downclimbed a rubble chute and traversed back to my pack, then headed down. As soon as I took my crampons off for the descent I took a good fall and slid about 50m down frozen talus on my ass before stopping in a snowdrift fortunately with no holes in my new pants Red line shows ascent and descent. After getting back to the car I decided to call the route "The Drool In The Lotus" which is a pun on one of the names for Buddhism. Unlike Muslims I don't think Buddhists are going to hunt me down for joking about their religion? This was a fun little climb that seemed a lot like Rambles Centre in terms of overall difficulty and style of climbing. and best of all I was back in time to meet some hiking friends in da Wack for beer Gear Notes: two tools crampons Approach Notes: Park at Sowaqua Creek exit, route is visible from north end of onramp. walk across highway bridge then follow pipeline road for 200m then straight uphill thru vine maples for one hour.
  3. This is my first attempt to post a TR with pictures so in advance please excuse my ineptitude with this. Will send them soon. No TR function for posting? So two weeks ago, I took my two dogs for a walk up the Mt Dickerman trail on a rainy/snowy day. About two hours out at the 4500 foot level, there was a small creek which the dogs lapped up the cold water. Above was this patchy system of ice up the rambly cliffy section. The rest of the hike was pleasant in the snowy/rainy Washington kind of way. I knew though that the climb could form if it stayed cold and didn’t snow too much. This last week was good for creating ice. Fairly cold and clear. Alex was up for a good day and I was also able to convince a new buddy, Robert on a temporary assignment from LA, to come along. We got a good early start for the hike in, climb and follow up with a hike to the top. Two hours walking on solid boot pack (must be hundreds of switchbacks) got us to the ice, right above the trail. The ice is a cool little WI2 and about 75 meters, give or take a dozen meters. It can be split into 2 pitches at a convenient tree belay 30 meters up. The ice was thin with frequent hitting of rock but plenty of good medium and stubby screws were placed the whole way up. The angle of the ice compensates for the thin ice conditions. I hauled a bunch of standard rock gear and pins but was unable to find any cracks to place anything. Two raps off trees get back to the ground. Farther left, there is the possibility of some shorter ice climbs, some easier, some mixed. All involve wallowing through the deep stuff. After our climb, we got back on the bootpack trail and continued another hour to the top. We carried our ice gear with us to confuse and/or frighten the more sane hikers. No one seemed to notice. For those who haven’t been on top dickerman, there are good views of n and e face big 4, n face sperry, n face vesper, w face sloan, glacier, pugh, whitechuck, e face Whitehorse, e face 3 finger and baker. Many possible winter objectives can be checked out from this vantage point. Note for dog lovers, lots of people with dogs on this trail last week. I would not expect this climb to be exposed during a more normal season. It seems that it could easily be buried. But in early season, this could be a good climb to knock the rust off the swing and get a leg workout. It seems that this climb must have been done before due to the access. Whoever may have done it never bothered to mention it to Jason and Alex for the ice guide. Maybe it is too easy to bother reporting? But whatever, it is ice, it is in Washington, it has a nice trail, and it is fun for hacks like me. For those alpine suffering types, there is no visable ice on the west face of Sloan, east face of Whitehorse and Three fingers. BUT there is a very interesting ice formation on Big 4’s east face. Maybe three pitches of very steep terrain. It has a complicated approach but the reward is equally big for those willing to suffer. I will try to post some pictures later when I figure out how to zoom in on the photos I got. Gear: standard ice gear, medium and stubby screws, maybe some KB’s, snowshoes needed if there is recently snowfall. Skis not useful.
  4. Climb: Mt. Snoqualmie, NW Face-Pineapple Express Date of Climb: 2/9/2005 Trip Report: On my third attempt this year, Roger Strong and I finally climbed the line going up the longest part of the NW Face of Mt. Snoqualmie. It starts just left of the lowest point of the face in a hidden right facing corner. 7 long mixed pitches lead up and then right to an intersection with New York Gully. Follow last 2 pitches of NYG to the top. 1000' of primo Snoqualmie pass mixed climbing. We dubbed the route Pineapple Express, grade IV, 5.8, M6, WI3+ R. Gear Notes: 60M rope,pins,nuts, cams, and lots of slings Approach Notes: Straight up Phanthom Slide, then drop into Thunder Creek basin and traverse to lowest point of face.
  5. Climb: Hope-Powerhouse Falls, WI 2/3, FRA Date of Climb: 1/14/2005 Trip Report: McBee and I were getting ready to hike to Piccadilly Circus, but saw a tempting target directly behind the Power Station 11km west of Hope on Hwy 1. A great short approach up a gravel road led to two full 50 meter pitches of WI2 or 3. We continued on up the gully system for another 500 feet of elevation gain, soloing four more Grade 2 steps before ringing the bell and descending. Even though this climb isn't in Don's new guide, I am very skeptical that it hasn't been climbed already. We did see boot prints on the approach, filled in slightly by the last storm cycle, but saw no signs of passage on the climb. McBee and I joked about naming it "Shock and Awe." Gear Notes: Standard ice rack Approach Notes: Exit at the Power Station, an unmarked exit ramp immediately before Herring Island exit. Park on the shoulder of the pavement. Walk up the gravel road heading behind the Power Station. When you reach the Battery Room building, head left on an old FS road to the creek. Powerhouse Falls will come into sight, just a few more minutes uphill.