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Found 7 results

  1. Trip: Washington Pass - Liberty Crack V 5.13- Date: 7/23/2009 Trip Report: Yesterday I had one of those "coming full circle" moments in my climbing life. I first climbed Liberty Bell when I was 17 via Thin Red Line, and Liberty crack when I was 18, which was about 12 years ago. Both of those ascents were monumental for me at the time. On my long ago ascent of TRL I had my first real wall bivi experience and it was one to remember. My partner and I shared a single Fish portaledge and pretty much gumbied our way up the route aiding almost every possible inch of the route. On Liberty Crack we had planned on a one day ascent but of course didn't send in a day. We pulled an all nighter making it back to the car by noon the next day. For me times have really changed since those teenage ascents. I've been fortunate enough to spend a good majority of the last 10 years climbing, living and working in Yosemite. I've learnt a few things down there in those years. A couple of which are how to free climb and how to climb really big routes. The only problem with spending all that time in Yosemite is that I haven't really been able to climb in the Cascades much. Luckily for me I quit my job in Yosemite two years ago now which has allowed me to make it to some destinations other than the Valley during the summer months. Last year I managed to spend almost a month in Washington and loved it the whole time. So far this year I have only racked up a total of 5 climbing days here in the state. I've tried to make the most of the them though, a day at Si, Index, Der Sportsman on Prussik Peak, and two days up at Washington Pass. I barely squeaked the two days in at the pass. It was actually a last minute decision to go up there on Sunday night. Kate and I were driving back from climbing up in the Powell River area of BC and had finished the route a little quicker than expected which left us with a little free time. We had driven well into the night on Sunday night so there wasn't going to be any serious pre-dawn starts for us on Monday. We slept in Newhalem (the last place with phone service) and had a leisurely morning. Without a guide book we were pretty limited in route selections, I tried to do some topo hunting on my Iphone but didn't get to far. I was able to get some beta for the Independence route, from Jen's Holsten blog and thought that would be a good option for us the next day. By the time we got out of Newhalem it was close to 11:00 which didn't leave much time for anything but cragging. We decided on low commitment cragging on the first few pitches of Liberty Crack So before we knew it Kate was leading the 5.11 first pitch of Liberty Crack. I then took over and free climbed and yarded on a few pieces up and over the Lithuanian Lip. grabbing a few holds and ticking a few key foot holds. I setup a good high piece and lowered back down to really try and climb it. The first part of the roof seemed a little cryptic at first even though there are pretty good locks going out it. I knew the real business would be turning the roof. It turned out to be a good style of climbing for me, really scrunched up climbing that involves a lot of core tension and a couple thumbs up pinky locks. After about 10 or so attempts i was able to pull over the roof and get established in a really good lock with some ok feet right above the lip. I could get a pretty good shake out here. I attempted to continue leading on from my high piece at the lip, but the tricky thin locks and funky gear shut me down pretty quickly. I pulled on a few pieces and gained a small ledge with a bolt to lower down on. The funky locks below turned out to be not so bad on top rope. Good locks a few feet apart. Really straightforward climbing. Pull the lock to my waist reach up and grab the next one. Repeat 3 times to the ledge with a bolt. I continued up yarding on the bolts to the anchor on top of pitch 2. This section had me a little baffled. I had seen a topo mentioning the free variation goes out right of these bolts and the original ladder was never freed. The variation out right only has only one bolt on it though, which would be a problem for me, as I have no interest in climbing mid 5.12 slab 15+ft above a bolt. I brought Kate up to the belay and had her lower me back down for closer inspection. Feeling the blank wall as I lowered down pass the original bolts assured me that I wouldn't be going that way. I swung over right and started tick-tacking my way up micro edges. I quickly came zinging off and swinging out of control to my left. This pitch was proving hard to even toprope. I gave the pitch a handfull of burns and after much cursing I declared it to involved for the short amount of available time I had. I eyed the next pitch which started with a couple pins and then a bolt to some fixed heads. I had climbed the upper portion of this pitch while doing Freedom or Death awhile back and remembered it not being to hard. It would have to wait. We rapped and headed down the pass to the east to go have a BBQ at a friends place. Much eating and partying ensued which wasn't going to help us get out of bed tomorrow. The alarm still managed to go off at 4:15 regardless of the jedi-mind trick I tried on it. Kate stayed in bed while I motored the van up to the pass. By 6:30 we had taken care of all our morning rituals and were about ready to head out. Kate was making the final touches on a hand written topo for the Independence route when for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to go and try Liberty Crack again. I wasn't really sure what I was thinking at this point, or maybe I was still asleep. Jens had made the Independence Route sound kinda scary, hard and a little more than I could muster right now. Kate was an easy convert to the Liberty Crack idea. Clean, solid and classic are hard to beat. Kate was leading up the first 5.11 pitch by 8:00am. Four hours from the alarm to the first pitch wasn't an awful start but it wasn't very promising either. She made quick work of the funky pitch. I thought to myself this will be perfect I will be leading the hardest pitches just as it starts to getting really really hot out. I had already come to terms with an A0 ascent so I didn't let the heat get to me. I quickly free climbed up to the lip and promptly pulled on a few pieces up and over the lip again. I continued on to the bolt by the little stance and had Kate lower me from there. I made sure all of the gear was where I wanted as I went by. A pinkpoint attempt would have to do right now. Back at the lower belay I pulled the rope, gave myself a little inward motivational talk, laced my shoes a little tighter and started upwards. For some reason I had the heebee jeebess inside me, which is something I usually only get when I've been trying really hard to redpoint a pitch. At this point my attachment to sending this pitch wasn't that high so I was surprised to feel this way. As I reached the base of the roof a strong breeze kicked up cooling the stale morning heat. I stuck the entry sequence better than I had previously and was quickly and blindly pinky locking over the roof. A few primal screams, a heal hook and deadpoint to the good lock brought me over the roof. I shook out from the good lock in a state of amazement wondering how the hell I just pulled that off. Kate says I have a knack for pulling shit out of my ass, this may have been one of those times. I finished up the next short tricky sections with less thrutching than expected. I chilled out on the stance for a bit trying to decide what to do. I ended up yarding past the original bolts to get to the anchor on top of pitch 2. Kate quickly followed with some good french free technique. I had to figure out what to do about the steep slab section below. There was no way I was going to lead that thing and I really doubted that Brooke Sandahl (who did the FFA) had lead that pitch with the single bolt. He must of done some sort of monkey trick to protect it. I had heard stories of him fixing a line from some anchor and using that for pro but I had always figured that was for the section past the Lithuanian Lip. I have no idea what he did but I don't know of many people that would lead that pitch in it's current state. If it were me doing the FFA I would of had a total of 4 bolts protecting the slab. I need to email Brooke and find out more details. I decided I would have to settle for the toprope for the time being if I could even pull that off. After an hour or so of toiling on the pitch yesterday I still had a couple moves I couldn't do and a move I only pulled off once. As I lowered down with my nose 6 inches away from the rock inspecting every fleck, chip or bump for potential I realized this was going to be really hard. I worked the upper moves on the pitch for almost an hour before I could figure out the 10 foot traverse back to the anchor. This was the move I couldn't do yesterday so I figured I had it in the bag after lapping the move 3 times in a row. After a short rest I lowered down to give the whole pitch a burn. To my dismay I fell off the lower portion of the slab over and over and over again. I had done this part somewhat casually yesterday but that was in the shade. It was now approaching noon and with high's in the 80's things weren't feeling very sticky. I can't even count how many times it took me to figure out the moves on the lower bit. Again after 3 straight laps I figured I had it wired. Up at the belay I rested for awhile pondering my chances of sending. I wouldn't of put 5 bucks on the table saying I'd send next go. But luckily i beat my own odds on my next attempt. It had all the makings of good redpoint (though i was only on TR) , blown sequences, deadpoints to crappy holds, fighting back the urge of the Elvis leg and just barely sketching it out to the belay. I was glad to have that one over. Even though it wasn't in the best style I'll take it for what its worth given the lack of info and time I could put into it. The pitch could really use some more bolts if anyone besides the likes of Tommy or Honold are going to go up there and truly redpoint it. Onwards and upwards we went. Pitch 3 went down with out nearly as much blood, sweat and cursing. If there had been anymore required of me on the pitch I am not sure I would of sent though. At the top of the pitch it started to sink in that I had actually just free climbed my way up here (with a short top-rope section but again I'll take what i can get right now). We were finally able to kick it into to gear and make some good time up the remainder of the route. It had taken close to 5 hours to do the first 3 pitches and then only 3 hours to do the remaining 8 pitches. It felt nice to just be cruising up there without anymore hard pitches left. The summit arrived quickly as did the descent back to the Van. I wish I could say the same for the drive back to my parents place in Snohomish.... We found ourselves stumbling into bed at 11:00pm totally exhausted but very content. We had done close to 50 pitches in the last week, driven 900 miles, taken 6 ferry boat rides, taken a short side trip to Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island and just did one hell of climb. I laid awake for at least an hour rehashing the unlikely outcome of the day and how it took 12 years to get here.
  2. Climb: WA Pass: LA PETIT CHEVAL-F.A. NW FACE : Paul Revere II+5.9+ Date of Climb: 10/22/2006 Trip Report: LA PETIT CHEVAL Northwest Face Paul Revere II+ 5.9+ FA Mark Allen, Ben Mitchell October 22, 2006 Trip report by Mark Allen Northwest Face of Washington Pass’s La Petit Cheval showing the new line Paul Revere a II+ 5.9+. Photo By Ben Mitchell It is hard to drive down the 20 without noticing it. As one travels over the pass it is staged in front of the Silverstar Massif and under the Shadow of the Liberty Bell Group. The three almost triplet flatiron features have caught the eye of many. The group form the three “Chevals” making the Western and Northwestern base of the Big Kangaroo Massiff. Being the main paleoglacial valley these walls have overstepped and exposed solid granite for the taking. Little exploration has been done here. The faces have been subtly documented first in the Red Fred as the “Pale Horse Rock” and the “White Horse Rock” on the Washington Pass overview map (p.292 ). The next time they are mentioned would be by Bryan Burdos North Cascades Rock guide showcasing the Black Horse Point Buttress. Burdo references the Chevals by calling them the “Buttress that faces the highway” in the Black horse figure. After reviewing the references it would seem that we have more names than features. I reckon that Black Horse Point Butress and White Horse Rock to be the same feature. This is the North facing long lichen-black buttress in the Willow drainage (best seen from the approach to the Wine Spires on the Burgundy Creek trail) and white it is not. The Pale Horse Rock seems to be the right (southern most) and highest of the three Chevals. The 2000ft of 2nd and 3rd class approach to this feature extinguishes any desire to climb the grade II face. The central Cheval has a similar approach but looks to yield far better climbing. The left Cheval (northern most Cheval and southwest of the Black Horse) is the closest and has an approach that is quite tangible. The first time any of these features were climbed and named wasn’t until Larry Goldie and Scott Johnston in June of 2004. Their account mentioned driving to climb the East Buttress of SEWS and caught the Southern arete of this feature and turned the car around and sent it. They named the feature the La Petit Cheval sticking to the horse theme and their route appropriately named Spontaneity Arete II+ 5.7. A farmed guide-route that has received several ascents and mixed reviews some love some maso manos. Exploratory and noteworthy for now climbers simply refer to these three-like features as the Chevals. Here is the Large Format link for Higher res prints or files http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=22375&size=big&sort=1&cat=500 On October 22, 2006 Ben Mitchell and I would no longer drive past the Northwest face of the La Petit Cheval. For years I was curious about its character. To be honest I am surprised nobody has ever bothered. So many times I have stared up at it. So many times I have just climbed something else just like everyone else. Its close proximity to 20 and its relatively short stature looked like a last good fall project for the closing short days. Ben and I made it to the base in 1.5 hrs. Instead of parking at the Mile post 165 for Spontaneity Arete we chose the next northern pullout directly in front of the NW face. We dropped directly into the forest and headed across the creek to the drainage climbers left of the walls center. To say that it was chill would be a bold faced lie, but very do-able. 75% was rather quick and uneventful. The later 25% would have 3rd to 4th sections covered in moss and needles. The green belay was helpful. 5th class bush wacking. Finally we made it to the landing just below the center of the face at 10:30am. Mark Allen on the second pitch 5.9 fingers aiming for the twin cracks on the skyline. Photo by Ben Mitchell We both had an uneasy feeling. The face was not riddled with obvious cracks or fantastic weaknesses but rather crackless dihedrals, impossible cracks to nowhere, or unfeatured slabs. Yet, the wall did have a main weakness looking like an easy 5th class scramble. Both freezing we settled on starting the wall simul climbing to gain better terrain. Pitch 1.After 200ft Ben established a belay on a good ledge with a tree. We had a few interesting options. We switched to pitching.Pitch 2 I cast out trending right into a super fun hand to finger crack. I got to fingers and was getting schooled. I still had a rope in my pack …clipped it and pulled a stiff 5.9 finger crux on solid rock through a small tricky bulge and set up the belay at 70ft to deal with the pack. Pitch 3 I told Ben that since my pitch was so short I would take the next pitch also. Now set up for success I left the belay with doubles and up a fun short dihedral. After gaining a small ledge I saw the remainder of the weakness to the near summit looking to be easy fifth class again. I climbed 15ft and passed twin hand cracks splitting the upper shield of the feature for the next 350ft. “Oh my…” I would have to be mad not to try. I stepped in and for the next 70ft would be pure 5.9 crack bliss. I wouldn’t say that I styled it. I had a lot on my mind. The cold, my pack, my pump, my last shity piece, not having any gear that I needed to ease my mind in this sustained size. “Thank-God” jams finally! The pain was over and I could see a stance. I pounded a knife blade, set up my belay. Ben wondering what the hell is taking so long since my last report of chill 5th to the top. Dink, dink, dink, ping, ping, ping! His patients is admirable. Once Ben climbed the cracks himself he was happy with the new deviation that launched us into classic cracks. Ben reached my perch. He looked cold. Pitch 4: I tried to take as much of the hard climbing to not sand bag him on his lead but it was stiff right off the anchor and definitely the routes crux. Ben launched into a hard 5.9+ lay-back off width and cruised into the rest of his relatively sustained pitch. Hand cracks, jugs, diherals, fingers…this 130ft pitch was full value and fantastic climbing. Ben did had an amazingly cool head and just hypnotically climbed it. At my belay I had time to admire the steepness that the wall took on. I had a fantastic view of the East faces of the Liberty Bell group and Tower. I knew now that the wall was going to fall to this ascent and I felt the pressure instantly release. Now my focus turned to fun. Ben was jazzed and got chatty once he reached the belay. Pitch 5 It was time to jam now it was 3:30 and finally made high enough on the wall to be in the sun. Moral was getting much better. The climbing let up and I strecthed out the last 200ft of 5.6 crack and block climbing pulling a final 5.8 move before the lines end. Ben showing the horns before toppin out pitch 5. Photo Mark Allen Ben came up and we celebrated and I was warm for the first time since leaving my house. Much rejoicing. We scramble to the summit and topped out at 4:30pm. 7 hours from the car. Knowing darkness at 6:30 we waisted little time and jammed down the Spontaneity Arete raps and deviated into the gully for the down scramble after the 5th raps. Grabbed the fixed lines and out. Car at 6:30 beer by 7. Mark Allen (left) and Ben Mitchell (Right) on the Summit after completing there new line Paul Revere on the Northwest Face. Photo-self It was the first time Ben and I have climbed together. We had a great time and look forward to it again. The line is alpine dirty and will not need much cleaning to be classically fun. The simul-climbing we did in the begin could be potentially avoided and replaced with a much classier crack pitch to the left. This would yield 4 really nice 5.9 pitches in a row taking a central line up the face. Adventure climbing is a constant theme in the approach and stays with you all day! ROUTE INFO Paul Revere II+ 5.9+ Pitches: 5 (5 new) Pitch style: free Date/Time: Oct 22, 2006: 8 _ hrs total car-to-car Trad anchors: one KB (still remains) Paul Revere (January 1, 1735 – May 10, 1818) was an American silversmith and patriot in the American Revolution. Because he was immortalized after his death for his role as a messenger in the battles of Lexington and Concord, Revere's name and his "Midnight Ride" are well-known in the United States as a patriotic symbol. Revere later served as an officer in one of the most disastrous campaigns of the American Revolutionary War, a role for which he was later exonerated. After the war, he was early to recognize the potential for large-scale manufacturing of metal goods and is considered by some historians to be the prototype of the American industrialist. Later he would help write one of the Beasty Boys most renown tracks. ~Wickapedia Gear Notes: Rack: Cams: 0.3”-4” Doubles sizes: 0.5-3” Triples sizes: .75” and 1.0” Nuts: Single set A few with slings 1X 60M Rope
  3. Climb: Pernod Spire -Direct West Face, III-IV 5.10+ Date of Climb: 7/15/2006 Trip Report: Tony and I climbed a new route on Pernod Spire, the tallest of the Wine Spires near Washington Pass. We climbed the Direct West Face. III-IV 5.10+ We left the car at about 6am and quickly made our way up to the bench below the spires. We traversed right below the spires and started up the gully below Pernod Spire we scrambled up the gully which was mostly shittly kitty litter and big loose blocks...fun fun as we approached the face we were wondering if the rock would improve at all When we got to the base of the face we wandered around looking for a line with climbable rock. The face has a large wave like roof about a pitch up and we had thought that the line would go to the left of the roof. We finally found a crack and corner sysem with solid granite and started up. The first pitch was nice hand cracks and a corner that led up to slabs below the roof Tony led the second pitch which climbed a thin crack and a slab up and right, right up to below the roof. The third pitch was the crux. I traversed on slabs left around the roof and launched up an incredible corner with an off-fingers crack...steep, with a nice bulge, this led to some wild stemming moves and finished with a leftward move into a seam and grooves, a full 60m pitch at 5.10+ The 4th pitch started with an interesting leftward step across a slab into more cracks. Intermittent finger cracks led up for a full pitch between a corner and a huge freestanding horn. The fifth pitch started with another interesting move right off the belay, and then up an arching corner with a thin finger crack under the lip and finished with a really cool move up and over the lip and up ~30' of face/slab. Tony led the 6th pitch up a broken face and through a little notch and then left on nice cracks. the 7th pitch was another nice crack that seamed out for a few moves and brought us up to the ridge crest, where I traversed the airy narrow ridge, until...OH CRAP! We can't get to the summit from here! Damn! what to do? We ended up rapping a full 60m down to sandy benches and finished the climb on the 5.10 corner of the Nelson/Bale route, which is a very fine pitch. The summit block has 2 old aid bolts, the first with no hanger and the second about 1/2 way out of the hole with a rattly hanger, made for a couple exciting moves. The summit is spectacular, the highest of the wine spires...but no time to waste, the sun was low on the horizon and we still had to get down. A long rap brought us to the Pernod/Chablis spire. Major rope issues, ended up with me with shorter ropes, but enough for 2 more raps to get off. The snow on the east side of the spires was just soft enough for us in our tennies, and once below Chianti Spire there was a nice boot pack up to Burgundy Col. A long jaunt down from the col led to a much needed frosty brew! We both feel that this is a great route. Varied, and sustained climbing, fun moves on high quality rock. p1-5.8 p2-5.8 p3-5.10+ p4-5.9 p5-5.10 p6-5.9 p7-5.9 p8-5.10 -Ross Gear Notes: 2 60m ropes full rack incl. 4" (could use one larger maybe) left a fixed rap station of equalized nuts on the ridge crest below a blank face to rap to benches below Approach Notes: Easy approach up trail to bench below spires. Traverse right until gully below Pernod Spire Up gully to toe of west face 1st pitch starts just around the left of the toe in an obvious corner with nice hand cracks on nice dark, solid rock
  4. In the last 3-5 years? Personal experience/rumor/links/thirdhand k-nowledge? PM works good. Thanks.
  5. Climb: Burgundy Spire-F.A. Action Potential. East Face Burgundy Spire Date of Climb: 7/19/2004 Trip Report: 7/18-7/20 2004. Mark Allen & Mike Layton. "Action Potential" 1st ascent of Burgundy Spire's East Face. Grade III, 5.10a-5.10c, 5-7pitches. Seagram's Five-Star. Action Potential: an electrical event along nerve; a wave of rapid depolarization, or a "firing" of a nerve impulse. Mark and I had both spotted the line on separate trips over a year ago. It sat heavy in the back of our minds until after a rather heft spay-down, we both mentioned the potential for a route on the maybe unclimbed east face of Burgandy Spire. Well the last three days we acted on it... Day 1: I knew we were off to a rough start. Mosquitoes tried to make roost in my ear hole as my 5am alarm went off. The taste of stale tobacco and cheap beer kept my mouth sealed from the agonizing groan, the realization that I had some work to do that day. Two and a half hours of sleep. We were going to pay for last night's debauchery. Luckily the chickens provided us with eggs, and strong cups of cowboy coffee churned our bowels. The 1st hour of the slog up Burgundy Col was an exercise in will-power. The accelerated blood flow through my liver speeded filtration, but pushed the chemicals deeper into my brain. As the last ounce of last night's fun left my system, we crested the col and blasted down to the east face of burgundy. It had been two or three years since I had been under the east faces of the wine spires to do chianti, so I had no memory of what the east face of Burgandy looked like up close. All I had we blurry photos taken from trips up the Vasiliki ridge the two previous years. Would there be cracks? Or would there be compact granite seams of overlapping roofs and death blocks as usually is the case? Dragons? A moat Troll? The sky was laden with rain and despair. Lo and behold! The fist part of the mountain was SPLITTER WHITE BUGABOO GRANITE!!! And legs that went all the way up! Heck Yeah! We did the old ro-sham-bow(sp?) and I got the 1st pitch! A 5.8 handcrack flake soared up to a weird off-width-like roof. There was gear! To my left a long layback with some lichen, to my right a spooky hand traverse into an a-cheval. Then it started to rain. I'll take the way with bomber hands and go right, I thought. Fun as hell! Natural belay spot at about 30 meters. Mark came up and it stopped raining. Good. Keep going. This lead took quite some time to credit Mark's will-power and routefinding tenacity. There was a blank looking slab to a blank looking headwall, to a blank looking ramp, to another blank looking overhang. Gonna get shut down. Mark went to go take a look. "Dude, this slab has a PERFECT 5.7 fingercrack up the center," "Dude the headwall had a fingercrack with positive holds" "Dude the ramp has a fingercrack in it" "Dude the headwall has a long steep fingercrack" Everything had a fingercrack! By the time Mark got to the overhang/headwall fingercrack it started to rain. The key slabs for feet were covered in a black lichen carpet. He began to aid, and just as he reached for his 1st free move CRACK-POW. Thunder and lightning overhead. We rapped off and headed home. Much debauchery with special guest Eric, SpecialEd and Lunger. It dumped rain all night long and into the morning. We ate much bacon that morning before we headed back up the pass (AGAIN) this time with overnight gear, dark skies, and a 1:30pm start. Day 2: At the pass by 3:30. Started the climb (AGAIN) by 4:30. We were a little late. We swapped leads so Mark could enjoy the 1st pitch and I could free the 2nd pitch. Mark went up the layback instead of the handtraverse and continued up the headwall and slab to below the 5.10 fingercrack. A FULL pitch of 5.9 (about 3 5.9 cruxes) to a semi-hanging belay. Future parties should split this up, we were in a hurry. I tacked the lichen fingercrack. My body needed to pull one way, with the crack jammed the other. No feet. Gotta scrub this. Some scrubbing and sequencing got us up the crux to insecure handjams. I continued up a handcrack covered in lichen (5.8) to these WILD system of flakes. You can see them from the ground. Huge fingers of rock pointed wildly into the east. There were several of these overlapping flakes creating a wildly exposed and fun jug haul to a major ledge system. There I found a very old looking fixed hex. Shit! The route had been done! Wait....I looked down to my left and saw a 4th class scree ledge system that led to my stance. Must've been an exploratory pitch cuz no-one had been the way we came, and very doubtful that they continued up. This was the only piece of fixed pro on the whole route. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not. This 2nd pitch was also a very long 55 meter pitch. Mark's next 80 meter (simul) pitch took us 1/2 way up the massive corner system that splits the upper face. It was the MOST fun in a chimney (except epinepherine of course) I've ever had. as characterized on this route and the variations every time you needed a foot, one appeared, everytime the hands got to thin, there was a hold, sidepull, or undercling. What a blast! My pitch started of a big mungy with a couple interesting moss mushroom, but after a few pieces, it got stellar again and I stemmed and chimneyed and face climbed up the corner to the big split at the top. I took the right hand chimney (fun) b/c the left looked quite hard. Now we were on the huge ledge just below the summit. Mark finished the mountain with the 5.7 or 5.8 arete that I guess is part of the N.F. route. We did our last rap in the dark with big giant smiles on our faces! Day 3: A 7:30 wake up (slept through the alarm) woke us to seriously looming skies and chilly conditions! Luckily the face was mostly wind protected. Mark started up a crack to the left of the bugaboo crack that was a big easier and led to below the headwall below the ramp. It was a great pitch also, but I like the flake to roof to layback pitch better. Instead of doing the fingercrack pitch, I headed right up a thin crack open book that stated as a thin crack left facing corner. A little bit of lichen cleaning and I fingerlocked and laybacked up the 10a crux. This led me into the open book where I jammed, stemmed, and fingerlocked to a ledge. The wall on my left loomed above me with a HUGE AMAZING HANDCRACK that went all the way up to below a massive overhanging roof with a slab traverse below it. It fist-jammed, foot jammed, hand jammed, toe jammed, and finger locked (it has everything!- including a BEAR HUG!) until I was outta breath and outta gear. Mark finished the crack and was discouraged that it blanked out. No, I shouted, I think I see a crack that splits the slab! There was! Mark delicately switched cracks and led below the big roof to where it ended on the arete. The roof ends at the arete where the two come together creating a heady step around. Mark took his time choosing holds and gear. He dissapeared. Then I heard, "I am at the ledge above the flakes!!!" No kidding! It went, and linked up with our route! We just established a fantastic variation. Both ways are fun in their own way. This one had this awesome pitch I led, the other has the hard fingercrack and the wicked flake pitch. Mark had to be at work by 6pm so we decided to rap since we had already down the other pitches. A giant diagonal rap got us to our 1st anchor. Mark had a wire brush and spend and hour and a half on rappel scrubbing the shit out of the steep finger crack pitch. It may be easier than 10c now? The desperate insecure handjams above the fingercrack has good jams now and you should be able to use your feet on the slabs alongside the fingercrack. Future parties are encouraged to take a big wire brush to freshen up this pitch and also the step-around variation to expose key footholds. After shivering my ass off waiting for mark, we started to pull the ropes to do the last rappel. After three feet of pulling, the ropes got stuck! We did eveything we could to get them down including some very sketchy shit. Mark HAD to get to work, and it was very steep to prussik up the ropes, so we did not have time to retrieve them. Mark is going to try and get them back asap, but there are beers involved if you get them for him. Please don't booty our ropes after we put all that hard work in, please. Just coil them up and huck 'em off from the ledge. I will post some photos soon (they suck, I used the wrong speed film and the lighting was terrible). Mark took better photos, but are slides, so it may be a bit. Mark is working on a topo and is probably done. He will post it online soon. It contains all 11 different pitches. It will also be available at the board near the Mazama Store. Mark and I had such a fun fun fun and amazing time. What a great three days. And what a classic line! Folks who want to climb Burgundy but don't want to do the N.F. route are highly encouraged to repeat this route. There is no sketchyness involved. I reccomend carrying shoes in the pack and rapping the N.F. to the col . The N.F. is 4 60 meter raps straight down. Gear Notes: Rack: One set of thin gear and big gear to 4". Double on fingers to fists (i.e. double set of yellow alien to yellow camalot). Double ropes if doing long pitches. Single rope and rap line if doing shorter pitches (more fun that way). Wire brush to spruce up the route. P.S. Mark left his brush on the summit rap by accident so if you want to grab that, rap the route, and scrub, go for it. Approach Notes: A 2 hour grunt to the pass. There is a cairn on the pull out where to drop down. Soft snow on the col with some steepness. No tool neccesacry, can bypass the steep bits until it gets icy later on.
  6. Climb: Le Petit Cheval near WA pass-Spontaneity Arete Date of Climb: 6/2004 Trip Report: With summer season in full swing at WApa the routes can get awfully crowded and in some cases downright dangerous. This can be especially true on the easy to moderate routes where folks looking to learn about mulitpitch rock climbes can create real jambs for both themselves and other parties. While I don't want to deter folks from choosing some of the fine classic lines among the spires I would like to suggest that there are a number of other great climbs in the area that can provide a fun climbing experience without the clusterf**k that we have all seen when too many folks try to climb one route. Here is some beta for a new route that has already seen about 10 ascents and has gotten good reviews. It has an easy approach: ~1 hour for a strong party, Simple and safe descent, goes to its own summit and offers great views of all the big peaks in the WApa area. A few weeks ago while Larry and I were headed up to climb the E Butt on SEW spire we commented on the nice looking line on one of the three prominent buttresses at the north end of Kangaroo ridge opposite Mile Post 165. Turns out we had both been scoping this thing for a couple of years, so totally SPONTANEOUSLY (get the connection) we changed plans and went exploring. What we ended up finding was a line that is; fun, moderate, safe, good to very good rock (for the N Cascades) and good views. The sense of commitment is limited since one can bail out to the descent gully in several places. The attached topo should give a pretty good sense of where to go but basically this is an arete climb and one should stick pretty much to the ridge except where you want to obviously follow better rock slightly right or left of the crest. This climb will give novice leaders a fun time out with great pro and solid rock. There are comfy belay ledges, conveniently spaced. The cruxy sections are never desperate and fairly short. Much more of a rock climb than the S Arete on SEW spire. So if you want to avoid the crowds check it out. The climb follows the WSW buttress of the Eastern most of the 3 prominent rock out croppings that grace the N end of northward extension of Kangaroo ridge. Do not confuse with what Bryan Burdo calls Black Horse which faces E, more into Willow creek, and contains two decidedly unworhty climbs. These rocks are around the end of the ridge to the W and face Hwy 20 head on. Beckey refers to Black Horse as White Horse on p292 of the Red Book. In keeping with the horsey theme but adding a bit of an international flavor we chose Petit Cheval for the name of the crag. We found no sign of previous ascent. Gear Notes: Standard rack to 3.5 inches. Single 60m rope Approach Notes: Park at MP 165 on Hwy 20 where there is a big pullout. Park at the W (uphill) end of this large pullout. Find the trail dropping steeply down the bank and into the highest stand of big timber. Follow the trail across EW creek at a log jamb and up to brushy cliffs below the crag. The trail is well defined. There are two sections of fixed rope to help for short tough spots. Descent can by either rappelling the route which is equipped with sling anchors or doing one 80' rap into the gully to the S and scrambling down this. Either way will you bring back to the base of the route. Untill early July the gully will have snow and may require an axe and/or boots.
  7. Climb: Spontaniety Arete-Le Petit Cheval Date of Climb: 7/8/2004 Trip Report: Heard word of a new route up at WaPass, went up there yesterday to check it out. Stopped by Mazama and borrowed the only copy of the topo, which is posted on the NC mountain guides bulletin board outside the store. The route is Le Petit Cheval on Spontaniety Arete, (5.7, II+, FAs Scott Johnson and Larry Goldie). Overall, an enjoyable outing with a short approach. Around 7 pitches of 5th class to 5.7 and probably an equal amount of class 2-4 scrambling. The highlights are several very nice pitches of low angle clean hand cracks. The lowlights are the several pitches of bushwhacking in between the nice pitches and the somewhat tedious descent gully. (Bring your approach shoes!) The climb reminded me somewhat of the South Butt on Cutthroat. The route follows a wide, most low angle rock rib with tree belays the whole way. The lack of comittment makes it a good beginner climb, as it's possible in several places to scramble or rap into the gully and walk back to the base. The quickest descent option is to scramble down easy ground for a couple hundred feet from the top, then into the obvious (for reals!) descent gully. The FAs did a great job on the trail--once you find it, it's obvious all the way. (Thanks for all the work!) Takes a bit over an hour to the base of the rock. That afternoon we returned the wrinkled but usable topo to the bulletin board in Mazama. Gear Notes: small alpine rack, one rope. Approach Notes: Park at the W end the the pullout just W of mp 165 on the north cascades highway. (This is about halfway between the approach to the wine spires and the big hairpin turn below WaPass) trail goes down steep rocky bank into largest nearby trees. Follow well marked trail down across creek and then up through some sections of scrambling with fixed ropes to big snag at base of rock.
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