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ahparker

[TR] Mt. Hood - Arachnophobia (Variation?) Black Spider Headwall 1/6/2017

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Arachnophobia (Variation?) Black Spider Headwall

 

Date: 1/6/2017

 

Trip Report:

First trip report on here, please be kind.

 

After looking at and talking for a long time about the Black Spider, my friend Tim and I took the cold and dry weather forecast and decided it seemed like a good conditions recipe to head up and check out in person.

 

I picked Tim up about 1:15am and we were suited up and skinning by about 3:15am. The approach started fine, we decided to take the low way around the White River. Once we reached the Silcox hut we veered off. Neither of us having done this before we weren't exactly sure where we were going. Before we even reached the canyon, we had to ditch the skis and transition to crampons due to icy conditions, they were shouldered the rest of the day until the descent unfortunately. We got fairly confused and made for a long trip crossing the White River. Despite the slow going approach we found ourselves at the base of the snowfield below the Black Spider when the alpenglow hit. While harnessing up Tim realized his Platypus water bottle had popped and his harness and other gear was frozen solid, good start. After this was a mix of breakable crust, unconsolidated snow, and some decent neve. Getting up to the base of the wall added about 1.5-2 hours of wallowing to our approach we figured.

 

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Originally we planned on climbing the Center Drip, but from our approach angle it was hard to tell if it looked in or not, so we decided to go for Arachnophobia. The approach having taken longer than anticipated, we found ourselves on the headwall with direct sun and no wind, so we wanted to climb as fast as possible. Our plan was basically to simulclimb the route on our 40m skinny line. Despite warm temps on the wall, we experienced much less ice and rockfall than we planned for (though still some), comparable to mild days on the Reid.

 

Now the good stuff. Tim led up the initial climbing and we simulclimbed until we reached the top of the 1st snowfield. Hero sticks the whole way with a tad bit of mixed in there made for very enjoyable and fun climbing, ear to ear smiles.

 

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From here we took what we believe to be a variation from the line in the Mt Hood book. Instead of heading right as it looks in the book, we moved straight up and climbed a thin ice line at the top left of the snowfield, essentially straightening up the line. This went somewhere around WI3 or 3+. I pounded in a small kb then a little heady but moderate mixed climbing that followed took us to the 2nd snowfield. Anyone know what this variation is called?

 

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Here again we varied from the line in the book, we both remembered that there was a right hand exit that took us to the summit snowfield, but we opted to follow the snowfield up and climbed alpine ice through what we believe to be the finish to the Elder/Russel route. From here we were pretty gassed and slowly climbed the final snowfield to the summit. We were worked and fully psyched to finally climb the Black Spider after a longer, more involved, and tiring day than we had planned.

 

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For gear, the route took solid screws the whole way and we pounded a few small kb's in some of the mixed climbing areas. Unfortunately Tim had some issue with his ice clipper and dropped 2 of our 6 screws making for some runout climbing, they should be at the base of the Black Spider if anyone feels ambitious.

 

I can't figure out how to orient the pictures correctly, my apologies and I'll try to correct, if someone knows how, please let me know!

 

Gear Notes:

6 screws, 5x13s and 1x10, dropped 2 (took great screws the whole way)

Baby angle and kb's (used 2 kbs)

Few cams and nuts (never used)

 

 

Approach Notes:

Low way around the White River, icy/wind blown conditions. Breakable crust, unconsolidated snow, and some decent neve to the base. Long and wallowing.

 

Edited by ahparker
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Nice job and nice to see the directissima climbed. I have always thought that way was a great line (though I have never had the chance to dance with it).

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That's a helluva first report! Carrying skis the whole way up that thing??!! Wow.

 

Please keep the reports coming!

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Nice to see that loop closed after 25 years. I have seen the direct finish in once, and thought it would be fun. Nice job!

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Thanks all! Wayne, sounds like we got super lucky with conditions then! Any idea if it's been climbed before? Based on what we saw it was the obvious line of weakness and can't imagine it hasn't been done before at some point.

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I doubt it, I have been spraying about it for a long time and tracking every public report for that wall. You win the prize for best lime on that wall IMO! Especially with that finish.

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Thanks for the info Wayne! Totally see why you've been so into that wall for so long. Totally different beast than the rest of Hood, felt like we were in another range entirely!

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