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Michael Telstad

[TR] Green giant buttress - Darrington - Dreamer (Approach) 5/13/2017

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After reading the long winded comments about the approach to Dreamer on Mountain Project Tess and I decided to spend a misty northwest day scouting out the road and approach to the climb.


As expected the mile or so beyond the 8 mile trailhead had some blow downs (Note that 8 mile trailhead is actually at the 6 mile point on the FS road). I brought a hand saw, axe and some loppers and made pretty quick work of these. That said the road is still pretty rough in a few spots on the way in so make sure you've got a car that can handle going through a streambed or two. We were in a Subaru Forester and questioned whether we would be able to get through a few of the rough patches.

34626309746_956fa70e59_z.jpgIMG_0367 by michael t, on Flickr[/img] [img:left]34626313066_ef734c6379_z.jpgIMG_0370 by michael t, on Flickr[/img] 


We cleared the road of blowdowns to mile 7 where the road widens slightly before a small creek comes in and is eroding the road pretty quickly. You could go a bit further but there is a deep sandy mud puddle 5 minute walk in that I wouldn't want to get stuck in and you lose the ability to turn your car around.


The logging road quickly turns into more of a streambed (particularly at this time of year) but if you follow your nose you'll find yourself on a beautiful little climbers trail through the forest. Neat to see some old mining hardware in place way up here.

34282081740_3f77289a86_z.jpgIMG_0374 by michael t, on Flickr 34626320486_1b16e8fbc1_z.jpgIMG_0375 by michael t, on Flickr


There is a rope handline set up to help facilitate the copper creek crossing but honestly a set of poles is probably more useful but we appreciated the handline to let us know we were in the right spot. A trail/path of least resistance is slightly downstream of where we crossed the creek. Follow a couple cairns through the boulders towards a beautiful waterfall. There are a ton of wild roses in this section right around the base of the waterfall which was pretty prickly, so we lopped a rough path from the boulders to the falls to spare the poor soul who decides to wear shorts on this approach.


33857351723_3b4c432d7c_z.jpg004 by michael t, on Flickr (The rope across the stream)

33857365003_c44181232c_z.jpg008 by michael t, on Flickr (Clearing a path through the pricklies)

34282074310_835770a162_z.jpgDSC_0383 by michael t, on Flickr (The buttress in sight!)

33857355993_e1a2c0e0f3_z.jpg005 by michael t, on Flickr (Red webbing and a cairn marks the alder tunnel. We also replaced some of the faded pink tape with new orange tape.)


To the right of the base of the waterfall someone has some red tubular webbing which is still there marking the base of the tunnel through the slide alder. There is also a bit of flagging marking the way. I imagine people have a harder time finding this later in the season when there is vegetation growing every which way. We found it pretty straightforward because everything was still budding/snow had just melted off maybe last week. Slide alder tunnel is pretty much a highway as long as you are prepared to just climb through on your hands and knees. We did run into one spot that was impossible to get through with backpacks on so brought the saw out for a quick trip (but don't worry plenty of adventure schwack still there).

34282037610_d4b4e94cfc_z.jpg003 by michael t, on Flickr (Tess doing work on the slide alder)

34626328306_614974d0dd_z.jpgIMG_0406 by michael t, on Flickr (Some pink tape marking the tunnel)


After the tunnel we hit snow. We went up to the top of the snow but this section starts to get pretty steep muddy and wet and we didn't feel super comfortable going much further through the steep brush and snow without an an ice axe or at least a sturdier set of poles (those Ultra light BD Carbon Z poles don't really cut it on snow). From our turnaround point we had a fantastic view of the route. Once the snow is gone and the slabs dry, you can most likely just scramble straight from here to the base of the climb.

34282055320_c7af8d023a_z.jpg006 by michael t, on Flickr (Tess making her way up the snow)

34505296912_10c380ef9f_z.jpgIMG_0411 by michael t, on Flickr (Me trying not to punch through the thin hollow snow over slab)

33857406363_4d5750985e.jpgIMG_0926 copy by michael t, on Flickr (Rough route overlay from our turnaround point)

Would love to get confirmation that the the normal approach route just continues straight from this point through the avy chute. Is there actually a little trail that would normally appear to get to the base of the rock if there wasn't snow or is it just some stiff veggie belaying up and down from the area above this snow. Hope this helps anyone trying to get out there soon!

Edited by Michael Telstad

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Nice work Michael Telstad! Public service for Darrington Climbers! Way to make the best of a rainy day!




Mr. Alford ;-)

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Hi Michael


You are in the right spot

Keep in the approach gully and the slabs appear soon



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Sweet, looks like that will help clean things up.


I would add, at the top of the magic alder tunnel approach thing, you will eventually be forced to go left or right. Both ways look like they could get you to the start.


Make sure you go right, otherwise you will end up fourth/low fifth class traversing back over to get to the starting pitches.

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Don't be ashamed of laying to waste slide alder, or any veg up the Mtn. Loop for that matter. It has probably already grown back.


Thanks for the work!

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