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JasonG

[TR] Wilmans Peak and East Wilmans Spire - Wilmans- NW face, East Spire- Standard 6/17/2017

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Trip: Wilmans Peak and East Wilmans Spire - Wilmans- NW face, East Spire- Standard

 

Date: 6/17/2017

 

Trip Report:

My tennis elbow was still bothering me last weekend (getting better though thanks to advice I gathered from the fitness forum), so the North Cascades Blue Collar Tour extended its run. The Wilmans massif was the next stop and the NW face certainly delivered- hauling bikes over the Sauk on a slippery log, discontinuous snow forcing forays onto slimy, exposed 4th class rock, and a glide crack dodging descent that left no room for error. Interestingly, the summit register of Wilmans peak had been hit by lightning, melting the plastic bag inside, which I replaced. It appeared that Wilmans hadn't been climbed since 2009, which actually surprised us- until we started the descent to East Wilmans.

 

As with most Blue Collar Tours, the rope stayed stowed until we came upon some real 5th class climbing on East Wilmans. This is also where we ran into a friend of mine and his partner who where on their own mission to the unmistakable table-top sized summit with a three piton anchor. We lounged with them for a bit too long as the weather slowly deteriorated and were treated to rain on the hike and bike to the cars.

 

Strangely, when I last climbed East Wilmans about a dozen years ago I also knew the only other party on the mountain. The Blue Collar Club isn't large, but they are consistent.

 

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Gear Notes:

Bikes are a must for the road to Monte Cristo. Helmet, axe, crampons, light rack to 3", 60m half rope (for East Wilmans). We used rock shoes but you can climb it in boots too. It's about 5.6.

 

Approach Notes:

Standard approach to Glacier Basin, head up towards East Wilmans, then hang a left to the NW ramp of Wilmans where the gully narrows.

Plan on about a 11-12 hour RT including long summit breaks.

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Chance encounters up in the hills are always fun. Good to see you up there Jason on such a fine day! East Wilmans was fun, and conditions were excellent!

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Awesome! I've heard some rockfall a few years back changed the route on the spire a bit. Did it seem harder this time around?

 

It did seem harder, but I thought that was just the 42 year old me whining (and my poor memory fading)! You could see where some rock had let go and there were a couple moves that I didn't remember from before. Interesting.

 

Yes, good to see you Brett!

 

And Doug, not totally better, but a bit of improvement.....

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Interesting the gully of doom is so melted out, would've thought it would still be plumb full of snow.

 

Isn't there a new road in to ride on? Those cobbles don't look particularly great for biking much less with a full day's worth of climbing gear on your back.

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Nice one J and Trent! Brings back good memories of doing those climbs with Dallas 20+ years ago.

Now about this tennis elbow, I did not know people from the Skag played tennis? Glad it's not effecting your Choss Dogging. And This Blue Collar Tour, does that mean no Tech Bros should undertake these climbs?

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cobbles don't look particularly great for biking much less with a full day's worth of climbing gear on your back.

 

I think BigEO would agree with me that the road is not comfortable for riding.

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To be fair, the bad section of the old road is early on. It is still worth bringing bikes, even with pushing them for a bit. There was a new road put in, but my understanding was that they obliterated it on the way out after the mine remediation work. From what we could see around Monte Cristo, this seemed to be the case.

 

The gully to East Wilman's has TONS of snow. The NW ramp on Wilmans, however, was boney. Surprisingly so. I think it was ripped apart by climax slides this winter/spring.

 

Yeah Scott! Warmed the hearts of Steve and I to see your names in there, and not a tech bro in sight. And you should know that us Skagitonians are way into tennis!

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Nice work Skagit boys! Climbed E Wilman's in rainstorm a few November's back! Wish I had seen the summit register.

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You didn't miss anything Ben, I wasn't clear that the register was on Wilmans Peak, not the spire. I found the remnants of the spire register at the base, sans cap or paper.

 

It did have a small trowel for burying poo though....

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