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Marko

[TR] Chair Pk - NW Ridge 02/11/2018

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Trip: Chair Pk - NW Ridge

Trip Date: 02/11/2018

Trip Report:

 

 

More fun in winter I thought, especially with the amazing conditions.  More alpine ice well adhered to the rock than I've ever seen in the Snoq area, neve even!  Don, my long time climbing partner, and I had a blast in this puppy yesterday.

The last 10' of the first pitch gaining the ridge was a good opener.  The second pitch we traversed on the south side of the ridge up to a small notch with a chockstone, then up a short runout slab then a downward traverse to a small tree belay on the right.  The third pitch went straight up to a steep hard (for me anyway) chimney topping out on the crest.  Fantastic hooking!  Running belay along the sharp crest and on to the top.

I hope folks got out and got some in these incredible conditions!

Left side of N face (yep, that's all good alpine ice and neve!):IMG_1159.thumb.JPG.505ed0021fa3a96001b860d9fa32ba33.JPG

 

N Face route:

IMG_1164.thumb.JPG.fdbfc0bf25019971d578d8c098197187.JPG

 

1st pitch top out:

IMG_1165.thumb.JPG.876a075ae8f146ce0e71a2c3c4ae7ba8.JPG

 

Don on runout slab (red dot), belay tree barely visible down and right:

IMG_1166.thumb.JPG.cad8f29e30ebcd040a0e58cce01ca43e.JPG

 

3rd pitch:

5a849c3e19dbc_3rdpitch.thumb.jpg.97c21fd00afa1bc935e36a40036d1575.jpg

 

Looking down 3rd pitch top out:

IMG_1203.thumb.JPG.770a4815bcddf2c8dcd7f8cca5aad9f5.JPG

 

Running belay toward top:

IMG_1204.thumb.JPG.f239e105adffc39b2f1e91d8ab924816.JPG

Gear Notes:
Rock rack, no pins or screws needed

Approach Notes:
Casual, no floatation needed/wanted

Edited by Marko
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Was there Saturday but somehow forgot my sunglasses like an idiot... Glad people were getting the goods!

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Man, I've done this route a couple of times in the Spring and Summer and it's never been anything to write home about.  But, I have often wondered how it would climb in the winter.  Looks like a lot of fun!  Thanks for the TR.

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Yes Jake, Mark has crushed my dreams of making the FWA of the West Ridge (unclimbed in winter according to someone at Pro Ski and Guide).  Remember when we went to attempt it but stopped at the North Face because it was so heavily iced?  Ahhh, what could have been. 

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I'm not happy about having my climb poached.  Gerrit and Jake will corroborate that I had intentions on the winter ascent as far back as 2013.  I even placed a piton with a red tag, but it was probably covered in ice.

In all seriousness, nice work.  A very cool addition to winter climbing in the Snoqualmie Pass area!

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3 hours ago, DPS said:

I'm not happy about having my climb poached.  Gerrit and Jake will corroborate that I had intentions on the winter ascent as far back as 2013.  I even placed a piton with a red tag, but it was probably covered in ice.

In all seriousness, nice work.  A very cool addition to winter climbing in the Snoqualmie Pass area!

Actually, the first clean winter ascent awaits; I rested on a couple pieces due to decrepitude!

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Did you climb up to the big chock stone chimney, which would be the top of pitch two or three?  Did you then stick to the ridge crest, the photo of Don appears to be on the south side of the ridge?  Did you follow the summer route?  Thanks!

As an aside, I think it is very cool that FWAs are still happening at Snoqualmie Pass and folks like Chris Simmons are doing a lot of exploration and fitting together really interesting enchainments.  Snoqualmie Pass is like little  Scotland.   When the conditions are ripe, the goods are excellent.  I did a Tooth to Denny traverse in the summer which was really cool, if a bit contrived.   I think in good winter conditions traversing the NE Slab of the Tooth to Denny Mt. would be a good, long day out.

There is also a striking prow on Hemlock Peak (I think) climbers right of the NE Slab on the Tooth that I have seen in climbable, thickly ice conditions.  That would be a cool way up Hemlock and could enchain the rock pitches on the north ridge.

 

Edited by DPS

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On ‎2‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 11:13 AM, DPS said:

Did you climb up to the big chock stone chimney, which would be the top of pitch two or three?  Did you then stick to the ridge crest, the photo of Don appears to be on the south side of the ridge?  Did you follow the summer route?  Thanks!

As an aside, I think it is very cool that FWAs are still happening at Snoqualmie Pass and folks like Chris Simmons are doing a lot of exploration and fitting together really interesting enchainments.  Snoqualmie Pass is like little  Scotland.   When the conditions are ripe, the goods are excellent.  I did a Tooth to Denny traverse in the summer which was really cool, if a bit contrived.   I think in good winter conditions traversing the NE Slab of the Tooth to Denny Mt. would be a good, long day out.

There is also a striking prow on Hemlock Peak (I think) climbers right of the NE Slab on the Tooth that I have seen in climbable, thickly ice conditions.  That would be a cool way up Hemlock and could enchain the rock pitches on the north ridge.

 

I don't really remember a big chockstone chimney other than the upper feature in the 5th and 6th pics.  After I took that shot of Don on the south side he deked right then back up to the cool spiny crest.  We just about followed the way we went a couple summers ago.

I totally agree with your sentiments about the Snoq Alps!  There's even stuff left to do on the NW side of Snoqualmie Mtn.  I'm positive that last weekend there could have been numerous new routes put up all over them Alps!

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