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mgetlin

first ascent [TR] Mt. Hood - FA Three Little Monkeys - New Route on The Black Spider 03/31/2018

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Three Little Monkeys - New Route on The Black Spider

Trip Date: 03/31/2018

Trip Report:

 

“Three Little Monkeys” New Route on the Black Spider, Mt. Hood OR WI4+ M5R

 

Michael Getlin and Walter Burkhardt

 

I was chatting with Wayne a few months back and he mentioned that there was some unclimbed potential on the left side of the Spider. A quick scouting mission showed a beautiful and long ice line between the existing Fric-Amos route and the Elder-Russel summer line. A fat long ice line it was not, but it seemed to have smears in all the right places so we gave it a go.

We left Timberline at 5am with perfect high cloud cover that promised to keep the sun off the east-facing, concave wall. We crossed the bergschrund at 8:15 and started right in on what we thought would be the crux pitch. A few vertical mixed moves brought me to the hanging, detached ice dagger which proved fragile and delaminated. It was a type of fragile water ice climbing that I have never seen on Mt. Hood. It was strikingly similar to the first pitch of "Mean Streak" in Cody (we bailed). WI4+ (Not Mt. Hood grading) 

I brought Walter up and then set off to try and connect to another hanging dagger directly above but huge unsupported snow mushrooms guarded it. After sending one down on Walter I decided to try right. This proved to be the crux pitch of the route as rotten snow over near vertical mud lead to two distinct vertical mud chimneys. The second one was protectable, the first was not. It turns out though that in a pinch, the rock/mud takes decent sticks. Several times when I thought I was getting in trouble, I just wailed away at the rock face and my picks stuck like magic! Gotta love volcanoes. M5 R

For the third pitch I jogged left again, trying to get back on the plumb line which proved a good guess as we found sound rock with interesting mixed moves and wonderful water ice that took good screws. WI3 M3

After bringing Walter up, I climbed up a narrow ice gully hoping to veer left and drop into the upper bowl through which the Fric-Amos route finishes. At this point it was getting late and we were looking for a quick exit. But to my surprise the bowl was guarded by a vertical snow fin that would have involved about 50 feet of unprotectable down climbing, so I veered right and then straight up, finding a path through wild gold-colored gendarmes that rose like turrets over the upper face. We popped into the sun and knew we were home free. WI3

In all we climbed five full length pitches, the last of which was mostly steep snow. I was lucky to share this experience with Walter. He was a great mentor to me when I first started going to the mountains and I owe him a good deal of credit for keeping me safe and motivated over the years.

Note: In retrospect, it’s worth mentioning that the face was pretty dry when we climbed it. The start or Arachnophobia and the visible parts of the center drip looked more like rotten snow than solid alpine ice. I think when the face is fat, the line would be a very reasonable outing. I was surprised at how direct, steep, and sustained it was. I would love someone to give her a go in better ice conditions and see if that little kink in the second pitch could be ironed out.  

 

Our line in yellow

5ac0e36a08efd_FacewithRoute.thumb.jpg.39c24cef55ab92ec6f27b5e0c2cdb804.jpg

 

Looking at the start from below - the face seemed dry to me but it was my first time up there so I don't really know. 

5ac0e36f47259_StartwithArrow.thumb.jpg.5a18430579b3278b7539b145bc2ca4c8.jpg

Approaching the line (Straight ahead) 

IMG_4555.thumb.JPG.aa319dc0f6e9eb44ee4b776f5eb3d03a.JPG
 

Mid way up the first pitch

IMG_4557.thumb.JPG.e023b36a28d4694e501ef6f4562d82de.JPG

IMG_0996.thumb.JPG.46303160f55bde6a192d088813e7514c.JPG


 

Walter Following P3

IMG_1005.thumb.JPG.87a66fa1937a446482c6a15031e77035.JPG

 

Looking up at the start of P4

IMG_1002.thumb.JPG.881a7de3bd4aa3c2dea84e600a5ecd0f.JPG

Gear Notes:
We brought a single 60m, 2 Pickets, 5 screws, 4 pins, and 4 cams (.5-2). We could have used a few smaller cams and a rack of nuts would have been nice

Approach Notes:
Timberline to top of palmer. Dropped our skis and crossed the white river at about 8800ft. 3:15 car to schrund in good conditions.

Edited by mgetlin
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  • Rawk on! 4

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That's quite a line! Loved reading about the mud placements. Maybe the PNW volcano equivalent of ascending the white cliffs of dover with ice tools...

 

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2 hours ago, JayB said:

That's quite a line! Loved reading about the mud placements. Maybe the PNW volcano equivalent of ascending the white cliffs of dover with ice tools...

 

Definitely placed a number 2 in a mud crack. It fit like a glove! Bomber. 

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Woooooooooooo, well done!

Not sure what I'm more excited about: an intriguing FA or just the fact that a new Oregon trip report has been posted. Either way, awe ya!

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Wow! that does indeed look steep. This is one of only a few routes that have appeared to put up a good fight!  Nice go on that climb guys, way to get after it.

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54 minutes ago, wayne said:

Wow! that does indeed look steep. This is one of only a few routes that have appeared to put up a good fight!  Nice go on that climb guys, way to get after it.

Thanks Wayne! Your work on the drip got me really stoked on that face. 

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