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Michael Telstad

[TR] Juno Tower - Clean Break 07/30/2018

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Trip: Juno Tower - Clean Break

Trip Date: 07/30/2018

Trip Report:

It seems like Gabe and I have had a track record this season of finding the most marginal weather in the state, then choosing to go for it anyways. From plenty of wet and cold days in vantage last winter to an early season one day climb of prusik in a Blizzard, and a very cold and rainy day in the liberty bell group. This climb was no exception.

On Sunday we drove over from Seattle and after cragging a little in the shady icebox canyon we stashed a bike and some Gatorade just off the road at the wine spires pullout.IMG_4200.thumb.JPG.766cb8fa2e5f0569877bd7bd9ad07d93.JPG

On our drive down to Winthrop for dinner we stopped by the Cutthroat lake rd to chat with the ranger who was stationed there. He informed us that the fire was under control and that it likely wouldn't impact our climb the next day.

The next morning we woke up at 3am and left the car at 3:30 in an attempt to get to the base at first light. With a weather forecast of 90 on the summit of Silverstar we knew it was going to be a hot one. It was.

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Gabe trying to get us un-lost on the approach.IMG_4226.thumb.JPG.966d48188f88ff11b8fefd528573739b.JPG

The route basking in some nice alpenglow as we cross some slabs below the base.

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The first pitch is the stellar tight hands splitter on the right side of the blank wall. We got up to the base by scrambling up the chossy gulley to the left of the snow. There was an exciting 5th class mantle at the top that some might want to rope up for. No need for snow gear!

I quickly learned on the first pitch that 1.)over 3 liters of water is heavy.  2.)warming up on 10c with a heavy pack is hard. And 3.) it's already damn hot and i'm sweating a lot. Somehow I managed to pull off the OS and was glad to have triples in .5 & .75.

The rest of the route went pretty smoothly despite feeling like shit while baking in the sun. Luckily our packs were getting lighter really fast! 

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Gabe styling the 10a roofy slabs.

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Gabe fighting with a tree on the 5.6/5.8 traverse pitch

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Pretending to be having fun while trying not to vomit from heat exhaustion.

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Moments before Gabe threw a hissy fit because our friend Jeff told us we didn't need a 4 for this pitch. The perfect rack would be one 3 and one 3.5. We had 2 3's and the crack gets wider than a 3 at the lip. Gabe didn't like that.

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Some of the first shade encountered on route. Trying to use the cold rock to cool down.

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More shade on the big ledge before the simul block to the summit. This was a real life saver though a big time suck.

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You're apparently supposed to stay right of the ridge crest here for more enjoyable climbing. I think we passed the only spot to get over so were forced to climb the lame sandy gullies to the left. Can't say I recommend them, but they get you to the summit.

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Summit stoke! We topped out at 1pm for a time of 9:30 C2S. Not too bad for how crappy we were feeling.IMG_4266.thumb.JPG.9f1d9e7d5bafe560f6df2eafb78b4e9f.JPG

Looking up Vasiliki ridge. One hell of a traverse!

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The descent follows the "obvious gully" then traverses left and down A LOT back to bench camp. There is plenty of kitty litter on slab skiing along the way to keep it exciting. IMG_4274.thumb.JPG.cc62e77a4546585a0adf7311d251d530.JPG

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Overall Clean Break is a stellar route with high quality rock and not a whole lot of routefinding issues to be had. This makes for a relatively fast 15 pitch 5.10 in a rad location. We really learned our lesson not to climb big routes on such hot weekends, and to bring a filter, not iodine if we end up doing it anyways. Half an hour is far too long to wait when you are that thirsty. 

Gear Notes:
Rack: Doubles .2-3, Triple .5 & .75, A few nuts, 2 microtraxions. Either replace the second 3 with a 3.5, or just bring a 4. We brought 4 liters of water each. We should have brought a filter, chugged water at the base, filled up 3L, then refilled at bench camp. 2 UL poles, no axe

Approach Notes:
Silverstar creek trail is not super straight forward to follow in the dark so I definitely recommend having a GPS track on your phone to follow, it helps speed things along a bit. Same goes for the descent.
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Love this route. Although we didn’t have debilitating heat, we had thunder storms looming all around us coming from the West. Considering the route is mostly east facing, this was very spooky. We were lucky and the T-storms did not find us. 😅

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