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[TR] El Steeple - Brudder Mikey 08/25/2018


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Trip: El Steeple - Brudder Mikey

Trip Date: 08/25/2018

Trip Report:


the plaider put this one up way back when the world was young - can't remember the origin story behind the nomer but recollect it had something to do with mortality, which one would naturally dwell on whenever putting up a line on this kind of rock - still, it ain't like them millions of marbles loosely stuck together in a shit matrix have gotten substantially more solid in the subsequent ascents :) 

nastia n' geoff at the sketchy gateway fred meyer in the mid-morning, a leisurely start indeed - o'er hill n' dale and alongside the swift current of the cascading clackamas we cruised - injun hank campground as i recollected it - pavement yields to gravel - sunflowers n' spitting to span the time

i recalled the steeple from the handful of times i'd been to the coethedral - geoff said he was bored with that there wall so we went looking for something a tad more novel, which certainly the steeple is - can't be seen from the launching point though where the road goes more or less to complete shit - not being able to see the objective at any point until right on top of it makes the hike a tad annoying as its certainly a step hillside and there's nothing like a trail - why not flag a line and let foot traffic do what it does?  about the best thing i can say about the approach is that it's pretty short

shenanigans at the steep base in the dust eventually dispensed with, nastia zoomed up the 5.7 start, laughing off the easy angle until the first pebble popping off under her foot resulted in a shriek - she passed the rap anchor and began to tangle with the steep bolted bulge above, nervously nattering at herself (or hell, maybe that's just her at her natural frequency - maybe i fancy myself more laconic than i oughta firfuksake)


our girl did real good, no falls nor pulling on gear, a performance i had no particular interest in replicating - as we came up, each on just 1 of the 2 half ropes the leader'd used, a sense of hate dawned on me that i was hanging my fat ass off so skinny a single cord whilst simultaneously trying to dodge debris kicked off by my lawyer, just 15 feet above - i stopped at the first rap anchor, reticent to continue simul climbing where the going got hard 

geoff styled up the steepness while i waited


once i had the dear devushka's full attention, i commenced with my cluster fuck which out of kindness to myself i shan't describe - all i can say is it's hard to climb anything overhanging when you simply don't want to pull on anything you can touch :)





geoff galloped up the next shortish pitch past the amusing evidence of plaid's learning to bolt back in the day, then nastia did the next, which had us then just below the summit - i made up for my meekness by taking us to the true-true top, where hilarity ensued as i realized i'd left my summit beer in the pack - sigh...fucking amateur...

still right hazy - jefferson more a suggestion of a mountain than the real thing


self portrait


felt far more like fall than the dregs of summer - rain on the way



2 single rope raps then a double to the ground where i revenged meself on my beer and broke a vow of 4 days - then the same steep forest clusterfuck descent, a skosh simpler when it's downhill of course - busted my ass only once, and was okay with it afterall as i ended up in a fresh blueberry bush whose fruit salved the soul

the car n' the night soon upon us we growled and gallumped n' grew large at the prospect of tomorrow and began the long lurch home - sweet summer rain short of gateway, the world finally getting washed after months of heat and smoke - not as big a damper on nastia's soul as the mangled door handle on her ride where some tweaker had tried so hard to get inside

so...brother mike...a fun day-sized adventure i reckon if'n yer in to that sorta thing :)



Gear Notes:
gear only needed on 1st pitch (though there's also a bolted line around left of the obvious junky crack that we couldn't see from below) - just a couple cams, which you can leave hanging on the 1st rap anchor once used - buncha slings and quickdraws - couple hundred gallons of glue to plaster the whole face together would be good too

Approach Notes:
good luck - walk up hill until it kinda starts to make sense - at least it ain't far...

Edited by ivan
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Good thing we did not kill each other by broken off holds. Oregonian towers is an acquired taste, do it once and never again.


A note on the approach: do not  follow the approach description saying "locate the tower and just hike up there" - or else you might never come back. The tower is surrounded by vertical cliffs overgrown with devils club. There is however a wooden plank arrow just off the Y-intersection where you park the car. Follow up hill in that direction until you hit the rock (loose cl. 4-5), take hard right and traverse over up to the base of the climb through the mix of rotten logs and loose scree where having an axe would be a good idea.

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