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KaskadskyjKozak

[TR] Tupshin and Devore - SE Routes 09/01/2018

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Trip: Tupshin and Devore - SE Routes

Trip Date: 09/01/2018

Trip Report:

 

This year I decided to celebrate an extended Labor Day weekend near Stehekin.  For a bonus, the recent rains had cleared out the smoke we've been engulfed in and the forecast showed no rain.

 

On Saturday we rode a very crowded Lady Express from Field Points Landing to Stehekin.  We then caught a late (30 min) but almost empty Red Bus to Harlequin Bridge and hiked up the Stehekin River Trail and Devore Creek Trail to Bird Creek Camp.  From here we turned uphill and schwacked our way to flat terrain around 5400' and camped.  Time to camp was just under 7 hours.

Sunday we arose pre-dawn (which is late and luxurious these days) and hiked straight uphill over towards Tupshin.  At about 7000' we attained the ridge leading to the basin below Tupshin's SE face.  We crossed the talus fields and ascended to about 7600' and the base of the route.  There was no snow whatsoever on our approach which made for a lot of tedious travel, but fuck, it is September!  We scrambled the first bit of the SE face and tied in just below the minor block that marks P1.  I opted to lead the exposed class 3 around the 5.2 block and flipped my rope over the top of the block before proceeding to a 4th class quasi-chimney.  P2 was mostly scrambling.  P3 and P4 were more interesting, each with a nice (but short) low-fifth section (5.4-ish). 

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At the top of the fourth pitch, we untied and scrambled to the summit. 

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Although there is  a ton of loose rock, the ascent seemed mostly safe and secure.  The descent - not so much.  We ended up rappelling five times, including the section at the bottom that we had scrambled.  It was a constant fight not to knock rocks down and move carefully to stay out of each other's fall line.  Once off the route, we made our way back to camp.  There whisky awaited me, and I drifted off to sleep happy to finish this one off safely.

On Monday we ascended to the 5800' basin below Devore and hiked up the steep gully leading to a basin.  From here we ascended the steepening basin to rock bands that we scrambled to the edge of the lakes at 7000'.  We ascended some horrible shitty choss to the shoulder of the ridge (7500'). 

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then ran the ridge to a large gendarme.

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To compensate for the choss-slog we were treated for some of the most spectacular views I've seen:

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Our route descriptions said "do NOT go around the S side" (of the gendarme).  We ended up wasting 2 hours trying to get around the N.  The snow patch here was too melted back and icy (rotten ice).  Eventually we gave up and I checked out the S side.  It went!  From there it was a quick shit-slog through choss up and right about 300' to a notch in the ridge, a short ridge traverse to a 4th class step and finally a scramble finish to the summit.  We did 2 rappels down (both short) and retraced our steps to camp.  Everyone was tired and wanted to head out the next day so we set our alarms to allow for plenty of time to get to the bus in time.

Tuesday was an easy hike back to Harlequin where we all rinsed off in the river and relaxed waiting for the bus.  We got some goodies at the bakery and a beer on the boat.  By that morning the smoke was back in force so we were not too sad to save Flora for another trip.  

 

 

Gear Notes:
60m rope, small alpine rack, helmet

Approach Notes:
Open forest with some schwacking

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
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Super. Thanks for the TR. Glad you got lucky on the smoke!

Our family goes to Stehekin every year and I've been eyeing those peaks since 2003, wondering if there was any quality rock up there. Sounds like the views are great but the loose rock and choss guarding the summits are rather unpleasant. I appreciate your honest assessment. 

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7 hours ago, Rad said:

Super. Thanks for the TR. Glad you got lucky on the smoke!

Our family goes to Stehekin every year and I've been eyeing those peaks since 2003, wondering if there was any quality rock up there. Sounds like the views are great but the loose rock and choss guarding the summits are rather unpleasant. I appreciate your honest assessment. 

I'm sure the talus is less tedious with snow - maybe early July?

Also, I have been having problems with foot pain and experimenting with approach shoes on routes.  They have their advantages but on this climb the descent on talus was a bit less secure with the thinner soles.

If you only did one peak of the two, I'd recommend Devore.

Glad you liked the TR!

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Did you find the register on Devore? Apparently it's the original FA register from 1940, and we were excited to add our names, but it was nowhere to be found (9/7/18). 

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12 hours ago, Jake Robinson said:

Did you find the register on Devore? Apparently it's the original FA register from 1940, and we were excited to add our names, but it was nowhere to be found (9/7/18). 

we searched and searched for a register to no avail....

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