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JeffreyW

[TR] Alpental Source Lake - Rap Wall 01/20/2019

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Trip: Alpental Source Lake - Rap Wall

Trip Date: 01/20/2019

Trip Report:

This was Priti and I's first pilgrimage to lay eyes on and pay homage to Rap Wall.  We brought the tools and rope for a walk but had no idea what we were in for.  This was a scouting mission to a get a lay of the land.  I've since pieced the various Bryant Buttress routes together using the Washington Ice book and various trip reports/blog posts.  The GPS Coordinates in WA Ice are spot on, btw.  For an aerial view, see page 24 in the book "Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass": the number "2" is just over the climber's left-most flank of Rap Wall.  Also, GerritD has a good far-away look in his comment here: 

Route Overlays:

Since I couldn't find a good topo of the area anywhere, I overlaid some photos with some of my guesses.  Please *respectfully* correct me, and I will update the overlays.

Left to Right: Rap Wall, Bryant Buttress Left, Ghost Dog (the only route in the cave, aka "Hotline Wall"; the "Hotline" route is a freestanding pillar that will occasionally form over the cave), Bryant Buttress Right.  Below Hotline Wall is Not Quite a Plum

Rap_Wall.thumb.jpg.e0654ffe9946c7866085a85cab09714b.jpgRap_Wall_Proper.thumb.jpg.74792721846396be3a8a2affd143a7c8.jpg

Not_Quite_a_Plum-2.thumb.jpg.f6347652db20ef5f34602ac21cce506e.jpg

Conditions:

-Alpental Falls: Not in

-Kiddie Cliff: Not in (some short, thin ice on the right?)

-Not Quite a Plum: short ice steps and deep snow

-Bryant Buttress Right: Interesting, thin WI4/4+ flows!

-Hotline: the right side of the Hotline Wall has an interesting-looking, steep WI4 traverse-y thing

-Bryant Buttress Left: In mixed conditions (gear?)

-Rap Wall: Icicles at the top of the cliff band.  May want to rap in and hack them off first, so you protect the belayer?  Some interesting WI3/M4 lines on the right side of Rap Wall (visible in pictures above)

Open_Gully.thumb.jpg.5c2addd8dd2ce8ed9308c1b57fb01732.jpg

Approaching just beneath Hotline Wall (Ghost Dog)

Traverse.thumb.jpg.c4c4c531c18c75973a894bfc026b21ff.jpg

Interesting traverse up and right of Hotline Wall.  Looks like WI4 traverse out left, then up for ~15m with good stubbies.

BBR.thumb.jpg.85d0cefd9be15e14b5d94373e956caf1.jpg

Short, wide, thin sheet of WI4 on Bryant Buttress Right (further up and right from Hotline Wall).

BB_Way_Right.thumb.jpg.ba6713950a00c32bca453fe3d87e9219.jpg

Continuing even FURTHER up and right from Hotline Wall (right of Bryant Buttress Right) is little mixed gully which could be fun.

GD.thumb.jpg.36a04bd7f34e5941cee4a127c94d793e.jpgHotline_Wall.thumb.jpg.9fce69044f0d04b3e40a697cbf099bfb.jpg

The cave at Hotline Wall

Ghost_Dog_Top.thumb.jpg.b523b39ec6fc5ec3b416bdf77fb1f7af.jpg

Overhanging top of Ghost Dog

Ghost_Dog.thumb.jpg.81a205ab40c31ad17f78fbf78302acfa.jpg

Peering up at Ghost Dog.  Can you pick out the swaying quickdraws?

Guru_Belay.thumb.jpg.744dd032e42df0df2d6d5ca43931e5d4.jpg

Very comfy spot to stash packs at Rap Wall (between Guru and Chuck D)

Approach:

Park in the furthest lot up Alpental, then take winter trail to Source Lake.  Once you arrive at the lake and the terrain flattens and opens, up and climber's left is an open gully (visible in the third picture below) and you will see "Not Quite a Plum" and "Hotline Wall" (the cave where "Ghost Dog" is).  You can easily skin up the left side of this gully.  Gaze upward at the visionary line of Ghost Dog in the cave and pick out the dozen or so quickdraws blowing in the wind up and through the roof.  In the book "Backcountry Skiing Washington Pass", this line is called "No Fog" and is also the approach to The Tooth (which cuts back way climber's left).  If you were to continue up and left, you will get to Great Scott Bowl, Pineapple Pass, and The Tooth.  If you are skiing down, stay in the open glade just below Rap Wall ("one of the best pow runs in the valley") since the open gully on skier's left (just below "Not Quite a Plum" is chunky and unpleasant right now.  

Gear Notes:
Bring lots of stubbies. An adze to chop out bolts and anchors. Pickets if you're trying to rap in and set a top rope. Some routes are truly mixed, so sharpen those points.

Approach Notes:
Deep snow.  Floatation required.

Edited by JeffreyW
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Wow. Thanks for such a detailed set of images, overlays, and beta for the area. This will be helpful for anyone heading up there.

 

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Once you arrive at the lake and the terrain flattens and opens, up and climber's left is an open gully (visible in the third picture below) and you will see "Not Quite a Plum" and "Hotline Wall" (the cave where "Ghost Dog" is).  You can easily skin up the left side of this gully.

The gully is the bottom of the colloquially named "No Fog Bowl." Beware of skiers dropping down from above. I know people occasionally will ski down "Not Quite a Plum" and where your arrow says "To BBR". Fun stuff!

Thanks for the info, I've been wondering about the climbing up there.

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