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[TR] Quartz Mountain - Training Day 08/24/2019

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Trip: Quartz Mountain - Training Day

Trip Date: 08/24/2019

Trip Report:


After reading through Kurt's new book "Snoqualmie Rock" Training Day stood out as a climb to do.  I convinced my wife to climb, found some friends to watch our kids and off we went.  Unfortunately, we went 2 miles down the wrong path before realizing our mistake and turning around.   Note: When parking at the CCC trail pullout, DO NOT START HIKING ON THE TRAIL FROM THE PULLOUT!  My wife and I were just chit-chatting away, oblivious that the book said hike 100 meters up the road to the trail, and oblivous that we were walking away from the mountain rather than to it.  After 2 miles, we realized our mistake and backtracked.  75 minutes lost, but we just chalked it up to an extra warmup.


The approach description in the book is spot it.  Here is the bridge with the step.20190824_081739.thumb.jpg.07f09dce39b1dda66c9f971d049da04c.jpg

Walk a couple minutes past the bridge and turn left (uphill) at this log.  You should see a pink ribbon up the hill.IMG_2143.thumb.jpg.fc0bfaa4b408860ab02d28cf06cad795.jpg


The trail heads up, up, up.  Keep following the flags (half of which are now on the ground) and the faint climbers trail as it appears and disappears.  Pass Face Stump and keep going up.IMG_2130.thumb.jpg.4b047a34a26356b5a9f7aa216fe92ff1.jpg


The trail gets into the overgrown wash and follows some cairns before entering several hundred meters of pure sticker-bush wacking.20190824_090909.thumb.jpg.0f337b496ef837f88c6306193f79eca5.jpg

Finally we reached the base of the climb.  The book says the rappel is just uphill.  It is 200 meters of uphill bushwacking.   We left our packs at the base but carried our approach shoes on the climb for the wack back.  You can bushwach back in your climbing shoes, but that just sounds painful.

Start of the climb.  It goes at 5.6 and was easily protected.Start.thumb.jpg.39c7358e10ce26556df39b563b5036b8.jpg After the roof, go right of the small

Go right of the trees above the roof on easy low-5th terrain and scramble to the belay.  It if wasn't for this start, the first pitch can be easily scrambled without rope.

Looking up at pitch 2.  2nd pitch is also a scramble.  Could be combined with a 1st pitch simu-climb if not for that start.P1030514.thumb.jpg.2c5038214c10aacf8ce8ea87aab8acea.jpg


Teresa starting up pitch 4.  Book says it is 5.9.  Maybe one move of 5.9.  It wasn't hard at all and very well protected.P1030517.thumb.jpg.36303c83841d1ae0d4f23ffcd21b2d11.jpg


Heading up pitch 5.  The anchors are hidden behind the bushes and it is 62 meters.  Teresa had to come off the anchor and climb a few feet so I could get to the anchors.IMG_2134.thumb.jpg.795b64a54b80efd9df60b0bc7a03d7c6.jpg


Teresa heading up pitch 6.   The slab below the bush is clean but no bolts.  We had to go left into the bushes which was dirty and wet.  One bolt halfway up the slab would have made the start of this pitch really nice instead of dirty and wet.P1030518.thumb.jpg.81ee8b469aee56400ee633107c8f84e3.jpg


Pitch 7.  The money pitch.  22 bolts of 5.10a slab.  It is very well protected and one can aid through it quite easily.  I ended up skipping 5 bolts or so, especially near the top where the bolts are next to a beautiful flake.  I jammed the flake and passed three bolts before I knew it.  The top of the pitch is the infamous tree grab.IMG_2135.thumb.jpg.fd6f2c5f8724bb8e1c3e240724c1fe5e.jpg


Looking down at the bush dive.  I didn't enjoy this at all.  The limbs are small and felt like they would rip out of the trees and any moment.  I agree with other posters that a few bolts on the slab would have made this so much better.



Pitch 8.  Great climbing to the arete.  Then the route goes up right through some dirty and trees.  Going left leads to beautiful, clean slab and a couple of cracks.  Not sure if left would go without needing a bolt between the blank spot between cracks, but it looks so much cleaner than where the route went.P1030523.thumb.jpg.0e5f3a50c1742b16f1daf7ae1070dabd.jpg


No pictures of pitch 9.  It leavings a hanging belay over a couple small roofs.  The roofs were dirty.  Two bolts protect the move and it looks fun if clean.  I ended up pulling on the bolts to get over the roof as the lichen and sand kept slipping under my feet.  The rest of pitch ten is dirty and easy 5th, slinging a tree and climbing some loose blocks to the belay.  There is a bolted belay, or a beautiful shade tree to belay from.  I climbed under the tree onto a small ledge and belayed from there.  To be honest, the climb could easily end here.  Rapping down from the anchors would be a great climb.  The last three pitches are low-quality, dirty, and scary, and didn't really add anything to the climb.   That's my opinion at least.


Teresa heading out on pitch 10.  The moves to the detached flake and just beyond it were okay, but very dirty.  Sand and lichen accumlate on this low-angle slab making it feel harder than it should have.   Past the flake there is a section of unprotected, dirty slab moves to the anchor.  One more bolt would have made this much safer and a quality pitch.  Or even clean slab would have made this a quality pitch.  Runout 5.8 on clean slab is fine.  Runout on pine-needle covered micro-ledges is terrifying.



Looking back at pitch 11.  This pitch was horrible.  If it was 20 feet lower on the clean slabs it would have been amazing.  Instead it followed dirty, broken underclings with exfoliated rock, over a couple of trees, and across an unprotected finish on pine-need and dirt ledges.   I couldn't see the last two bolts as they were hidden in moss, so I went straight up for a bit and saw I was clearly off route.  I lowered off a sling (don't follow up to the blue sling!), kept traversing and found the two bolts.  Funny thing is that there are two gear placements right above these two bolts, while there is no gear or bolts for the remaining 30 feet of unprotected 5.8 dirt slab.  I found the biggest tree to belay from and brought Teresa up.



Teresa took pitch 12 to the notch.  It was easy 5.0 and she slung one tree.   No issues, and she belayed at the biggest tree on the notch.  Pitch 13 was harder to find.  I thought it would go up the clean, black slab above the tree but it didn't.  I took about 10 minutes of searching to find the bolts.  The bolt I found was actually the third bolt, the first two being hidden in grass and moss.  From the tree, go directly left on the small ledges.  You will see the bolts.P1030529.thumb.jpg.1c4cb5075fb9a37df548cb3e55339bd3.jpg

The belay tree is directly above her head.  The first bolt is hidden at her feet.  The second is hidden in the grass a few feet in front.


Looking at pitch 13.  It is wet but easily aided using the bolts.  This is the start of the rappels.



8 full-length rappels got us down.  They are full 60 meter rappels.   Two are on tree stations, the other 6 are on bolts.   The rappel route looks like an amazingly clean slab climb.

Looking up from around rappel #4.



All in all it was a decent outing.  14-hour car to car (including our 75 minute wrong-way hike.)  I can't really recommend the last pitches unless you like run-out dirty slab.  However, the first nine would make an amazing day on their own.  This route needs to see more people to keep it in shape.   Get out there and do it!

Gear Notes:
Rack up to 3". We brought nuts but never used them. We used maybe 10 pieces of gear on the whole route. Green and yellow alien, .4 through #3 BD would be just fine. Lost and lots of alpine slings. You don't need 22 slings though. On the 5.10a pitch, you can reach down and unclip the sling below you so you can get by with about 12 normal slings and 4 double slings.

Approach Notes:
Long, steep and spikey. There is a faint climbers trail, but it needs more feet to create a path through the bush-whack top.

Edited by needtoclimb
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