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d.b

Alpine climbs with similar difficulty/exposure to The Tooth

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Hi All,

I am looking to step out from the crag to easy alpine climbs. I have ~3 years of experience climbing. I am not particularly strong, but I am confident on the grades I lead (~5.10 sport, ~5.5 gear). I just did The Tooth last weekend and really enjoyed it! I'd like to climb more routes like this, that end at the top of a peak and have an hours-long approach.

What other routes would you recommend for someone cutting their teeth on alpine rock? I'm happy with a long walk (including an overnight bivy), snow travel, glacier travel, and lots of 'boring' easy fifth class you can protect. I'm hoping to avoid the phenomenon of loose, unprotectable fourth class -- I really appreciated how secure The Tooth was in this regard.

A few routes that I've come across that seem to check these boxes are the NE ridge of Black Peak, S ridge of Ingalls, and maybe W ridge of Prusik if I could get a permit.

Thanks for looking at this!

David

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South Arete of South Early Winter's Spire.  Maybe the West Ridge of the North Twin Sister?

Ingall's is a good one that you've already mentioned.

The NE ridge of Black is very loose compare to the Tooth.

This isn't the Sierra, so you choices similar to the Tooth are pretty limited.  Most of the Cascades technical peaks involve loose rock, steep snow, brush, and glaciers.

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Thanks for the reply, Jason!

A little sad to hear that my options for this in the Cascades will be limited. On the other hand, though, 5 or 6 of these should keep me busy for a while. And maybe I'll be ready to move onto harder climbing once I've done them.

I'll put Ingall's at the top of the list, and check out SEWS and North Twin Sister.

Thanks for the recs!

D

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West Ridge of Forbidden and West Ridge of Stuart are both 5.6 and under and reasonably solid (in my memory anyway, but I climbed both many years ago), though the East Ledges descent off Forbidden would have loose rock.

NE Ridge of Triumph is 5.6.

Beckey Route on Liberty Bell is 5.6, plenty of loose rock but it's in the approach gully rather than on the route.

Unicorn Peak in the Tatoosh is low 5th to mid-5th depending on which way you go. 

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IMO, the  WRs of Stuart and Forbidden along with NE ridge of Triumph (Fred lists as 5.6-5.7) are a pretty big step up from the Tooth and the scene of many epics over the years (not that the Tooth isn't!). 

Beckey route on LB is another good one but a bit tougher (Fred lists as 5.6-5.7) than the Tooth or Ingalls.  Go after the gully melts out.  Good luck!

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A good rule of thumb is not to push too many envelopes at once. Really, try to just push one. 

Get some glacier time on the Quien Sabe and go up Sahale, which has a very short, easy rock section.

Up your number of pitches and rappelling skills by climbing Mile High Club or part of Infinite Bliss or some routes in Darrington (Total Soul is a great one).

Up your choss management skills on a route like the West Ridge of Mt Thompson or Pinnacle Peak in the Tatoosh.

Up your approach skills and mountain sense by going up the West Ridge of West Macmillan in the Pickets or scrambling up Del Campo.

Up your vertical by hiking and scrambling up the Cascadian Coulour on Stuart or the backside of Dragontail via Asgard Pass.

Up your crack and trad skills by climbing all four pitches of Aries at Index (or Davis Holland to Lovin Arms if you can climb 5.10 trad).

You get the idea. Over time you can start combining these elements, and before you know it you'll be climbing the Beckey Chouinard in the Bugaboos!

Even though they really are geared toward hard core alpinists, I think Steve House's videos on alpine principles have a lot of great philosophy you should embrace.

The most relevant one for you might be "Pay attention":

 

 

 

 

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in addition to the above rec's,

try improbable traverse on guye peak.  the traverse is easier than it looks.

while not alpine, spend weekends up in squamish.  Tons of routes to master your multipitch experience.

same for icicle canyon in leavenworth. when it is raining in squish.

there are more moderates in wa pass to try.  burgundy n face, serendipity artete, poster peak, west face south early, n face concord tower, and a couple variations around the beckey route on lib bell.  those are a bit step up (5.8-ish) from das toof,  but a season craggin at squish and icicle will get you up to speed .

 

fun times ahead!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The West Ridge of Forbidden was my second alpine rock climb and one of my most treasured epics ever!  If by epic you mean an open bivy with a hot guy on a beautiful warm August night.  ah youth. 

Edited by tanstaafl

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20 minutes ago, tanstaafl said:

If by epic you mean an open bivy with a hot guy on a beautiful warm August night. 

:lmao:I should have added that all epics aren't bad.  Classic.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, JasonG said:

:lmao:I should have added that all epics aren't bad.  Classic.

I proposed to my lovely wife on a forced alpine bivy in wind river range.  Good epic.

 

Edited by genepires

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 9:00 PM, JasonG said:

IMO, the  WRs of Stuart and Forbidden along with NE ridge of Triumph (Fred lists as 5.6-5.7) are a pretty big step up from the Tooth and the scene of many epics over the years (not that the Tooth isn't!). 

Beckey route on LB is another good one but a bit tougher (Fred lists as 5.6-5.7) than the Tooth or Ingalls.  Go after the gully melts out.  Good luck!

Totally agree, YDS ratings don't mean a whole lot in the Cascades.  I did a Google search trying to find information on a recent accident in the North Cascades.  Google returned three pages of accidents on Forbidden Peak. 

I also agree with Gene.  Push your technical ability at Leavenworth, Index, Squamish, not in the mountains.  Plenty to do in 5.4 - 5.6 range around here in the alpine, you just need to dig a bit, they won't all be covered in a Selected Climbs guide.

West Ridge of Sherpa has not been mentioned, or the upper North Ridge of Stuart with the Gendarme bypass. Both with 'easy' YDS rating, but with non trivial route finding, approaches, and descents.  Washington Pass has a lot of moderate routes with easy approaches and probably a good bet now through September.  Obviously LB and SEWS, but look deeper into Kangaroo Ridge, Half Moon, and that lovely little valley.  Or the wine spires, some have relatively easy routes to the top.

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Hi All,

Thanks for the many comments. I totally agree with the philosophy of testing one limit at a time (Rad hit it on the head with examples)! I'll keep cragging (and hopefully get stronger) and backpacking (and hopefully get better at off-trail navigation).

The Tooth was definitely in my wheelhouse today, so I'm looking forward to trying Ingalls and other similar routes soon. Sahale looks like a fun day out, and from what I can tell, takes a piece or two of gear. West Ridge of Sherpa sounds like another great addition to the list! I'll start reading about Kangaroo, Half Moon, and I'll take any other ideas ya'll come up with too.

Fingers crossed for a lot of straightforward climbs, and a safe (sexy?) epic here and there!

D

 

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If you the quiene sabe glacier route on Sahale, do it in May or early June.  Above the saddle and below the rocky summit bit usually a big ass cornice.  Plenty of room to traverse safely on the windward side to get to rocky bits.  The views and experience is better with that cornice.  Real alpine.   The rocky bit is only 20 meters or less depending on snow levels.

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