Jump to content

Mt Hood - Black Spider - Shelob's Lair (WI4, 2 pitches) - FA?

Recommended Posts

On April 13th Koby Y and I climbed what we believe is a first ascent on the far-left side of the Black Spider. We humbly submit this report for the historical record and for review by the fine netizens of cascadeclimbers. If you know of this line being climbed before, please let me know and I'll PRINT this trip report and then EAT IT (and appropriately redact our claims here).

This route is labeled "waterfall" on the hand-drawn topo, left of the "waterfall" that later became the Fric-Amos route:


Here's the route from the side, photo taken from the base of Cooper Spur in December (side note: despite looking fat in this photo, Fric-Amos was 100% unprotectable snice):


This is a bit of a "lite"/"diet" Black Spider route, not tackling the entire face but rather topping out onto the Newton Clark Headwall about halfway up. Despite this, we did about as much technical climbing as on the neighboring Fric-Amos route and found it surprisingly engaging. It's a bit tough to grade as the ice was quite thin but we'd say it goes around WI4 with a couple M3-4 moves thrown in. I assume that like other routes on the Spider it could become easier and perhaps go entirely at WI3 in fatter conditions.

On to some photos of the climb. Here is the face from below with the Arachnophobia second cliff band looking quite fat for April. Our route (which you can't really see as it's tucked in the corner) above the arrow:


Next photo, approaching the route. There's currently a LOT of snow over there so the first steep bit visible in the side view above was totally buried. We just walked up into the little snowfield though there were a couple patches of low-angle water ice.


Koby coming up into the snowfield:


At the top of the snowfield we built an anchor and pitched out the rest of the climb. Here's looking down after the initial steep bit (WI4-ish?) of pitch 1:


A couple photos from higher on pitch 1 below. Somewhat tricky climbing up a series of brief vertical steps with some thin/snicey/delaminating sections:



I only led about 25 meters before building an anchor, as there was a patch of fat blue ice, a decent pin placement, and I guess I had already used all but one of my screws, sewing it up out of fear in my typical style. Here's Koby leading out above the anchor, about to do perhaps the hardest move on the route involving a brief torque in a horizontal crack to reach the good ice up above:


Above this was mostly mellower, typical Mt Hood WI3-ish:


Pitch 2 ended up being about 35 meters before joining the Newton Clark Headwall. In reality, we may have been able to squeeze all of our serious climbing into 1 60m pitch, though in more typical conditions (less snow) it looks like gaining the snowfield could require a bit of ice climbing, so it seems reasonable to expect to do at least 2 pitches. We simuled up the rest of the headwall, climbing one last short bit of WI2 between two gendarmes to join the upper Wy'East route to the summit:


A couple final notes:

First, thanks to Zach and Artem for trying to get this done with me the week prior. The wallowing was, unfortunately, insurmountable:  20240330_085157.jpg.45d2473eec3426e47fbe8765f86ea17a.jpg

Second, we did have one scary rockfall encounter that I feel obligated to mention. While belaying Koby on our second pitch, shortly after he topped out, a microwave-sized block spontaneously detached in the bowl above me and narrowly missed my head (I ducked), instead hitting my pack and ripping out the picket I had racked in the side pocket. A good reminder that climbing on the Spider sucks and to put the belays in more sheltered spots. This is really my fault for putting the anchor right in the fall line, I thought that we were much closer to the top of the route than we were in reality and that there wasn't that much overhead hazard. Thankful to emerge unscathed. Picture of the rock below:


Thanks for reading.





Edited by zaworotiuk
  • Like 3
  • Snaffled 1
  • Rawk on! 4
  • Wow!!! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...