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Have you ever heard of a place called Bear Mountain?


You are entering a world of fu**ing pain if you go there!


I had wanted to do the DNB on Bear Mountain ever since I saw a picture of it in the '97 Climbing day planner. Knowing that it would require massive suffering and will power I recruited another bullheaded redneck from Missouri for the ascent. My friend Cory had never climbed a route longer than 4 pitches or summited a mountain in the cascades yet he quickly agreed to give it a go. I didn't show him the route description or approach beta until we were driving along the chilliwack lake. When we got to the border we told the canuck that we were going to do Bear Mountain. He asked where it was and we informed him that we parked in Canada and hiked back into the US. He quickly started telling us how illegal this was and made a couple of calls. He said there was a high probablity that if we did this we would be caught by US border patrol and in a Seattle Jail in 1 hour. Thanks Canuck! So we headed up and crashed just outside the chilliwack provincial park on a logging road. The ranger informed us that if we parked for our "day hike" at the standard trail head there was a high probability that our car would be vandalized. He was quite helpful and told us a few options for parking the car. We ended up parking it up a logging road after dropping the gear at the trail head. We then camoflauged it with brush and for good measure rolled several small child size boulders onto the road hoping it would be a deterent to drunken canucks. We headed in on the trail and the first 1.5 miles to the end of the road were sweet. Do not take the orange blazed trail 20 feet after the end of the road on the left it is the long way. Instead hike in until you see a trail off to the left with a white ecological reserve sign at the fork between the two trails. Follow a reasonable trail marked occasionally with orange blazes. Take care all reasonableness of this trail dissapears soon. Skirt around a swampy section of the river and proceed. There are sections were the trail approaches the river and you have to force yourself through brush for a 100 feet or so. Don't loose the trail!!!!!! 1.5 hours in is a swampy section with tricky trailfinding if you don't stay on the trail you will miss the interconnected downed trees that allow you to cross the swamp. Growing up in the Missouri River bottoms is great training for this section. After that section continue on trail with intermittent heavy sections of brush. Once past the Chilliwack Camp sign congratulate yourself on finding your way down 3.5 miles of the trail. The next 2.5 miles can be done in 1 hour but you need to boogie. Soon after the chillliwack camp you hug the river for several hundred feet. Orange blazes mark the trail as it hugs the disapearing river bank. The next section we dubbed, "Vietnam tunneling simulator." Duck down and push through extremely thick vegetation for a ways crossing two bridges in the process. If suddenly you cannot push further into the brush you are probably off trail! Upon emerging from the brush the trail through the US is actually nicer than the canadian side. There are sections of extremely thick brush, including one half way through were you wish you had a flamethrower, weed wacker, and machete. But for the most park the trail on the US side is up on higher ground and open making for faster travel. Upon reaching Bear Camp we went for a swim in the river and drank some water. We headed up the trail for 10 more minutes past bearcamp and turned and went up hill at a high point in the trail with a 7' diameter tree 20 feet to our left looking uphill. The first 500 vertical feet were tough going with lots of large deadfall. Around 3200ft we ran into a drainage running cross slope. We followed a game trail left and around the end of the drainage and continued uphill mostly straddling the the point on the spur. We could occasionally hear bear creek plunging to our left. The path up was pretty reasonable until around 4500 ft were we encountered around 700 vertical feet of slide alder. We happened upon a trail, or more correctly a pass of least resistance marked with orange blazes and pushed upward until the way started to flatten out and we emerged in meadowland above Ruta Lake. This is key, get water at Bear Camp! We chugged some and decided we would get some at the lake and save carrying water up the hill, big mistake! We had to descend 300 feet to the most mosquito infested lake I have ever seen and get eaten alive while filling our camel baks. These guys laughed at our deet! We then climbed back up and followed a minor trail along the left side of the ramp until high above the lake. Around 6000 ft we dropped over the ridge and traversed to a second ridge. Cross this ridge around 6000 ft. There is 15 - 25 feet of thick fir trees but if you cross it here you won't get cliffed out like if you go higher. We went higher on the way in and descended a nasty 3rd class gully. Anyway cross down and over talus and hike up to the col at 6400ft. It took us around 11 hours taking our time to accomplish this. The next morning we slept in and started the approach at 6am. We traversed down and around the three buttresses. Climb up on the glacier around 150 feet before eyeing the obvious dihedral that is pictured in Cascade Select I 2nd edition. We belayed off the snow, here is a pitch by pitch description:


1st pitch: Cross the moat and traverse up and right into the dihedral, set a belay at a stance 50 feet below roof.

2nd pitch: Go up and over roof not bad, save a red camalot to protect moves! and continue up dihedral.

3rd pitch: continue up and left and pull through wierd little chimney follow cleft up and left and then step right onto grassy ledge


Now here I think we lost the regular route for a while!


4th pitch I went left into a white rock scar and climbed the left side of this feature up and left to a ledge.

5th pitch: up and through some wild moves on a flaring overhanging chimney crack.

6th pitch: Climb up and right pull on a small sap covered tree because I had no pro and was 30 feet above the belay. Continue for a while leftward leaning ending with a traverse around a corner to ledge.

7th pitch: Arrive at enormous ledge covered with snow and eat snow and drink water until sufficently hydrated to continue up ward.

8th pitch: climb obvious rightward slanting crack, pass awesome ledge and continue up 5.8 blocky face cracks to small stance for belay.

9th pitch: Climb blocky face cracks to sweet clean white corner (past fixed old mank TCU) to large ledge.

10pitch: climb onto even bigger ledge were the beckey route joins in and go up right facing corner until able to climb licheny rib up and left to ledge at the base of offwidth pitch. (full 200ft with a little simul)

11th pitch: Climb up offwidth and step right around corner into another corner and climb to nice ledge atop offwidth.

12th pitch ran the 5.7 pitch up to rappel anchors and continued up 5.9 face climbing (maybe best moves on route) using the left side of the arete protected by small #5 and #6 HB offsets until I reached a small stance with a fixed piton.

13pitch: climb up and right to large ledge and wide crack in corner to top. Walk across ledge with big drop right and left.

14th pitch: Climb up easy 5.6 tower and traverse along spine to shoulder.

15th pitch: Simul climb to the summit. Off of summit headed toward just setting sun.


For future reference you don't need to summit if you just want to get off the bugger. We headed down and eventually cruised down a green gully until it dropped off abruptly into steep gully. We crossed at the top and descened a rib until able to lower packs and do 15 feet 5.0 downclimb into gully from here we cruised back to camp and passed out. 1:15 minutes from summit to camp. The next morning we hiked out and it took us 7 hours from col to car. I highly recommend and so does my partner that you go to McDonalds in Chilliwack and check out the hotty 16 year old girls working behind the counter. Then traverse to the other side of vedder road and check out the hotties working at Dairy Queen for dessert. After all the climbs I have done in the Cascades this was probably the toughest. Liberty Bell Crack, and Mt. Stuart North Ridge are warmups for this climb. Bring a small rack, big balls, and a will to survive. My partner cranked it out on his first alpine rock climb and carried a pack with ice axes and crampons. For those of you looking for a long commiting route way out there go do the BEAR! bigdrink.gifrockband.gifthe_finger.gifwazzup.gifsnaf.gifHCL.gifpitty.gif


Yeah Billy!


ps. we did evade the border patrol! The big joke the entire way in and out was man a bet a border patrol guy is hiding in that swamp, behind that tree, or in the middle of this tunnel through brush. On the way out we hoped to get caught and be in Seattle in time for dinner, but to no avail. cry.gif

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Hey, boone, we must’ve been on the road right behind you on friday night, we told the border guard “climbing slesse” and he asked if we had some friends just ahead. We said yeah (since we did), and he said to remind you again that crossing over the border to bear was illegal and you were sure to get caught. We said “huh?” and he (apparently) believed us that our friends were a different group of climbers.


I thought I had heard that it was in fact possible to legally cross the border if you arrange it ahead of time. Anyone know?

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longest undefended border in the world....


they dont even have the resources to stop people throwing bags of weed across the border on zero avenue


how are they gonna fund a cop sitting in the devils club up chilliwack river


although i did hear once of some skiiers getting in trouble for an unauthoriozed crossing of the juneau icecap


and i believe that alaska planes flying climbers into logan has also been frowned upon in the past. bad!! fruit.gif

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forrest_m said:

I thought I had heard that it was in fact possible to legally cross the border if you arrange it ahead of time. Anyone know?

A partner and I ran into similar problems while heading up to Redoubt a couple of weeks ago, except that the Canadian border guard actually made us park our car and go back, with some accompanying paperwork, to US Customs to get official permission to cross the border on the trail. The US side simply said that it is illegal for a US citizen to cross from Canada into the US at other than an official border crossing (like Blaine or Sumas). We asked how we can go about getting permission, and they repeated word for word what they had just said. We then asked how we can go about getting permission in advance for next time, and they ANGRILY repeated word for word what they had just said. Since my partner's employment situation doesn't really allow him to have any sort of run-in with Customs, and since our inquiry was actually down on paper and they now, of course, had his car's plates in their photo album, we headed down and climbed Shuksan instead.


I think the moral is to always climb "Slesse" when heading into Canada.


Nice TR, Boone. I've done the standard NB, so I'm familiar with the wonderful approach. I'll do it again one of these days to get the DNB. Uhhhh, that will be the DNB on "Slesse."

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I actually heard one month ago that the DEA was going to purchase a special helicopter to patrol the border starting from Idaho to Ross Lake.


This was a story I heard on the news. I do not know if the people reporting the news had their facts straight. I never trust the news completely.

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The key is to not tell the border patrol you're crossing back into the states. When asked at the Canadian Border, I and my partner, who is an English citizen with a work permit, just said we were going climbing near Lake Chilliwack...not a lie, as we were headed up Depot Creek. They searched the car, but they couldn't get us to change our story.


We saw your car on the Depot Creek Road as we were coming out. We figured some crazy Missouri tourist had gotten bushwhacked and the perpetrators stashed the car in the bushes with the bodies in the trunk. We passed a cop just before Paleface Creek Road, but decided not to mention the car. Glad to hear you were just experiencing jungle fever instead.

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That is an amazing and serious route,yes? Rat was convinced we were off route at the beginning. Sounds like you pegged it though. I dont see any mention of having problems at the top? Both of our parties ended up in deep shit up there. Good job, and tell Pete and Billy ,hi for me

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