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gohawks

Del Campo beta

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I'm planning to climb the South Face of Del Campo Pk on Sunday, and need route beta. I've read that the correct route is class 3 scrambling. My main concern is that I've read in trip reports about climbers who encounter class 4-5 climbing. But it's still not clear to me exactly what route decisions I must make to stick to the class 3 route.

 

Anybody know the easy route?

Thanks in advance.

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gohawks:

 

Many people forget that Fred Becky 3rd class = normal people 4th and 5th. I climbed a 70 degree gully to the South Summit of Mt. Baring once that Becky calls "class 2". Just stick to the path of least resistance and go for it. thumbs_up.gif

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I did this a couple years ago and don't remember any problem. Seemed like the hardest moves were 10 feet off the ground - otherwise no more than Class III if that.

But don't fall.

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The mistake (if you want to call it that) that most people make is that they ascend to the obvious notch. There is 15'-20' of low class 5 stuff to get out of it. If you want the class 3, don't walk up the small gully that leads to the notch. Instead, ascend the easier rocks to the left of the gully and this is a nice class 2/3 ramp that will lead you directly above the notch to the class 2/3 gully the goes all the way up.

Edited by Rastus

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I soloed Del Campo by way of the "notch" just east of the summit. I don't remember it being a problem but then I don't remember if I went straight up to the notch or on the rocks to the left as the Rastaman mentioned. I remember the snow finger being steep before getting to the rock. On the immediate other side and just below the notch there were a bunch of snow blocks resting on the slabs (see here). I did not have to go too near to them. While I was amusing myself on the summit I heard a thunderous crash and thought I felt something shaking. I got up in time to walk a few paces over to a North Slope overlook and saw a fierce avalanche obliterating the small trees at the base of the slope. Seems one or more of those huge snow blocks on the slab cut loose while I was up there. This was June 15, 1997.

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By coincidence, I was up there yesterday.

I didn't think it was too difficult, similar to Mt. Pugh or the corkscrew route on Sloan, but I had the benefit of talking to a couple of guys just descending the gully.

About 20 feet below the notch at the top of the gully, there's a ledge that leads off to the left. (These guys said it was "obvious" and "bomber" but if they hadn't told me about it, I might not have noticed it.)

The ledge goes off to the left twenty feet or so, and there's a little cairn that they built. From there, you just scramble upwards. It's solid 4th class for about 20 feet, but from then on it eases, and you can pretty much follow the dirt trail wandering around on the rocks up to the summit, very like Pugh. And, hey, there's a summit book!

 

If I was to do it again, I'd probably do like Rastus says and just climb the rocky "face" to the left of the gully that leads up to the notch and not mess with the scree in the gully, and that'd be easier.

 

I was a little surprised that there were no webbing nests up there, it would be a fine place to rappel down from.

 

This is the first time I was in Gothic Basin, and it's pretty impressive! Budget the time so you can do an overnight up there. I've added it to the list of places I want to take my son to, when he's a bit older (the trail is pretty stiff for a five-year-old.)

I was a bit pressed for time; I made it from the car to the summit in 4 hours, and back to the car in 3:20. The trail is completely easy to follow, in good condition. There's snow up there, so you don't have to pack water for the descent.

 

 

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I didn't see a bit of rockfall (okay, a really minor amount, self-caused.) You could use an ice axe climbing up the snow slopes, but it was just as easy to walk up the rock next to the snow.

 

The most remarkable thing about the outing was -- no bugs! I guess it's been too dry a summer.

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Ah yes Del Campo................

Memories of my brother being air-vac'd out by a Chinook, the rotors ripping huge chunks of ice from the lake surface. We were in our mid-teens, didn't know how to use an ice-axe, let alone hold on to it in a fall. He sustained a deep gash to his left thigh (to the bone). The boys from Whidbey Island winched him and my dog out, then made me hike out with the SAR crews!!! Haven't been back since................. rolleyes.gif

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Del Campo is one of my favorites. Gothic Basin is beautiful. I like approaching it from another side, little ways up the trail to Headlee Pass (approach for Vesper) you veer off and follow the little valley of the Stilly to the base of the peak. Usually some good kicking steps up snow covered ramps, then from the highest gap on the right you round a corner and find a hidden gulley. Ascend it, then follow ridge to summit. I think Beckey calls that the West Buttress. Fun stuff. I've done numerous variations up there and usually descend a different route than I ascend. I haven't done my annual trip up there yet though.

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woland and I scrambled up the south face of Del Campo on Sunday. Great climb! The route follows Beckey's guide and the comments made in this post. It's obvious. I took the easier class 3 route and went left of the gully. woland (who is a hard-core rock climber) went straight up the gully to the 5.0 stuff.

 

The last 1.2 miles back to the car on the road sucked. My feet were killing me!

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gohawks said:

 

The last 1.2 miles back to the car on the road sucked. My feet were killing me!

That's why God made bicycles, man!

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scot'teryx said:

Alpine Lakes? I thought Del Campo was in the North Cascades

 

To-may-to, To-mah-to

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