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Colin

first winter ascent [TR] The Chopping Block- SE Route 2/15/2004

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Climb: The Chopping Block-SE Route

 

Date of Climb: 2/15/2004

 

Trip Report:

I climbed the Chopping Block today after hiking in yesterday via Goodell Creek and The Barrier. The entire Goodell Creek valley (and I would imagine most N Cascade valleys) has plenty of evidence of November's torrential rains. The Goodell Creekbed is about 4 times wider in places, and the landslide that came down the opposite side of the valley is enormous. The SE route was moderate - mostly steep snow with a couple tricky mixed sections. I originally planned to stay up for Monday, but the avalanche hazard seemed to be rapidly growing. I believe this was probably the first winter ascent of The Chopping Block - If you think or know otherwise, please let me know.

 

Gear Notes:

-altimeter would've been useful

-50m 6mm cord

-Camp XLH 130 harness (4.5oz)

-DMM Bugette

-Snowshoes very useful

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The first 4-5 miles of overgrown logging road are easy, although all the creek beds you cross have been changed somewhat. From the end of the logging road to Terror Creek is the bushwacking crux, and I lost the route both on the way in and on the way out. I didn't put on snowshoes until up on the crest of The Barrier, although there were plenty of consolidated patches before then (In fact, there were little patches of snow all the way down to the trailhead, at about 600 ft.). The snow was soft where it hadn't seen much sun, and there was a firm crust where it had - covered by about 6 inches of fresh snow. The fresh snow was sliding off the crust very easily, which is why I wanted to get out before another 6 inches fell.

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Wow. Going up the Barrier along that ridge from Terror creek in snowshoes. That must have been some kind of workout for about 1600 feet. Congrats.

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Way to get at 'er Youth!

And the girlfriend got her Valentine's day after all...

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