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[TR] Spontaniety Arete- Le Petit Cheval 7/8/2004


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Climb: Spontaniety Arete-Le Petit Cheval


Date of Climb: 7/8/2004


Trip Report:

Heard word of a new route up at WaPass, went up there yesterday to check it out. Stopped by Mazama and borrowed the only copy of the topo, which is posted on the NC mountain guides bulletin board outside the store. The route is Le Petit Cheval on Spontaniety Arete, (5.7, II+, FAs Scott Johnson and Larry Goldie). Overall, an enjoyable outing with a short approach. Around 7 pitches of 5th class to 5.7 and probably an equal amount of class 2-4 scrambling.


The highlights are several very nice pitches of low angle clean hand cracks. The lowlights are the several pitches of bushwhacking in between the nice pitches and the somewhat tedious descent gully. (Bring your approach shoes!) The climb reminded me somewhat of the South Butt on Cutthroat.


The route follows a wide, most low angle rock rib with tree belays the whole way.


The lack of comittment makes it a good beginner climb, as it's possible in several places to scramble or rap into the gully and walk back to the base. The quickest descent option is to scramble down easy ground for a couple hundred feet from the top, then into the obvious (for reals!) descent gully.


The FAs did a great job on the trail--once you find it, it's obvious all the way. (Thanks for all the work!) Takes a bit over an hour to the base of the rock.


That afternoon we returned the wrinkled but usable topo to the bulletin board in Mazama.


Gear Notes:

small alpine rack, one rope.


Approach Notes:

Park at the W end the the pullout just W of mp 165 on the north cascades highway. (This is about halfway between the approach to the wine spires and the big hairpin turn below WaPass) trail goes down steep rocky bank into largest nearby trees. Follow well marked trail down across creek and then up through some sections of scrambling with fixed ropes to big snag at base of rock.

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Sorry, no pics. I assume the FA will post topo sometime since they have for some of their other new routes. Meanwhile, just follow the directions to the parking area, find the well marked trail, follow to rock, climb ridge and enjoy!


The technical climbing is discontinuous--as you'd expect on a longish route with a few pitches of 5.7--but I think it might become a popular easy route--longer than the beckey route, but more learner friendly than some nearby 5.8 routes like S butt cutt. The rock quality on the 5th class pitches is very good for the grade and area.

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Since the First ascent, I have fixed the route so it can be rappelled with a single rope to avoid the loose unpleasant gully. There are many variations possible on the climb, but the original line stays as close to the ridge crest as possible. Scott and I both feel like it offers some of the highest quality moderate climbing in the Wa Pass area. The ridge is broken in the middle with a long stretch of class 2-3 (that could use a bit of pruning), but the upper pitches are really fun clean mid fifth climbing. I have attached a photo, Topo to follow - Enjoy!

Larry Goldie


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