Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
skyclimb

[TR] Colchuck Balanced Rock- West Face 8/30/2004

Recommended Posts

Climb: Colchuck Balanced Rock-West Face

 

Date of Climb: 8/30/2004

 

Trip Report:

The END- In a tight spot I belayed Mike across the floor and under the roof as he made a viscious mantel. It was truely spectacular as he hoisted himself up to the bar for one more round. Although the bartender looked doubtful, and the patrons looked disgusted, Mike was able to regain his composure for 1 more drink, completing the henious lead.

This was followed by our filming of a late night irish spring commercial in the waterfall at the local put-putt course in town.

The Start- 6:00 a.m. -We departed the car to do colchuck balanced rock -west face. Mike and I made quick time to the lake, and then the base of the route arriving at 10:00.

The approach we took is via the assgard pass trail. We cut across to the approach gully approx. 300 feet up assgard pass. From here bushwacking and scrambling ensued as we made our way up the boulder strewn approach gully.

3539CBR_009-med.jpg

At the base of the wall, shown here, we sorted our gear and departed for the climb. By 11:00 I was on lead, doing a 5.8 pitch and a 5.7 pitch. We decided to split the route into blocks with me leading the first half(except the 5.10+), and Mike leading the second half. The 5.8 first pitch had a nice belay as did the 5.7 pitch. Mike then took the lead for a short 5.10+ off-finger sized crack, that was powerful. From here another 5.7 pitch followed with a chimney. The chimney leads to a belay on top of a pillar. There is no place for gear here except a shitty nut, so be prepared to sling the pillar with the excess rope for the belay. This lead was followed by a stellar 5.9 crack system for 130 feet, ending with two roofs of moss. The crack system was very dirty for the first 40 feet or so, forcing me to do some gardening to get finger locks. This led to another 50 feet of double cracks that were very enjoyable. The belay at the top of this pitch was good as well. This took me into the next lead which was a short 5.7 leading to a tree ledge at the start of the steep 5.11 corner.

This was the first half of the route, and the easier half. We enjoyed a redbull, and some pizza as we admired the north ridge of stuart.

3539CBR_012-med.jpg

Now begins the business, three pitches of very technical climbing. With Mike on lead things were flowing nicely, as he made steady progress up the crazy hand crack. He jamed out the whole crack, but had to resort to aid for the last 15 feet as it was seeping water. The belay here was spectacular, and very solid. The belay is capped by a 30 foot roof, that is MASSIVE. It is a very unique position, that is second to none for belay stances. Mike then began the next lead moving out left under the roof, with precision foot work(5.11), and quickly had me on belay. This lead was very technical, because the crack would close off and then open back up requiring face climbing. Mike had me on belay, at which point I began the traverse. A short time later I took a 20 foot pendulum fall, that resulted with a hang in space 600 feet off the deck! I set up a prussik, and regained the next piece(probably easier then climbing the damn thing). From here I reached the belay without further adrenaline surges. Mike on the 5.9, beautiful arching corner, capped by the A1 roof. This pitch was stellar and the aid wasn't too intricate due to a fixed nut at the lip of the roof. The aid was probably harder here to follow than to lead.

3539CBR_006-med.jpg

Now for the last HARD pitch. This pitch is something neither Mike or I will forget, because of its difficulty and exposure. It was awe inspiring to watch as Mike laid back until inverted and then threw his right leg into the chimney knee bar fashion. This move resulted in a upside down view of the ground, with nothing but air below. This chimney was followed by another chimney of equal difficulty.

From here one more 250 foot 5.7 simul-climb took us to the summit as the sun sank into the mountains and the west. 3539CBR_015-med.jpg

We made one rappel and decended scree to the packs. On our exit we ran into many friends camped at the lake both preparing for and winding down from their own adventures.

The hike out, also know as the "assgard death march" was consumed by scary anaconda's and flying white birds under the full moon.

Pizza and beer ENDED with me belaying Mike across that bar, and showers at the local put-putt.

19 hours car-to-car

Pics-(disregard dates as all were taken on 8/30)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm kind of wondering what happened to the camera that it skipped 08.31?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that was the "blackout period" where on the trail down I saw wood gnomes, an anaconda, and set the cruising altititude at 30,000 feet as we sailed out ships down the hallicinogen river.

 

Notes regarding the nelson guide (I don't own the updated version).

1. bring a lot of gear. Doubles up to 1", tripple 2", doubles again 3"-3.5" (note, this was not our rack, but wish it was)

2.there is 1-2 short 5.7-5.8 pitches before the 5.10+ crack which is NOT 1.5", more like .75" and is VERY short. We came into that pitch from it's right, I guess others from its left.

3.the approach going around the left side of the lake may be quicker than going around the entire lake and then up some of asguard.

4.it is hard climbing to get into the cracks that finally get to the 5.7 chimeny which is much easier than 5.7

5.slim pickens for the pedestal belay

6.the 5.8 dihedral after the 5.9 step across is thin, but the crack is very very good so don't worry

7.the ...... pitch to the base of the long 5.11 crack isn't 4th class

8. the 5.11 long pitch says 2"-3" and sure you need that, but the 1st 1/2 of the pitch takes .5" -.75" and the belay is fixed so use your gear (unlike me who hoarded it to the belay)

9. the 5.11 traverse pitch take your big gear, so keep it handy (vs. clipped to the back of your harness like I did)

10. the aid roof has one fixed nut and is very handy, but it sure isn't fixed so you decide if you want to steal it. Anchors take whatever you got left, but you'll wish you had a 2" cam somewhere in it (i did not, and wasn't psyched about that as I led out again).

11.the 5.8 chimney pitch is ferocious. it is serious hard climbing, and there are 2-3 chimneys so hoard your big guys as long as you can. I mean, this pitch is the crux.

12. there are many surprises on the route that are not mentioned in the guide so don't expect only the type of climbing mentioned on the pitch descriptions (like long fingers cracks after the chimney to ANOTHER chimney which is almost harder to get in than the 1st upsidedown knee bar on arm hand-jam exposure fest.

13. did i mention that the 5.8 chimeny will utterly destroy you?

14. the ........ 4th class to the ridge isn't 4th class, and isn't totally straighforward. I made a weird traverse on a hand rail w/little feet and some lichen slab simul climbs to a tiny chickenhead summit pinch.

15. the 5.10+ "1st pitch" is the easiest pitch all told

16. there is a rappell just on the east side of the summit block that is exactly 30m and gets you to the surf-off. I don't know if you can walk off the summit cuz it was getting dark and the rap was quick and ez.

17. after surfing down the easiest decent in the cascades, you think you're gonna get cliffed out. you can either cut back right, just below the base of the face on ledges, or go lower like we did, then cut right to 100' above the bottom of the basin.

18.We had some difficulty on the upper pitches getting nick with the pack up so I'd discuss a proper aid system for the 2nd and not bring a pack at all, just clip nalgeens or something. could'a saved hours.

19. the basin has a hard snowpatch, but no water. the gulley we took from asguard has water till about 1/2 way up it so you could bring a large water bladder to fill there if you wanted to camp. highly reccomened camp spot. it is 5 star. then after the route, you could chill and reflect, vs. take 5 years off your knees.

Anyways, hope that helps. This was a fine route, especially the long 5.11 pitch. Probably is a bit drier if it hadn't rained hard a couple days earier, but i guess it's always a bit damp. There are many opportunities to stem on the left side of the corner I found thank god. Nick was a great friend and was in high spirits even when I lost it and yelled at him multiple times cuz I was almost in shock I was soooo hungry at the belays. Sorry I yelled nick.

I will try and post some really fun photos tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice job. guess i should have reminded you to take a double set (thought you knew--makes linking pitches easier too).

 

no hyperspace the next day? wtf? hahaha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good work fellas. thumbs_up.gif unsolicited feedback: tri-cams (my preference) or hexes for doubles work well on that route. you can also usu. find smaller gear than 3-3.5"; as i recall, we took one of each. that finishing bombay chimney is a b-slap sting in the tail, eh?

 

you can downclimb a little (S or SE, to a notch) to walk off, but that rap is convenient, esp. after the fatigue of the day.

 

dark totem? white birds and anacondas usu. signify good times...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nice job. guess i should have reminded you to take a double set (thought you knew--makes linking pitches easier too).

 

no hyperspace the next day? wtf? hahaha.

 

stfu and go back yer rathole!

hahaha!

 

 

hey skyclimb was there still a fixed nut at the end of the massive roof pitch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_029-med.jpg

 

Not only did you not bring two sets of friends but you probably also forgot the parasol... Rat's alpine umbrella of choice.

 

Nice job on the drinking boys!!!!!! and the sending the next day too of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

only one fixed piece on route besides the belay under the roof. it's the tiny nut on the A1 roof that is booty-able.

 

Here are a few photos of the NR of stuart, colchuck peak, dragontail, and the W.face of CBR from this trip:

136colchuck01-med.jpg

136dragontail01-med.jpg

136stuart01-med.jpg

136stuart02-med.jpg

136colchuckbalancedrock04-med.jpg

 

Next is Nick on the "5.8 corner", then two of him following the 5.11 crack, a view of nick when I'm about ready to get raped going into the chimney, and the NR of stuart once again framed by the huge roof belay:

136colchuckbalancedrock06-med.jpg

136colchuckbalancedrock03-med.jpg

136colchuckbalancedrock05-med.jpg

136colchuckbalancedrock02-med.jpg

136colchuckbalancedrock01-med.jpg

 

rockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's some of the worst color resolution i have ever seen. what are you shooting pix with, a $5 Spider Man disposable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

136stuart01-med.jpg

 

Are you sober? This looks like your 5 year old fetal alcoholic half sister had a go with her crayons boxing_smiley.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you're right, i need to re-scan these photos. the scanner in the open lab right now is a piece of shit. still,you've been xtra surly these days. you need to mushsmile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×