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[TR] Tang Tower- Sine your Pitty on the Runy Kine 10/3/2004


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Climb: Tang Tower-Sine your Pitty on the Runy Kine


Date of Climb: 10/3/2004


Trip Report:

Back in March Chuck posted a TR on climbing Static Peak with Klenke.


Chuck and Klenke explorerate Static Peak and a good time was had by all!


Several photos were posted of rugged granitic peaks encircling the North Fork of the Sultan River. Of particular interest was a collection of spires and buttresses located two or three miles east of Static Peak. On a map they sit due south of Boulder Lake with the highest summit having an elevation of about 4800 feet. Their south faces looked enticing with long sweeps of clean white granite. Unfortunately getting there looked to be a bitch.


As one person said,


"I have stared at that picture for years, it...haunts me. If you survive the ten foot high brush and prehistoric ferns, pot farmers and the local Sasquach, a most heavenly reward awaits the faithful. ( the bigfoot part is true...)"


On Sunday my buddy Gene Pires and I finally got around to giving these peaks a go. As neither of us brought a camera I'll have to make due with a thousand words.


I woke up way too early and met Gene in the pre-dawn hours in Monroe. We headed east to Sultan where we followed the Sultan Basin Road about twenty-one miles to the Boulder Lake Trailhead. Its's about four miles to the lake on a great trail that gradually switchbacks through some stupendous old growth.


Once you leave the lake the suffering commences. The entire area is inundated with thick brush. It's friendly, no thorns, just a jungle of head-high alder and huckleberry everywhere. We thrashed around the south side of the lake for about fourty-five minutes (Gene estimated it at five hours) aiming for its southeast corner. From here a long boulder filled draw led up to a 4480' col maybe a third of a mile to the east of our objective peak. The south side of the col was steep and we found ourselves doing two short raps from stout trees. This was all taking a lot more time than we had expected, the feeling of commitment was growing and the anticipation level was high. Traversing down and across more thick brush and granite slabs we turned a corner and could finally see the walls and buttresses we had come for.


They are big and complex. There are sweeping buttresses, scraggily ribs, slabby bowls, steep headwalls and solid towers. The rock is clean white granite much like Static Point but has features reminiscent of Exfoliation Dome, heavy on the overlapping dihedrals and corners. We staggered past a large smooth buttress and continued until we reached the main drainage below the highest summit. The final headwall of the main summit was steep, broken and general unaesthetic however clean slabs led up right towards a beautiful tower. We christened it Tang Tower after our favorite black, crime-fighting, super-hero Pootie Tang and decided to head that way.


We simulclimbed about 400' of 5.0 slab to a point below a rock rib that separates the slabs below the main summit from those below Tang Tower. We then trended right, climbing three rope-stretching pitches of friction slabs split by intermittent cracks to the left edge of where the tower steepens. Gene led a long, exciting pitch following a thin crack up a smooth face to a hand crack and a belay. The final pitch consisted of more thin cracks and friction followed by a traverse right to a prominent left facing corner split by the only finger crack around. Easier climbing led to a suitably small summit.




We had climbed about 1400' of rock in six pitches. The crux was probably 5.8+ though most of the route was considerably easier. The rock was clean, solid and compact. About a third of our gear placements were knifeblade or lost arrow pitons. They were critical for protection particularly at the cruxes. It was a good climb, not great, but good, the line is just a little too indistinct. We called it "Sine your Pitty on the Runy Kine" III 5.8+.


To descend we scrambled down exposed third-class blocks on the east ridge until we could follow a mossy gully down to a talus field on the north side. Steep forest and more intense brush thrashing got us back down to Boulder Lake in maybe an hour. We reached the car at twilight twelve hours after leaving.


Plenty of potential back in there, but the epic thrash to reach it will relegate this area to the realm of Cascade esoteric a. If you’re a jaded alpine titan who's done it all and have a (long) day to spend in the mountains it might be worth checking out.


If anyone has a better image of these peaks let me know!



Gear Notes:

Medium Rack. Bring some knifeblades, lost arrows and a baby angle.


Approach Notes:

Cascade Classic!


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Any sign of hairy mountain devils?

The view of Ragged Ridge must have been pretty amazing...


The only hairy mountain devil I saw was Gene.

What exactly is Ragged Ridge?

The headwaters of the Sultan River are indeed incredible (this is the valley Static Point slab is in).


The potential for ice routes was noted, with large plateaus above steep cliffs.


There is a prominent spire on the south side of valley you can see from the Static Point approach. It's backside, facing northeast, is an incredible wall. Looks excellent and near impossible to get too.


It was great fun to experience so much cool topography so close to home.

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What exactly is Ragged Ridge?


Ragged Ridge stretches from basically from east of Isabell Lake to your peaks near Boulder Lake. Ragged Ridge is marked on the USGS map at the southern edge.


There is a prominent spire on the south side of valley you can see from the Static Point approach. It's backside, facing northeast, is an incredible wall. Looks excellent and near impossible to get too.


Could it be this? This can be done in a day.


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The spire that Darin is asking about is not frostbite weber but across the valley from frostbite weber. Maybe two valleys across even as I can't remember exactly were FW was when Darin pointed it out to me. I think FW was due east of us. That peak looks cool too and the photo makes it look even better than our vantage point.


The peak that Darin is asking about is at the end of the valley that static point slabs lay in.



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Darin, perhaps you can spot the wall in the following panorama looking ESE from Static Peak. Frostbite-Weber at far left, Ragged Ridge across the valley (S. Fk Sultan River), Mt. Stickney at far right:


On that triangular wall left of center we spied a nice double-barreled ice climb (very top of Static Point in the foreground):


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I figured that's where Tang was.

Your wall I was referring to in my last post was the one in your, "There is a prominent spire on the south side of valley you can see from the Static Point approach. It's backside, facing northeast, is an incredible wall. Looks excellent and near impossible to get too" and Gene's, "The peak that Darin is asking about is at the end of the valley that static point slabs lay in."

The pano shows the end of that valley (S. Fk Sultan R.). Is the mystery "impossible to get to wall" visible in the panorama?

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