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Dru

5 Worst Routes in PNW

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5. i regret to say i haven't climbed that many bad routes.

You regret it? Be grateful, my friend!

 

Three of my worst are both at Vantage: Old Friends on Kotick Memorial Wall and a new route recently "cleaned" at ZigZag Wall. Yeah, right. Another notch in my Chapstick Case has a hard start with a super sharp rock right in the landing zone.

 

Chumstick Snag was pretty bad, yet I don't regret having visited it.

 

North Face of Pilchuck: piss, orange peels and broken glass.

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2. Narrow Arrow, "regular route," Index Town Wall. (I think that is the one - a dirt covered corner system of terrifying loose rock)

I disagree, this was my second ever leading experience, really phenominal position, excellent and diverse climbing. A true Northwest "rite of passage" IMHO. wave.gif

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Sky Ridge, Smith Rock. Cool position, but uninteresting climbing on crappy rock.

 

I thought the first pitch was hairy scary but the hand traverse (5.7) was great. fun exposure and good moves.

 

each to his own i guess

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1. N ridge of Adams w/o snow

2. Ulrich's Couloir - Stuart

3. Anything on Boston Peak

4. The approach to Boston Basin, compared to what it used to be...

5. Tumwater Tower yellowsleep.gif

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Oh ...why

1. N Ridge of Adams - rubble...and NW Rib is sweeeet!

2. Ulrich's Couloir - long, boring (I'd ski it...)

3. Boston - shit pile

4. Approach to Boston Basin - pick up sticks and erosion, but still worth it (Needs judicial maintenance)

5. Tumwater Tower - not worth the approach

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how could I forget this one?!:

Mt Jefferson North Ridge (in July)

superscheisty! I only blackened 1 fingernail, but had somebody lookin' out for me later on when I dropped off the ridge and traversed under the pinnacles (Molar Tooth & friends). Right after I crossed I watched in awe as 100' of my traverse-tracks on JPG were swiped by massive rockfall. It just kept coming--filling in crevasses and then moving on to the next. the_finger.gifcry.gifhellno3d.gifthumbs_down.gif

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Condomorphine addiction route

Infinite Bliss

Index- orc tower (whatever route we did?)

Index- princely ambitions and zoom

Volcanoes in general (unless in early season or winter or as a ski trip)

Vantage- numerous

Johannesburg Northeast Buttress- Western rib variation- the one in the selected climbs book ( I haven't done it but it from above, the side and below, it looks like just stump and root pulling.

Darrington- I know I'm in the minority here.

 

Hikes- Mailbox peak trail is about as ghetto as it gets

Perhaps the beatuy of the cascades is that we have so much diversity it can cater to all of our own personal tastes. Some of us (myself) have some quirky opinions.

 

Come on, who didn't like Sahale? It is one of my favorite 1/2 day outings in the range!

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1. All the routes I'm too soft to climb.

2. All the routes I'm not climbing while at work.

 

That pretty much sums it up.

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1. Condorphamine: Booorrriiinnnngggg! The challenge isn't the climbing, it's finding good feet around all the bolts, and not back clipping.

2. Ingalls Peak: Booooorrrriiiinnnngggg, plus elbow to elbow climbing. Sweet!

3. Serpentine Arete: Why bother when you're that close to Backbone Ridge?

4. N.W. Buttress of Colchuck Balanced Rock: What, all that effort to get up there for a couple loose, dumbass pitches instead of the W. Face?? rolleyes.gif

5. Lightning Crack: C'mon, do you really think those cams will hold in shallow, flaring, swauk sandstone? How many fatalities now? Plus, the first pitch crux is miserable loose.

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5. Lightning Crack: C'mon, do you really think those cams will hold in shallow, flaring, swauk sandstone? How many fatalities now? Plus, the first pitch crux is miserable loose. You said it! That freaked me out. That is a good application for tricams if there ever was. If anyone ever does the first pitch of that route, tie off a tunnel before the crux with a runner. It could save your life.

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I think the following 5 climbs all tend to make the list of things to do but turn out to be total crap.

 

#1 worst climb North Buttress - Mt Chaval: Go climb it I dare ya!

 

#2 Lighting Crack - Peyshastin: Another vote for the worst crag climb anywhere

 

#3 Sunday Cruise - Witch Doctor Wall: The ultimate D-town adventure climb

 

#4 Ultimate Everything: No climb does a worse job of living up to its name.

 

#5 South Buttress - Cutthroat: So pretty from the car, so mediocre once on route.

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I think the following 5 climbs all tend to make the list of things to do but turn out to be total crap.

 

[...]

 

#4 Ultimate Everything: No climb does a worse job of living up to its name.

 

Infinite Bliss is not terrible, but certainly does not live up to its name.

 

 

West Ridge of Thomson is also one that does not live up to the hype.

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Ultimate Everything may be a misleading name, but the pitches are all decent quality. It's great for getting in a first long route of the season. I'm wondering when ppl will start running laps on it, like 3 times in a day.

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I tried to pick my climbs based on the gap between expectation and reality. Clearly something like Northwest Passage is probably far worse but you wouldn't get on it expecting it to be great.

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Some more Smith goodies:

 

The crack on rope-de-dope rock at Smith is up there in terms of horrible crack climbing.

 

Heatstroke on Koala Rock is not necessarily bad, but definitely weird.

 

Xenophobe on the Mudpile: V1 1-move boulder problem to a 5.6 slab finish, disguised as a .10c

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There is proabaly worse routes out there but some of these "classics" just didn't live up to their reputation.

 

1. Northeast ridge of trimuph: hyped-up vegetated climbing with 9 ft. of real climbing, and some of the worst rappel anchors around.

 

2.Condorphamine Addiction route: over-rappel-bolted nightmare. only route i've ever climbedn where my partner and I were able to repeatedly clean two quickdraws at the same stance.

 

3.NE Buttress of Sleese: Like triumph, vegetated and chossy. the worst part being the ability to see the clean granite on the north rib the entire time(next year cool.gif).

 

4.East Butt Direct, South Early Winter Spire: just did not live up to the hype. mostly chossy, funky.

 

5.Diedre. boring, over-rated, tick-marked, over-hyped, busy.

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3.NE Buttress of Sleese: Like triumph, vegetated and chossy. the worst part being the ability to see the clean granite on the north rib the entire time(next year cool.gif).

There's always a better ledge "just up there" and the rock is always more pristine on the next ridge! rolleyes.gif

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man I liked a lot of these! Princely Ambitions is a classic. NE Ridge of Triumph is amazing - as long as you don't expect anything technical or solid granite. N Ridge Baker isn't really an ice climb, just an incredibly scenic glacier climb. Condorphamine has 2-3 bolts too many but is a great scenic early season afternoon. S Face Cutthroat is awesome on a late October day - laze on the summit for an hour and soak up the mountains.

 

I do have a few disappointments:

"Old Friends" at Vantage does suck!

Don't expect much climbing at Slippery Slab Tower (nice hike though).

NE Buttress Goode is not worth it when beclouded.

Getting lost on the road to Rexford.

Dynaflow Tower - loose.

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There's some thirty-foot bolted 5.0 route at Exit 38 (Headlight Point area or something) that gets a 5.7 in the guidebook and is not even worth trying to remember the name of. By far the worst route I have ever wasted my time on.

 

Another at Exit 38: the one that starts right off the trestle, the only route on its tiny crag. At least one bolt loads the bolt-end biner against an edge. Nightmarish slippery downsloping blocky crap to climb on.

 

Sahale is way overrated as a climb, but it does have fine views.

 

Sickle Crack at Index. Too short and the traversing bit is annoying.

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Sahale is way overrated as a climb, but it does have fine views.

 

 

Sahale (from the Arm) is more like "Now you've been on a glacier, and on some rocks" There really isn't a lot of climbing involved, its more an alpine excursion. However, the summit is a great spot, and I agree, the views are fantastic. I think it is free-soloed quite commonly. (maybe the norm)

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Sahale is way overrated as a climb, but it does have fine views.

 

 

Sahale (from the Arm) is more like "Now you've been on a glacier, and on some rocks" There really isn't a lot of climbing involved, its more an alpine excursion. However, the summit is a great spot, and I agree, the views are fantastic. I think it is free-soloed quite commonly. (maybe the norm)

I was fortunate enough to do it from Boston Basin, and from there it's a pretty nice climb IMHO.

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Selected rebuttals:

 

"Condorphamine has 2-3 bolts too many [...]"

 

Per pitch or per stance? yellaf.gif

 

"Sickle Crack at Index. Too short and the traversing bit is annoying."

 

Just continue up blockbuster then the trough up to the classic 5.6 Pisces crack and you've got a classic pitch.

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