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Winter

[TR] Mt. Tabor - Southeast Ridge - 2/21/05

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“Holy Shit look at the size of that thing!” That’s all Kristin could say … when she saw Mt. Tabor from a distance. “What a monster!”

 

We had been looking for the right weather window to make a single push ascent of the mighty Mt. Tabor door-to-door in a single day. Just think, no cars, no ropes, no snow, no ice and almost no elevation gain. Simple is beautiful. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

 

Monday’s weather looked ideal. I left early from work and mentally prepared for the long road ahead. Kristin picked me up and drove down Alder St. towards the Morrison St. bridge. In the distance loomed mighty Mt. Hood and underneath, sat the even mightier MT. TABOR. My first glimpse of this monster sent shivers down my spine. Could we really pull this off?

 

We walked out the front door of our SE 26th house at 5:15 pm. Gear? Pffffttt … light and fast. We paired it down to 4 PBRs, a frap, 1 8mm 30 m rope, two PB&J sandwiches, a half dozen ice screws and a snarg.

 

The first 4 vertical feet may have been the toughest. From our house to the corner of SE 26th and Clinton proved treacherous – exposed and runout. The 10 almost ran us over crossing the street, and the cops in Noho’s looked bored. Keep you head down and move quick. Once we got to Harrison though we got into a rhythm and made some up some serious vertical from 39th to 60th.

 

When we got to the base of the route proper, the weather really moved in. The sun went down and it got cold – real cold. The coffee shop was closed and we tried spooning in a bus shelter, but we were still freezing. Suffering from exhaustion and bordering on hypothermia, we lowered into the crevasse of Portland’s combined sewer system to warm up with some horse cock and gu.

 

After a good mouthful and a few minutes rest to warm up, we jugged the lines back to the sidewalk. We got some pretty strange looks from other climbers. What the hell do they know?! Gumbies.

 

With renewed spirits, we climbed the initial headwall to the reservoir edge. Traversing the reservoir, we stopped to gear up for our ascent to the second tier reservoir. Someone had chopped some sweet cement steps (and installed a handrail) all the way to the second bench. Fixed lines! By the time we topped out, Kristin was suffering under the weight of our gear, and she had lost feeling in her toes. I had no choice, and left her behind.

 

Without a partner I climbed on in the heart of the storm. I chugged the 4 PBRs and left the rope and gear behind, because they were useless against the mighty Mt. Tabor. 6 more feet up the face I got to a sweet Redwood tree and sat down to catch my breath. The storm raged on around me and spindrift poured down my face. I passed out from exhaustion.

 

I left Kristin for dead. But she would not give up. 20 seconds later she emerged from the storm, covered in ice, stumbling from exhaustion. She screamed out into the storm – “Your asshole!” Like this is the time to talk sexy?

 

After fending off Kristin’s delusional attacks, I finally got her pointed up the mountain. We walked on and on … each in our own painful world. Will we freeze? Are we stretched too thin? Is there somewhere to catch the bus?

 

The last 20’ up the Southeast Ride were the scariest. The sun had set and we could barely see the trail. Roots stuck out from all over, the mountain dropped away on both sides of the ridge and all we could see were the lights of the city all around us. We were utterly alone – except for a woman walking her dog – and a couple bikers. The last few stone steps to the statute were the most rewarding and difficult I’ve taken in my entire life. It feels good to be alive!!

 

Man, after an experience like that I could really go for sushi! Kristin just about jumped off the mountain when I mentioned that idea, but I insisted on first taking a safety break. After teaching her about the important of self-rescue, we started the treacherous descent. It took 35 rappels down Hawthorne to get to Mio Sushi, but we were seriously determined to get some albacore tuna. Despite the sewer incident, they let us sit at the sushi bar, and they showered us with raw fish and wasabi. God I love these meals. Food tastes best in the mountains.

 

From Mio Sushi, it took us another 25 rappels to get back home, and we completed the door-to-door ascent of Mt. Tabor in a little over three hours with a sushi and safety break. I love Portland.

 

 

2-21-05 – First ascent of the Southeast Ridge of Mt. Tabor (IV PBRs, 2+ safety brakes, $35 for the sushi dinner)

 

119Tabor_Topo.JPG

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man, you gotta taking stupid chance w/ your life. if you were to have been killed, who'd be hosting the slide-show tonight?

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Who did you bill for that?

 

God it sucks to be in an office today. Thanks for the entertainment Chris. cry.gif

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There is information for getting published in the AAJ in the "Author Request Forum". You also may want to submit this to Alpinist.

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Glad you made it back man... I have had to bail on that route a few times due to poor visibility, unconsolidated cement steps, and suppy shortage at base camp (stupid porters forgot my PBR). Thanks for the TR and Beta... Pics? thumbs_up.gif

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Damn I almost fell off my chair just reading that. Got any pictures? A topo? Maybe I could talk my wife into trying a second ascent. Not sure we can do it in a push though.

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and we completed the door-to-door ascent of Mt. Tabor in a little over three hours

Is this a new speed record?

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Winter, you scooped NOLSe's secret line!

 

Edited by jon

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Dude, ballsy route. The place where you traversed the SW col (just past the upper reservoir at 450') is usually overrun by aggressive unleashed retrievers. Although, you probably didn't have much risk of frisbeefall that time of day.

Nice work! bigdrink.gif

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