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klenke

[TR] Fallacy Peak - West Ridge 3/13/2005

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Climb: Fallacy Peak - West Ridge

 

Date of Climb: 3/13/2005

 

Trip Report:

Here I was once again at the Boulder Lake Trailhead. Third time this winter. This time I was with John Roper and Fay Pullen. We had two objectives but only one would we wind up visiting. Days are shorter at this time of year.

 

Our primary objective was Pt. 4800+ half-a-mile south of the outlet of Boulder Lake. This point is shown as 4,895 ft on the 15-minute USGS Mt. Stickney Quad. Either way it doesn't quite have 400 ft of prominence but, by the looks of it from various vantages, it's a worthy objective nonetheless. And if the rock jocks ever open their eyes and strengthen their trailblazing resolve, they might find the fantastic South Face of this peak. Darin Berdinka & Gene Pires have been there and know what I mean. Their name for Pt. 4800+ is "Pootie Peak" to go with the nearby pinnacle they climbed that they called "Tang Tower." What's with their toponyms? In case the obvious isn't obvious, here is the not-so-obvious. Whatever you want to call it, the peak could offer quality rock climbing adventures off the beaten path. From the end of the overgrowing road to Static Point, a 1.5-mile romp through either open forest (close to the river) or moderate brush will get you to the South Face.

 

Here is Roper's photo of Fallacy from the northeast in April 1991 (Tang Tower is on the left). This is how the peak should have looked for us ordinarily. But there has been nothing ordinary about this winter.

FallacyPeak.4.21.91.rc.jpg

 

Starting out from the car at 7:40AM (1,650 ft), we got to the 3,700-ft lake in good time and took a break. The lake is more frozen over now than it was in early February. From the lake, we mounted Fallacy's alternately brushy and open lower north ridge. Several routes to the top presented themselves, including the timbered upper North Ridge and the Northwest Face. However, we had earlier seen a notch on the West Ridge and so decided to have a look at that. The West Ridge appeared lower angle on the map. But I just knew it would be a sharp crest like the nearby West Ridge of Frostbite. The notch required about 70 vertical feet of brushy Class 3/4 to get to.

945Fallacy_W_Ridge_notch.jpg

 

Once at the notch we geared up while admiring the amazing southwest gully. It's one long slab climbing paradise (maybe 800 vertical feet of it). I haven't seen Infinite Bliss on Mt. Garfield but I imagine it looks something like this though a little steeper.

945Fallacy_SW_slabs_I.jpg

 

I took off up the initially narrow crest on fairly solid rock. It was barely Class 4 at the hardest but I had John belay me anyway. When doing something new on a ridge, one never knows what difficulties may lurk around unseen horns. Fay prussiked her way up the rope then continued ahead on easier rock to scout out a route. Here is that first pitch with the exfoliated (and probably untrod) West Horn beyond (though I think it may be easier to get to from its west side).

945Fallacy_West_Horn.jpg

 

We had come to the apex of the southwest gully where it becomes a headwall. For scale, Fay is in the yellow jacket at left.

945Fallacy_SW_slabs_III.jpg

 

Several rock climbing options exist. We considering going left onto the Northwest Face but it didn't look that aesthetic nor workable in the long run. A nice hand-crack went up the cleft in the headwall. Still another option was to traverse right on brushy ledges to round the corner. There might be better climbing on the southwest side. I traversed across on alternately frictiony and licheny slabs until the rope paid out. Then we did a running belay to the corner.

945Fallacy_crossing_slabs.jpg

 

From this corner I could see we were good to go. Up to this point we were still uncertain. Possibly no one has gone this way before. There is no information out there. But that is adventure in the grand style. We continued up a short distance to another minor Class 4 section. We stayed in the brushy dihedral but all sorts of harder but more aesthetic climbing could be found on the rib at left.

945Fallacy_mid_W_Ridge.jpg

 

After the brushy dihedral we walked and scrambled all the way up to the top, passing one last false summit before getting there.

945Fallacy_last_false_top.jpg

 

As mentioned, there are no known reports of anyone climbing this peak. However, Darin has said Chris Greyell and Dave Tower have called this peak and others around it the Boulder Crags. It stands to reason that if they named them they might well have climbed them too. As we neared the summit, just in case it could be an FA, we let Fay be the first to get there since she had told us she had never made an FA. But, alas, as we approached, a suspicious pile of rocks smothered our hopes. It was a definite cairn at the summit. Ah, no matter. Still a fun climb.

945Fallacy_trio_at_top.jpg

 

There were lots of nice views, but the greatest eye-popper was good old Frostbite a mile or so to the east. Here is its summit tower. That South Face just begs to be climbed by someone. The yellow dot marks the location of where we mounted the West Ridge back in early February (see this report). The horizontal distance from that dot to the summit is a lot farther than it appears in this foreshortened image.

945Frostbite_from_Fallacy.jpg

 

For the descent, we chose a steep-ass gully on the Northeast Face. We downclimbed the pygmy evergreen choked gully knowing that we couldn't fall down the mountain if we tried. However, the little trees did come to an end and we were presented with a quandary of barely downclimbable slabs and ledges. Since we already had the rope out, we decided to make one rappel down to a snow finger. We then took this down and leftward to the 4,300-ft notch on the North Ridge. A direct descent (or ascent) of the North Ridge was not worthwhile due to a large gendarme (closed contours shown on the map). Fortunately, the west side offered a bypass (where we came up) and soon we were back at the lake. And soon thereafter (okay, 85 minutes later) we were back at the car.

 

Distance = 4 miles of trail x 2 ways + 1-mile teardrop loop on peak = 9 miles total

Gain = 3,300 ft.

Time = 9.5 hours (for us)

Difficulty of West Ridge: Grade III, Class 4

 

Gear Notes:

Small rack, 50m rope, double runners.

The West Ridge is not the easiest way up. The easiest way would probably be the Northeast Gully where we came down but this might depend on conditions. If snow-filled, you could take the gully all the way to the top. It would be at about a 40-degree angle.

 

Approach Notes:

Drive to Olney Pass, sign in at the bathrooms, continue past Spada Lake and the Static Point turn-off, past the Greider Lakes Trailhead, to the Boulder Lake Trailhead (just before the end of the road). It's about 10 miles to the trailhead from Olney Pass.

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thanks for sharing!

 

My question:

 

Did you leave a Roperesque register or a Pullenesque register? There is a dichotomy in registers between the two of those grand folks.

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That's some cool looking rock.

 

This is a really funny picture. You really like the brush don't you. yellaf.gif

945Fallacy_mid_W_Ridge.jpg

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I wanted to go left onto the fun rock, but my decisions were overridden by more senior personnel. Too bad, as it probably would have been the best climbing of the day. Class 4 doesn't generally cut it for me personally when I know I have the gear to do harder stuff.

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945Fallacy_mid_W_Ridge.jpg

 

This picture is so funny yelrotflmao.gif "Hey guys let's ignore the good, clean rock rock and rope up for this classic heather and krummholz thrash" "Shit bra, those crag climbers in Leavenworth don't know what they're missing when they scrub those routes!"

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Dru, after 24,500+ posts you're just....sad. A majority of your posts seem to be lame little one-liners dissing other peoples accomplishments. It sucks.

 

As for Peak 4800+/Pootie-Tang/Fallacy, Gene and I make no claims of first ascents of peaks or routes. There is an old cairn on top of "Tang Tower" as well. We just named things for our own amusement. While yet to be confirmed, I have been told that Chris Greyell and Dave Tower did climb several routes on these peaks and evidently drew up topos as well.

 

I don't think it will ever be a rock climbing mecca. It's too hard to get to and the rock quality is subpar compared to Static Point or D-Town. Maybe it will just be rediscovered every ten years by someone looking for adventure. Due to the density of exfoliations on the south face it would be next to impossible to exactly follow someone else "route", all future parties should consider their climbs FAs and name them as well.

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cry.gif I can't believe that you are dissing my 'accomplishment' [sic] of making all these posts!

 

It's still a funny picture any way you slice it. The irony of Klenke, self proclaimed bushwack lover, wanting to go onto the clean rock but being overruled.

 

This one is a good picture too, not funny like the other one but impressive

945Fallacy_SW_slabs_III.jpg

It's hard to believe that the two photos are taken on the same route actually!

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The two photos were taken about 100 yards from each other. In fact, the same terrain is visible in both. The left-edge Class 5 part in the first photo is the right-edge rib with the tree in the second photo. The tree is visible in both shots.

 

I understand Dru's irony comment. When rock climbing, I'd rather visit clean, aesthetic rock any day. The bushwhacking thing doesn't apply to rock climbing for me.

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