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[TR] SEWS, Mount Triumph 6/19-6/21/2005

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Climb: SEWS south arete, Mount Triumph NE ridge


Date of Climb: 6/21/2005


Trip Report:

With a few days off and the rolodex of PDX alpine partners looking thin for the week(finals, injuries, weddings...you name it!) I decided to grow myself a new partner instead.

Meet James: Good backcountry experience as a seasonal firefighter and the ability to pull V6. Oh, and he's never placed a piece of gear or been more than 30m off the deck in his life. No worries. Time for a little Alpine 101.


Sunday we ran up to SEWS's south arete and, after a quick primer on the basics of simul-climbing, ascended the route in 45 min and downclimbed, taking time at the chimney to show James how to rappel.


Monday we jogged into Triumph in just under five hours and took the afternoon to introduce James to crampons, ice axe and basic glacier travel. Tuesday morning we set out under broken skies onto Triumph's NE ridge, simul-climbing to the summit block's base(ca. 6680ft?). Here we watched dark clouds moving in fast and turned tail. We downclimbed and rapped the ridge back to the base. By the time we'd returned to our camp, full-value rain and lightning had descended on us. Ditching our rack in a moat, we hid under a tarp for three hours, counting lightning strikes(!) and watching clouds rip through the col around us. At 7pm it let up just long enough to sucker us out of our hole. Ten minutes down the trail more electric weather motived us to shift gears and hightail back to the car in 2:47.


Typically I prefer to post TRs just on condition-dependent routes - but James had such a great showing on his first time in the mountains, I thought it was worth mentioning. What did you do on your first alpine climb?


Oh, and James said Triumph was harder than any V6 he's done...does that make it V7?


Gear Notes:

60m 9.4mm rope

9 cams to 2.5"

1 set of stoppers

8 slings

4 draws



Approach Notes:

Thornton Lakes trail is snow-free. Lots of water available at the col.

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Are you climbing in the future.....I guess there will be lightning on the 24th...

Maybe the wrong date.......but it sure sounded like fun. I was holding a metal rake yesterday in my backyard when my hair stood on end and then......bammm!! A bolt o lightning struck 10 yards away.....you guys must of felt something like that

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