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[TR]Devore & Tupshin -A Coalition of the Coalesced


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Date of Climb: 8/14-8/16


Coalesce : To come together so as to form one whole; unite





The Setup:


Over the last few months, 77 year old Roy Mcmurtrey has made 4 different attempts to climb Dark Peak, before finally summiting alone on his fifth try. Dark was on Roy's ever-shrinking list of climbs due to its placement as one of the state's highest 100. Roy's perseverance and frequent appearances in Stehekin during his quest for Dark resulted in plans for myself and another local to accompany him when he came back to try Devore and Tupshin Peaks (#91,92 of 100). The team of climbers ended up being as diverse a trio as one could imagine, yet things just seemed to merge together. Exactly 29 years of age separated myself from Bob Nielsen, the local Alpine Guru, and a further 29 years separated Bob from Roy. While talking via radio with the Stehekin Bakery from Tupshin's top, Bob described us aptly as "The youngster, the Oldster, and the Middlester." yelrotflmao.gif



The Trip:



(done counter-clockwise, camps at flags)


We hiked up Devore Creek for 5 miles, before going crosscountry about 3,000' to the small basin East of Tupshin peak. Here we were rewarded with a stash of ropes, runners, and other hardware that must have been left by the gear fairy for our climb. grin.gif

We slept out beneath meteors and mountain goats, but were up early Monday morning and ready to tackle Tupshin's easy East Face. The climb can be done in a few ways (Klenke describes a 5-pitch affair on his summitpost page) but having descended that face recently, I knew it could be climbed in two pitches with a bit of scrambling. The first pitch was a rightward sloping ramping/corner up solid slabs if you stayed right. From there, a 15' scramble lets one belay all the way up to the highest belay station. This second pitch had a bit of mid 5th face climbing. From the end of this pitch, it was a fun scramble up a low-angle chimney to the summit. Both pitches are rope-stretchers.


We had a long traverse ahead of us, over to the lakes near Devore Peak.




Two rappels got us back within a short scramble of talus and our camp.




From here we did a long and goaty contour around the head of Bird Creek, in which we made one rappel and belayed one pitch of 4th class through the notch at the very head of the valley. Our camp in the alpine park amidst larch and lakes of Devore Peak was one of those unique mountain locations for which the English language lacks adequate descriptors.



How old must a tree be to grow this large at 7,000'?



If you are ever in the area, don't miss this gem.


Tuesday morning saw us head to the base of Devore North Ridge, from where we contoured up and around the mountain over loose rubble and a lot more scramble country.




We climbed to the summit after topping out at a few minor summits to the NW. The summit area looks like a hopeless jumble from that direction, but we just went upward until we ran out of any more "up" and were on the top.




This route had two 4th class moves near the top, and lots of sidehilling.


Here, as on Tupshin, we were witness to the original registers. These both contain 1930s vintage business cards of Everett Darr, hellno3d.gif owner of PDX's "The Mountain Shop", who made FAs of both peaks.

Tupshin Peak, our lakeside camp, and much of our traversed route can be seen here:



From back near the lakes, we decided to take the advice of a guidebook page Roy had brought along, and attempt to descend directly down to Bird Creek. The route description has one staying just skier's left of the stream as it leaves the lake, and Roy assured us that authors mention anything class-3 or harder. The suggested route ends in a cliff and waterfall several hundred feet high... oops! hellno3d.gif




By traversing North as far as possible from the creek, then descending, one can make it to a gulley and the lower basin with a couple exposed rock moves. If wet I'd want to rappel off a tree. The descent down Bird Creek follows game trails for much of the way, and would be best done if you stayed skier's left of water the whole way. The five remaining trail miles along Devore Creek dragged on as we knew they would, but we still made it down and home by "quarter 'til dark."


The Result:


Who'd have thought that a middle-aged local carpenter, a student not old enough to buy beer, and a retired card-carrying AARP member suddenly work together to do so much? Here's to an unusual(ly good) trip. bigdrink.gif




Gear Notes:

Couple of small pieces of protection, two ropes, runners, good boots.


Approach Notes:

Canoe, Dusty Trail

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Nice TR thumbs_up.gif

I also have a 77 year old buddy named Roy who skis my ass off. He skiied off the summit of Mt. St. helens a couple of years ago then put on a dress in the parking lot in honor of Mother's Day. cool.gifRoy will not hesitate to pull out the rope and tow my car if I get stuck. A true friend. smile.gif

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Roy of the Mountains


by Bob Nielsen




He came to climb and tried and tried

from spring through early summer.


The object of his hearts desire was Dark:

some peaks are much more funner.


But Roy, he's tough, he tried again,

and finally made the top.


You'd think he'd sit and say, or pray

"All right, it's time to stop!"


But not 'ol Roy, he's got a plan

to visit round this state


The 100 high points, he'll trod upon,

that is 'ol Roy's fate


Dark was number 90,

he's only 10 to go!


And now he asks, do you wanna?

I really need to know!


So Blake and I, we like the guy

he's such a tough 'ol bird.


We think we should join up with him

and make a little herd


of goaty types, to go and see

Tupshin and Devore.


If we climb those two with Roy,

he's only have 8 peaks more.


Blake, he's young, and all tuned up,

and ready for the climb.


And me, I'm game to see the hills

just about all the time.


On the way, we walk and talk

and learn our facts of birth.


our spread of ages defies the sages

who say it can't be done.


To climb and hike and carry on;

with peers you'll have more fun.


But age is just a state of mind

when all is said and done.


We hit the scree, toe up the talus

and start upon the ramp.


We climb and move, step and balance

But Roy, he's the champ!


He's limber and lithe, graceful and light

and almost old as dirt.


At 77 you'd think he'd know heaven

but he climbs with out getting hurt.


Except for a finger, smashed by a dinger

but still he carries on.


Tupshin is topped, no time to stop

onto Devore and bird pond.


The traverse is adverse, it's long and perverse,

at times it's starting to suck.


But finally we land kindly, in a meadow so fine,

we feel like we are in luck.


An evening of rum, not much, but just some

we sup under peak 92.


With dawn comes the light, time to make right,

and shorten this peak by a few.


We bustle and hustle, we get on our goats,

and off to Devore here we go.


We head up the ridge, shout and yee-haw

no time on this day to be low.


The face is a-crumble, the rolling rocks rumble,

it's "look well to each step or die here!"


The morning goes on, the traverse does not end

it's turn around time, I do fear.


But Roy says "No!", and Blake, he says "YO!

I think that the way is right there!"


So ramble we do and Roy does too

and the rocks they do treat us just fair.


And we make the top, so time to stop

and read of our friends come before.


Who also climbed here, to experience the fear

and roll some rocks from Devore


Now homeward we go, our legs they are slow

But our hearts and our heads are all filled


With the sights and the sounds, the taste and the smell,

and the times that we almost got killed.


But come next December, the things we'll remember

will be laughter and sweat and the joy


And all of our time in the alpine sublime

and our days in the mountains with Roy.


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