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klenke

Chossiest High Peaks in Washington?

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Mark: actually, Kyes is comprised of old volcanic material--volcanic breccias to be exact.

 

I suppose you climbed Blackcap via the ridge crest from the saddle on its ENE side. Though it was chossy, it was not difficult. The face to the left (south) was definitely loose. Monument's East Ridge (Beckey's first ascent route) was fun but loose. Some scary exposure for me while soloing. What proved most frightening was downclimbing an extremely steep gully some 1/2-mile SE of Monument to get off its prominent SE ridge to get over to Lake Mountain.

 

I've said this before, but generally while soloing the easiest way up a big peak in the Cascades generally requires ascending via an access gully--gullies which are generally loose due to their eroded nature and what gets chucked into them from above. Folks endeavoring to climb the Top 100 in the state know all about this fact.

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Liberty Bell group is total choss [Roll Eyes] I cannot understand why anyone ever climbs there. [Wink]

 

Of courrse it is so unpopular [Roll Eyes] in part because of the bad rock [laf]

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

Liberty Bell group is total choss
[Roll Eyes]
I cannot understand why anyone ever climbs there.
[Wink]

 

Of courrse it is so unpopular
[Roll Eyes]
in part because of the bad rock
[laf]

Liberty Bell group is a training ground for The Tooth - That's alpine, baby!! [big Grin]

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everything in the cascade pass area is choss don't climb there its dangerous. Come to think of it the Stuart range is complete choss don't climb there either. And of course volcanos are choss don't climb there too, except st. helens its solid granite

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The Mt. Si Trail: totally choss-free class 1 climbing (except for the Haystack). I highly recommend it to everyone. What a great climb! Man I'm going to go back as much as possible. Beware of the golden retriever that lives on the trail. Wild beast of the North Bend stock. grin.gif

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Speaking of Fortress, what is the best way to approach it? Did you bushwack up through the forest above the basin or traverse accross below Chiwawa or what?

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Jake,

Some do Fortress from Buck Creek Pass. It's a long day going that way. I have not been that way myself. I climbed Fortress from below Chiwawa Mountain. I think the approach is a little shorter going this way but the upper reaches of Fortress' east side are looser and harder to climb than the SW side.

 

Basically, I took the Chiwawa River Trail 3.5 miles to where it forks. The left fork stays in the forested valley. I have no idea about going this way. It could work. The right fork goes up to Red Mountain's west side. I took this trail all the way to where it makes a steep incline upward (toward an old mine?) to the right. This is about 7 miles from the car. Basically, at this point you can see you need to leave the trail to cross a small basin to get to terraces at the south foot of Chiwawa. There are numerous streams and waterfalls cascading through here. From these terraces, the idea is to traverse west around the base of the South Ridge of Chiwawa. Once around the base, you want to continue traversing over to Fortress by staying as high as possible (probably on snowfields or snowpatches). If you traverse too low, you'll run into up and down ravines, canyons, rock walls and the like. Trust me, you want to stay high.

 

Eventually after 1.5 miles of cross-country travel from the terraces, you'll get to the ESE side of Fortress. From there, DON'T go up the East/ESE Face (super loose, steep, and sandy ledges). Instead, go to the East Ridge crest to the right and follow it (mostly class 3) until it steepens. Find a short 10-ft class 4 chimney to get up to the summit area of the peak. Scramble easy blocks to the true summit. You can reverse your path back or go down the SW side for the return (if doing it in a day from Trinity).

 

If you want to see some pics of this side of Fortress, send me an email at klenke@attbi.com. See attachment for partial topo of area.

115301-Fortress-Chiwawa_cropped.jpg.3c510e5dfd7c55d9a600b599bddd05f4.jpg

Edited by klenke

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Thanks for the info klenke. I was there last summer and we camped in the basin below the peaks. We got a late start though and when we saw the trees below the peaks we didn't feel like trying to bushwack through them. That way of traversing across high below Chiwawa and then taking the east ridge sounds good. By the way, did you notice that tower of apparently better quality rock that sticks up above the crappy red rock on Red Mountain? Kinda interesting.

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There ought to be a USGS-named CHOSS MOUNTAIN out there somewhere which would require that you travel up Shit Creek for the approach (with or without a paddle in hand).

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