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Darrington Guide


DavidW
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Brian -

That is a very exciting route report! I have not climbed on the Witch Doctor side of the dome although I have been over to look from the groud, and it looks WAY cool but all my friends who have climbed over there said that, when you actually climb something, it is DIRTY. Let me know if you ever want to go back.

-Matt

 

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Matt, that route scared the crap out of me. I was lucky enough to have followed a good aid climber at the time on the route but it was steep and exposed. The leader of that climb within a year went totally insane (manic-depressive, paranoid and schzo) and eventually killed himself to add a little "mystic" to the route. As far as I could tell, he was perfectly normal before leading the Witch Doctor.

 

Naw, I don't want to go back.... my routes now are more on the order of doing Silent Running, Dreamer and such. We did it in the late 70s to "bag" the route as seemed to be the primary motivation of the time. We had no doubt that we could make it up.

 

I don't remember any bolts on the route. Lots of vertical cracks, sketchy flakes and a few hook moves. No falls and the second and third "jumared" to the the belays. The bivy was very uncomfortable, but aren't they always when you have to "sit to sleep." We were just happy to find the ledge. The last lead I took and it was cool... Free climbing (5.7) and exposure at its finest.

 

Take lots of water... we ran out at the bivy then had to suffer listening to the waterfalls on the Granite Sidewalk while doing multiple rapels down the other side. Ended up sucking water out of moss we were so thirsty. We contemplated rapeling the Witch Doctor face as indicated in the 60s Beckey guide, but opted not to.

 

If nothing else go climb the first lead (below the two scars if they are still visible) which is like 5.8,A2 and bail if you want... then you can get a good look straight up the route.

 

 

Brian B.

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Erik-

That would probably be a good time to go there. The boulder field below the face might still be covered with snow so there would be a place to keep our beers cold and the daylight would be long. If we properly medicate, I am sure we can avoid going too psycho.

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