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[TR] Lake 22 Headwall- NW Chutes, IV, AI4, 13 P 2/12/2006


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Climb: Lake 22 Headwall-NW Chutes, IV, AI4, 13 P


Date of Climb: 2/12/2006


Trip Report:

Ok- Here goes:


11 years, including 6 attempts of this north facing 2300 foot wall has at last been completed. This is perhaps a new route, one that has held our thoughts and aspirations since a recon hike in 1995. The typical weather patterns of low elevation Puget Sound basin have generally dictated poor unconsolidated snow and ice in recent years. In 2005, however, we noticed a trend towards upper-level inversions, which (presumably) are responsible for the unlikely abundance of Snoqualmie and Lennox Mtn fun stuff. Here is the overview from Lake 22.




Leaving the trailhead @ 3 am, we were at the base of route and geared up at 6 am. P1- screws, pickets, veggies, tree belay




Pitch 2 was continuation of ramp @ approx.AI 2, with roots, screws, and lousy pickets for pro, tree belay




Stephen ready for P3- kind of scary traverse over steep terrain- we have been here before. Ice was noticably thinner than 2003. Stubbies, pickets, trees, hope..., tree belay




Sunrise at last...








Glacier Peak and Big Four




Two simulclimbed steep snow rope lengths followed by an AI3-4 pitch led to a semi-hanging tree belay on an exposed rib. Screws, pickets




Stephen had the crux pitch with bulging AI4 for 30M. Screws, pickets to tree belay




Lake 22 far below




Three Fingers/Liberty Bell group:




Gully steepens and constricts. Pickets, simulclimb...




Stephen seconds P10- 2 small ice crystal avy's from the sunny summit made for painful reminder of location-Pickets, LA's KB's, cams. KB/LA belay




Stephen leads the "Gentlemen's Highway" where we thought the climb ended at the ridge. HaHa- two more pitches to go- pickets, tree belay




Top out @ 4:30 pm- Nice views of Rainier, Pilchuck, Vesper, and Index




Mt Pilchuck view to west




We thought about rappelling the route, then finally decided on the "walkoff' as described in the Kloke Winter 1 Day Ascents. Due to relatively large cornices on the ridge to the East, we were continually cliffed, and ended up rapping in the dark to the Hemple Lake basin. From the basin we had to ascend steep loose snow (1000 ft) to the saddle that overlooks Lake 22 to the north. Descent to the lake was not particularly straightforward in the dark, and required several more sleepy raps. Overall, the descent we took from the climb's summit entailed approx. 2 miles of corniced ridge hiking, 7 hours, 15 headlamp driven 35M rappels, and many vertical to overhanging ravines and gullies. Needless to say, we would strongly recommend descending the route, bringing an extra zip line, bail web, pins, and extra headlamp batteries to get off this "low elevation sub summit".


I returned home almost exactly 24 hours from the previous day's departure. Yes- being the good employee, I slept a couple hours and drove to work a full day.


Good weather this weekend- Go get it!!


Gear Notes:

70M rope, 10-12 screws, screamers, 2 kb's, 2 La's, #1&2 Camalot, 1 set nuts, lotza slings, rap gear


Approach Notes:

Lake 22 trailhed to lake=2.8 miles, cross lake and follow WSW (.5 mile)to base of climb (left of major gully separating towers from main wall) Begin at rocky right trending ramps. Descend route or be prepared for a very long ridge traverse

Edited by To_The_Top
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After Mark and I talked about it we now declare it a grade IV. Go out and try it it's a very beautiful route. Our pics don't do it justice.

have hanman change the title of his thread then so the almighty flame lords don't descend on him then


i'm digg'n cc.com right about now - many sweet tr's of late and i'm betting after this weekend it's gonna be fawking sick

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That looks pretty cool. So where is Lake 22, right after Lake 21 I guess?


Clearly somewhere off the southern part of the Mountain Loop Highway... confused.gif




Lake 22 is situated in a steep cirque on a prominent East flank of Mt Pilchuck. 15 miles or so out of Granite Falls

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