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philfort

Observation Rock, N. Face

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Observation Rock, N. Face - October 22, 2000

This is a nice, short, moderate ice climb on the north slope of Observation Rock, which is above Spray Park. There are also many more short ice faces in the area to climb.

It is about a 3-4 hour approach to the base of the face from the Mowich Lake trailhead. The climb is about 4 pitches in length. The first two are about 40 degrees, and then it steepens to around 60 degrees for the final half of the climb (perhaps less steep on the sides of the face)

The conditions on October 22 consisted of hard, sometimes brittle, ice topped with fresh snow in many spots (up to 1.5 feet deep at the bottom of the face).

Complete trip report at: http://praxis.etla.net/~philfort/ORock/ORock.html

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Those two speedy sporty specks you refer to are my brother and I. Our round trip to the base of Echo Rock took about 5 hours, tennis shoes and camelbak. We went up there to check out the Mowich Face (which we plan on skiing next spring). We saw you guys on top and were wondering why you had ice axes. Now I understand. We also wished we had brought skis.

While I'm on the Rainier message board... does anybody know if the Wilson Headwall has been skied? It looks totally doable in the spring, although I've yet to climb it.

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The Mowich Lake road is now closed 4.5 miles from the lake. No flotation devices at this time will get you there. Shoe leather express is still in season.

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Per the wilson Headwall ski decent,

While down climbing its upper half in a whiteout two years ago, the upper "break" in the rock band just below 13K is pretty steep, 60 degrees at least. The only other problem I could see with it is getting over the 'schrund at the bottom of the face.

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