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first ascent [TR] Boola Boola Buttress- Black Velvet (possibly new) 8/16/2006

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Climb: Boola Boola Buttress-Black Velvet (possibly new)


Date of Climb: 8/16/2006


Trip Report:

Last Wednesday Jens and I (Max) climbed Boola Boola Buttress up a possible new line. The 1000' plus formation is riddled with nebulous cracks and face features, making identification rather difficult. We, like parties before us, planned to climb the 1984 Yoder et al route, however, the supposed "bullet-shaped formation" was nowhere to be found. Possibly one of the worst descriptions I have ever encountered, Jens and I spent some quality time reviewing the face from far and near, but eventually decided the only logical course of action was to start ascending by whatever path looked pleasing.




To back up a day, we began our little adventure on Tuesday afternoon, strolling up to Colchuck Lake and then up the ever pleasant Asgard Pass. My first time up the much talked about pass, I'd say it deserves some of its reputation, but is over sort of quickly and deposits you in a spectacular location. I certainly wouldn't reccomend the Snow Creek trail for objectives near dragontail. In either case, we paused for a brief bouldering session, and then proceeded on to lovely Brynhild Lake, finding an adequate bivouac in the slabs leading to the plateau.




After a restful night, we ditched all but the climbing gear, trudged over the col, and began the descent to the base of Boola. It would be helpful if one could gain a better vantage to scour the cliff, however, it is rather difficult to gain such a perch. What is clear is a distinction between several darker formations to the left, and a clean, white slabby section to the right, where I believe many of the newer routes have gone.



(view of buttress, with our climb taking the far right side, barely visible)



(the fine canadian liqour which inspired the routes' name)


After deciding that Yoder's line is completely impossible to identify, we decided to head for a striking, left-facing corner about 200 feet above the ramps found at the base. I led up a beautiful 5.9 corner crack, through a small undercling roof, and gained the large ledge below the aforementioned corner.



(first pitch, i'm just above the small roof)


Although striking, the dihedral looked a little thin and possibly quite difficult to exit, so Jens chose a splitter flake to the right. I believe the Thank You Baby Jesus route begins to the right of this crack, after reviewing the pictures in that TR. Jens had not planned very far ahead, and soon found the feature ran out, leading him a few feet right, into another, more tenuous crack which, alas, also petered out to nothing. This left him with a daunting slab traverse back left (.10c), gaining a large black knob. After mantling this it was about ten feet to an uncomfortable alcove belay.



(jens heading into the unknown on pitch 2)


The next pitch turned out rather short, after a 5.6 chimney section and some blocky cracks I made a belay under a thin looking, left-facing corner, which I was a little wary off attempting before consultation with Jens. After deciding that it was either up or down, Jens sacked up and attacked the corner, luckily finding just enough gear to make it feasible (.10+R). From here the rock quality deteriorated greatly, much like the description of the 1984 route. Four pitches of 5.4 chimneys would pretty much describe it, though of course it was a little more complicated than that. After 3 loose ropelengths I arrived at what, from below, had appeared to be the buttress' summit, however, it was clear that some climbing still lay ahead. Another chossy pitch took us to a large ledge below the final "headwall", topped with a distinct double pronged summit, from the base it had appeared much farther away. There we were, though, hoping to get off in a few pitches and back to the lake for more delicious water. Jens tackled a short but physical 5.7 chimney to another ledge, where I racked up for the last pitch. Though not the hardest, and certainly not the best, this pitch tested my skills with loose rock and left me more than a little frightened. Thankfully, it did turn out to be the end, depositing us on the ridge just below Dragontail Plateau.



(jens striking a victory pose with stuart looming in the background)


A short hike found us back at the col above our bivy, all in all a speedy descent once at the actual summit. All that was left was a ton of downhill hiking, sure to give our feet some long term damage. Back at the trailhead, we found our bikes conveniently stashed, along with a couple victory beers. We'd found a ride in, but with no phone reception, it was easier to hop on the bikes and roll down to leavenworth. Another victory beer at ducks, along with a giant burger, gave us just enough energy to pedal back to peshastin and crawl into bed.



(mmm, victory beer)


P.S. Oh yeah, anyone who has ventured to this formation please submit any info, pictures, etc. you have. The TYBJ TR is the only one I can find, but I know more of you have been out there. Let's consolidate boola boola beta!


Gear Notes:

doubles to one camalot

1 two camalot

1 three camalot

small selection of wires


Approach Notes:

Pretty obvious approach, car would be nice.

Edited by JensHolsten

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Right on!

You guys are correct, you were just left of our route on the 1st pitch...who knows after that.


Rolf, does this look familiar? I drank that same small bottle of B.V. in probably the same damn spot...weird.




Anyways, nice.

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Fun read. Nice adventure. I especially like the finish, a bikeride to Peshastin.

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Our line, I think, went to the looker's left of the Yoder line and went directly to the summit. Pretty fun place to go adventure climbing.

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would be great to consolidate beta, i liked that place..someone get a better picture...i'll pencil in what dirty refered to "That C Shit", 5.10c1(d.cappellini,p.hurst,e.werhley,2004?)...we all know layton will gleefully cough up beta for he and rat...yoder et all still a f$%^&ing mystery...

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i don't know if a bettter picture exists. i took that far away shot before deciding on a path so it isn't really all that helpful. the striking corner is about the best landmark for the lower right wall, but the upper section is a choss filled mystery. i'd love to go back at some point and find a new adventure, their are plenty to go around.


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