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needtoclimb

Darrington Dreamer

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It is possible and it's the normal plan, but has risks. You do need doubles.

 

Search the site and you'll see a lot of references to a monster rope-eating flake, which indeed nearly ate my rope (it's somewhere in the vincinity of the second pitch, I think). I'd recommend feeding the rope out of a bag attached to your harness when you rappell. Also be sure you know where your next anchor is and that you're going toward it- one or two of the raps are traversy and if you don't get it right at the beginning you'll have to improvise. And watch the knot when you're pulling.

 

It might also be possible and easier to descend the Safe Sex route.

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Yes, you should bring two ropes -- though I know people have made it with just one.

 

I usually rappel via Safe Sex because it avoids the rope eating flake below the diagonal pitch four of the original Dreamer route and the additional sometimes troubling flakes on the Blue Crack pitch (pitch six), but getting over to Safe Sex from the upper rappel at pitch eight of the original Dreamer route is a bit of a pain and there are some bushes to contend with when you rap pitch four of Safe Sex.

 

It is possible to walk off the back and make one or two short rappels with a single rope, but this is a nuisance.

 

There is also a reported descent route down the crest of the buttress, north of The Fast Lane, but I have not verified this. Supposedly, it involves a couple of shortish rappels, but is much more efficient than rappeling the ascent route.

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All I can say is that you want to pay attention. If your rope drops into a slot, you can usually pull it back out as long as you are above it.

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Two ropes & simul-rappel the whole route! evils3d.gif Very fast.

 

I have always linked the climbing & rappels of pitches one and two.

 

As CBS states, if you pay attention the flakes will not get you.

 

Cheers.

Jimbo

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In the case of the rope eating flake on pitch four of Dreamer, paying attention and trying to pull the ropes back out has failed many parties in the past -- it is not visually obvious before you toss your ropes unless you know about it in advance and that is why so many people warn of it here and in guidebooks. By now, however, it may have eaten enough ropes that the jaws of hell are clogged.

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Yes, there was a reason for all the warnings about this particular malevolent flake.

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Still a threat as of a couple months ago. I had read about it thoroughly, and my rope still fell into the damn thing and came out the bottom, just like all my reading had warned. It was a combination of luck and an adept climbing buddy that saved my rope.

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It's _possible_ to rap with one rope. Ross and I did it and it involved some zig-zagging across the face and rapping off some interesting twigs with old slings on them. Boy did I wish we had two ropes!

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Any suggestions on how to find the start of Dreamer these days? The new routes up there confused me as to the correct start (I climbed Dreamer long ago, 15 yr probably). Thanks, edmona

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Chuck's picture shows the first two pitches of Safe Sex (pretty close, anyway), and this variant as well as the original start of Dreamer both start at the base of the Botany 101 dihedral just to the right of the lowest red dot in this photo. You will have a hard time missing this spot if you aim for it.

 

The best approach is to scramble up bushy flakes to reach that location from below and right as opposed to what most parties do, which is to follow an obvious dihedral that leads more directly to the base of the Botany 101 dihedral, reaching it from the left, and which causes most climbers to get a little scared and break out the rope in an awkward spot.

 

I'd recommend starting as shown here, on Safe Sex, or starting 150 feet - 200 feet lower and to the left where you may want to start with "Dreamer Direct" and "Urban Bypass" to reach the 4th pitch of the original Dreamer. Of the available options, I'd say the original pitches 1 and 2 of Dreamer are the least attractive.

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Great Photo! The seventh pitch shown on this picture isnt the Dreamer though.... It's a variant added fairly recently and is described in Rattle & Slime as being a continuation of the Urban Bypass route. The Dreamer takes a line to the right up a steep but highly featured wall to the right of a dihedral..... at that point its 5.6 or 5.7 with only one or two pieces of pro on the entire pitch. The first ascent guys thought it was a cool pitch however.

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No, I don't think the seventh pitch variant is described in Rattle and Slime. I've gone both ways. The new way is all bolts and climbs some cool knobs and bumps. The old way can be protected adequately if you bring a Blue Tricam or a medium sized offset Friend. The piece goes in a flared water groove. But as Dave says, the climbing there is pretty easy.

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Well, with all due respect I'm the author of Rattle & Slime and I can assure you that the pitch is both described under Urban Bypass as well as shown in red on the route overlay locator.

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One could say that everything left of Botany 101 is a Dreamer variation really! When I was trying to put the GGB section together I was aware that there has been lotsa confusion over the years as to whats what up there. After I had described Dreamer, Safe Sex, and routes to the right I still had a bunch of loose pitches to account for. Ron Miller, who has since died of Lou Gehrigs disease was the one who put up "Dreamer Direct" although he never called it that and didnt really care for that moniker. So I then asked him sometime in 2000 if he thought it was appropriate to say it was the first pitch of Urban Bypass and he didnt have a problem with that. Constantino... who doesnt climb anymore once commented with some frustration that all these intersecting routes seemed to detract from the Dreamer in his estimation. I realize that the pitch is where it is.. and we are just talking about words. I chose to try and squeeze a little bit more out of Urban Bypass by not diluting the Dreamer description, sorta with Duane in mind. Kinda contrived perhaps... In one sense, the pitch in question had more in common with Urban Bypass because of era and style of FA.. again maybe a tenuous rational. One thing is sure... it IS a fun pitch.

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Wow, I grew up in Darrington and left 20+ years ago. Never really knew of the rock climbing being developed up there. These photos are beautiful! Is there a good guidebook for the area that folks recommend?

 

I assume that the 10 month rainy season is about to start, but I have no doubt that I will be heading up there next summer to investigate. Anyone want to trade services; you show me the area and I will deal with the hillbillys? (I think I still talk redneck)

 

Any advice as to which route/wall to start on to get a sense of the local rock? The above photos psych me up.

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Dave Whitelaw published a guide to Darrington called Rattle and Slime a couple years ago. It is available on CD ROM and can be purchased at several locations, one of which is Pro Mountain Sports in Seattle.

 

I've never had any trouble with the local people. They seem to be nice enough folks.

 

A good place to start would be Three O'Clock Rock. If you can find the Eightmile Creek Trailhead off of Road 2060, you can find Three O'Clock Rock.

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The 3OC Rock trail is actually the Squire Creek Pass trail reached from the back side, if you ever went up there. Should be plenty more nice days this fall to go check it out.

 

362Karsten_on_Dreamer_0.jpg

And, as this climber knows, Dreamer is a great route to lead on double ropes, especially the meandering pitches #6 & 7. Allows full length raps and no extra rope hauling for the second. And it makes you feel SO european!

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