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dberdinka

[TR] Hall Peak - NW Face to N Ridge 1/30/2007

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Trip: Hall Peak - NW Face - N Ridge

 

Date: 1/30/2007

 

Trip Report:

 

 

 

On Tuesday, January 30th, Dave Brannon and I climbed a fun snow and ice line up the NW side of Hall Peak. This is a relatively low (5484') but extremely rugged peak located just west of Big Four. Access is incredibly easy from the collection of cabins called Silverton.

 

We left the car at 5:15 AM, an hour later we hit treeline. Another hour and we were standing at the base of the very impressive, 1900' tall northwest face.

 

View of Route from Descent

 

hall4.jpg

 

The route we climbed was first attempted in May 1962 by Dan Davis and a 15-year-old named Steve Skubi. Steve died in what was apparently a large avalanche. I have no clue if the route has been climbed since, but I really doubt we were the first people to ever carry ice gear in here.

 

Conditions were absolutely incredible. The snowpack was setup as solid neve and loads of good water-ice coated everything. Near the top there was some rotted out snow but it was the exception rather than the rule.

 

Starting up the NW Face on bomber neve

 

hall1.jpg

 

Starting from the bottom left side of the face we climbed up and right on steep neve to reach the base of an obvious steep couloir that ends at a deep notch in the north ridge maybe 500 vertical feet below the summit. The couloir was more bomber neve with ice coated walls that took good screws for protection.

 

Dave finishing the traverse out of the notch

 

hall2.jpg

 

From the notch continuing up the ridge crest appeared unfeasible. Instead we did a tenuous and challenging mixed traverse for about 80' across the NE face. This started on very steep rock and very thin ice and ended with rotted neve for the feet and loose, sloping sidepulls for the hands. Fortunately there was lots of generally suspect rock pro.

 

A little more traversing led to a steep runnel that was followed for two full pitches back to the ridge crest. The runnel was a wonderful mix of water ice to 80 degrees and steep 50-60 degree neve. A final pitch on the ridge crest up more great ice and a final moderate snowslope led to the summit at 3:15 PM. I really can't overstate how good conditions were, I think we placed ice screws at least 12 times to give a sense of how much ice there was.

 

Final snowslope below summit

 

hall3.jpg

 

 

On the Summit with Big 4 in background

 

hall6.jpg

 

The descent is a real piece of work and has serious EPIC potential. Basically you following the west ridge for about a half-mile to a notch and then descend down the 2000' north face. This a steep convoluted face littered with some enormous cliff bands. It would be too easy to get all commited on a rappel and suddenly pop through the brush above a steep nasty 600' drop.

 

After downclimbing a bunch of snow we did 7 full rope rappels with a fair bit of traversing inbetween to reach the valley floor around 7:30 PM. Dave set most of the rappels leaving me to enjoy the brilliant full moon that thankfully illuminated the face.

 

If you go climb this peak make sure to have a plan on how your going to get down. See John Ropers report to get a good sense of what the descent route is all about.

 

An hour-and-a-half later we were back at the car, just under 16 hours roundtrip. Thanks Dave for an excellent day in the hills.

 

There is a ton of potential for more alpine routes on the NW Face as well as loads of ice climbing near the base in the right conditions. Anyone else ever been in here?

 

Gear Notes

Screws, pickets, nuts and a few knifeblades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dberdinka

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Hell Yes! That looks very nice. Good work guys. Darin, its good to see your still gettin the goods. :tup::brew:

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Nicely done!! From my experiences, it's always the short, overlooked mountains in the Cascades that I've had the biggest pucker factor on.

 

BTW, the second pic with the traverse is friggin rad. The angle and the light makes it very Dali.

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For a guy that “doesn’t get out much”, you sure seem to keep the quality up! Fantastic photos, per usual. No problem driving that far into the Mtn Loop, eh?

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Oh Man, I thought I got my fix, I really did. I was saying like "oh man that was great, I had a successful season, I don't need to go climbing again this winter" and then I looked at the forecast last night!!!

 

2000' freezing level with sunny skies through Saturday! Oh god this is friggin killing me having to be at work and god damn if I don't have family showing up this weekend.

 

I'm, I'm feeling itchy all over.

 

Things are set up (at least at lower elevations) I really hope someone is out there killin it. If you ever wanted to climb the North Face of Index RIGHT NOW (like right f#&kin NOW!) is the time to be doing it. Or go climb one of the other big friggin ice climbs there on Hall Peak. Big 4 is probably good to go as well. I wonder how things are at higher elevations? Probably not all that good, more freeze less thaw makes for rotten snow.

 

Back to work.....Back to Work......

 

And Curt, Mtn Loop Highway is currently plowed to Deer Creek about a mile past Silverton. This would leave a short walk to Big 4 and about 7 miles to Barlow Pass.

Edited by dberdinka

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Berdinka-

I better hurry up and get on your friend list before you become to famous. Nice work!

BTW. Thanks for the nice images of man and sheep on the back of my truck on Sunday. My principal called me in on Monday and asked me to go remove the "artwork" on the back of my truck as a few parents had complained. What a great role model Mr. Alford is with pictures of Men sodomizing sheep on the back of my truck. I imagine I have you and Justin to thank for that!

 

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Once again...great job Darin at creativly finding the overlooked gems and potential beyond the 'classic' lines. And an award for daddy's best use of a kitchen pass! You rock, amigo.

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Looks good Darin! For those who may be interested in Big Four, take a look at the summit shot here and you'll see why the descent from Big Four to the NW is a little complicated and not entirely a straight forward hike down to the saddle with Hall Peak.

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Berdinka-

I better hurry up and get on your friend list before you become to famous. Nice work!

BTW. Thanks for the nice images of man and sheep on the back of my truck on Sunday. My principal called me in on Monday and asked me to go remove the "artwork" on the back of my truck as a few parents had complained. What a great role model Mr. Alford is with pictures of Men sodomizing sheep on the back of my truck. I imagine I have you and Justin to thank for that!

 

:lmao:

 

classic

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Berdinka-

I better hurry up and get on your friend list before you become to famous. Nice work!

BTW. Thanks for the nice images of man and sheep on the back of my truck on Sunday. My principal called me in on Monday and asked me to go remove the "artwork" on the back of my truck as a few parents had complained. What a great role model Mr. Alford is with pictures of Men sodomizing sheep on the back of my truck. I imagine I have you and Justin to thank for that!

 

I can only laugh my ass off over this one! I had nothing to do with it, other than to tell Darin that I thought it was extremely inappropriate to draw something that offensive on the back of what we thought was GENE'S truck.

 

D: Way to go!!

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