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first ascent [TR] Abiel Peak - Spindrift Daze (FA) 2/3/2007

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Trip: Abiel Peak - Spindrift Daze (FA)


Date: 2/3/2007


Trip Report:

Matt (NYC007), Bob (Tazman) and I established a new route on the north face of Abiel Peak yesterday. Thanks for making the slog guys, it was worth it.


We were indecisive about where to go and what to climb, but Abiel held that "I have lots of unclimbed lines" appeal for us. We had also heard that lots of people were interested in Kent, so that added to our decision. The road to the trailhead was slicker than a skating rink, so we had to bivy in Bob's sweet camper at the Granite Mountain parking lot across I-90. Beers were swilled until too late in the night.


A short night with inadequate sleep later found us tromping up the trail, sliding all over the place and falling on our asses, until we got to the valley. We reached the base around 10:00 and scoped out our options. Compared to last year, routes are very thin, but most will go with some work.



approaching the route (with hanging daggers below the slab)


we picked a line left of the North Face Direct, but right of the 1984 route. We tried the direct line up the hanging daggers, but it was unprotectable and just out of reach.



ultimately, we went right a little ways and I took us up the first pitch (AI3X) to a semi-hanging belay under an overhang at about 30M. I think I used a couple of my nine lives on that pitch. it is one of the few where I almost puked upon reaching the belay. two more pitches of ice took us up to a steep snow couloir filled with mostly great neve.


starting up the first pitch


Somewhere in there it started snowing, then it turned into a freezing mist...Then the spindrift started.


Bob cresting the difficulties into the couloir...happy to be out of the firing line


Matt took us on a long simul pitch up the couloir; after which I took us up to the top. we gained the 1984 route for about 50' at the top of our route.


Matt finishing up


We skipped the half ropelength walk to the summit and walked off down the west ridge to the descent gully since it was getting dark and we were soaking wet. A long and dreamlike trudge out the valley brought us back to more beers in the early evening.



Abiel Peak, "Spindrift Daze"


Kurt Hicks, Matt Cusack, Bob Masasi


blue - 1984 route

orange - Spindrift Daze

yellow - North Face Direct

Green - North Face Couloir


Only the lower half of the routes are visible.


Gear Notes:

Gear to 2"

pins (mostly LAs, Angles)

10 screws


Approach Notes:

I-90, exit 47.

Annette Lake Trailhead, go up the valley bottom to the face. 3 hours. no flotation needed.


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it is worth noting that none of the established routes finish anywhere near the summit of the peak.


this pic and the topo above add some clarity to slothrop's topo. all of the other routes are not visible off on the right.


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As Kurt said the first ice pitch went at AI3X,

2nd Ice pitch: Great pitch , rambly 3 to a rock & ice belay.

3rd: was alot of fun, 3+ with stemming, then on to a ice arete, can even chimney of rock to the right. Other then the scary ice on the first pitch the rest of the ice was the stickiest of the icky! The spindrift made the route all the more interesting but the rain/snow suffering helped us train for the alpine...

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Kudos to kurt for leading that first gut wretching pitch and for excavating the belay cave. The second pitch went a bit better. as i led it out of the cave the first move was a bit akward but well protected. the ice was great on the second pitch, took pro well and the sticks were great. this is where the shower of spin drift began unfortunatly for me i had my glasses on and was making for diminished visibility.i ran out of screws so this time i had to do a bit of excavating on a small rock out croping to build an anchor took yellow metolious tcu , small nut and two small blades. the final ice pitch was fun and the spin drift constant. great climbing and great company thanks guys.

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What did you guys think of this picture's central line? Looks sporty!


After seeing the photo taken from Silver Mountain, it looks like there are some cool climbs further to the left, maybe even ending up directly on the summit... mental note made :grin:

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the thin left facing corner to the left of our route looked great other then the transition onto the ice.. But there is lot up there.......

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What did you guys think of this picture's central line?


that left facing dihedral/slab was all ice last winter. If it freezes again up there, it might be huge. you're right about wandering a little further left, but those routes have less ice and more snow from what I could see. The whole mountain seems to be a late winter jaunt, coming in the best shape right before it warms up for good.

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