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[TR] Salish Peak & Roan Wall linkup - 17 pitches 5.10+ 6/20/2007


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Trip: Salish Peak & Roan Wall linkup - 17 pitches 5.10+ -


Date: 6/20/2007


Trip Report:

Yesterday Darin Berdinka and I climbed two new grade III routes near Darrington. The are both recently completed and feature flawless granite in a beautiful spot. We did them in a day 16 hours round trip.


Approach using the Squire Creek Trail towards Three Fingers, and the Roan Wall is on your right, easily noticeable from the head of the valley. Ours was probably the 4th ascent of both of the routes, but they deserve lots of visitors.




The Roan Wall has a 5.8 bolted pitch, a 5.4 cracks pitch, then a bit of scrambling before 8 more pitches up the steep wall. Mostly small edgy face climbing, although the last 3 pitches have cracks mixed in.




Locate bolts on the above bulge to begin climbing.







The 5th (crux) pitch involves a leftward move close to the belay



The last 3 pitches have fun crack climbing.




Then you top out and are a short walk from this:




Scramble off the top of the Roan Wall by walking along to the left, then across to the base of Salish Peak.




Every pitch is mixed crack and face, with lots of fun exposed moves. The 3 hardest moves are all somewhere in the 5.10 range and you could AO on a draw.


Pitch 1



Darin had told me that the face move was 5.11something and I A0ed without trying it out. He freed it on TR and said it was more like .10c








The 6th pitch was spectacular face and crack... maybe the best of the route.




You can rappel the route in 5 double-rope rappels, using fixed stations. The black webbing/grey mammut runners are ours. From the base of the route, we high-tailed it back to the car in 3:40, because I insisted to Darin that we complete the day wihout headlamps. After all, the solstice is good for something, right?



(The trailhead is at the base of the landslide in the distance)


Cheers to Chris Greyell for putting up the routes, and to Payless Shoes, whose $20 sneakers passed the test. :grin:


Also, the gas station in Darrington gives out all its hot food for free after 10pm:hcluv: , so thanks to Darin for putting up with my erratic driving when my hunger-crazed brain payed more attention to Taquitos than turns on the highway. Darin was a great partner even though he originally tried to get me to leave Bellingham at 2:30 AM! :noway:


This linkup is one of the best rock climbs I've done, it should be high on the to-do list!


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Chris Greyell put them up. I think that Roan Wall pitches go something like this




It's more face climbing on edges and patina than "slab" climbing.


You can access Salish without climbing the Roan Wall by following a 3rd class mountain goat scramble to the left of the wall. If you find clumps of fur, you are on the right track.

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Blake was a great partner, efficent and fast. Both climbs are amazingly high quality on some of the best rock I've ever climbed on. Having done "Flight of the Falcon" twice now my estimate of pitch ratings would be 10b/9/10c/8/9/10b/8. As pointed out the three 5.10 cruxes are all short, well-protected face climbing that can easily be A0'd on bolts, making the route a 5.9 A0. Bring a small rack to a #2 Camalot. Go get some!


Getting there is probably the crux but well worth it. Here are some detailed approach notes I wrote up, note this is the same approach to use if you wanted to get the NE Ice Route on Three Fingers next winter




Getting to Roan Wall


Follow the Squire Creek Road to a parking lot where the road is now blocked. Start hiking the road, reaching the landslide in about 5 minutes. Cross low (look for flagging) then climb back up to the road. Reach the original road end in about 30-40 minutes from the car.

Follow the old trail about 20-30 minutes until you reach a large dry streambed (it's obvious, 50' wide and full of white boulders). If you were to pass this, the switchbacks on the Squire Creek trail begin shortly after this creek. Hike down the creek bed about 200' trending left into open! alders. A path exists here that may be a bit hard to pick up. At first it stays just uphill of a swampy area. Follow the path for about 30 minutes upvalley until it pops out at Squire Creek which must be forded. Follow gravel bank on the west side of the creek until just before it ends (~100' ) then find a path going back into the woods. Soon after you must cross a small channel of the creek then the trail fades out in open forest and eventually you’ll end up in the now dry creek bed of Squire Creek (the creek is underground).

Shortly after entering the creek bed you'll break out into the open (~2hrs from car). The Roan Wall is a big red slab located on the right side of the basin. Follow the creek bed until it feels like you've almost gone past the wall. At this point a thin boulder filled watercourse coming directly down from the wall should be obvious. Unfortunately it ends in brush about 200' away from the drainage you're in. You might be able to find a faint path leading through some large boulders into slide alder and soon after the watercourse. If you don't find it the bushwhack will be mercifully short. Scramble up this watercourse until you reach slabs at it's end. There are two approach pitches to get to the base of the actual Roan Wall. The first is an obvious 80' bolted 5.8 slab. From it’s top scramble up the gully a bit and climb a low-5th class 150’ groove on the right side of a brushy wall.


Continuing on to Salish


It’s a bit hard to give specific directions on the next part of the approach because you can’t really see where you’re going. Regardless a broken ramp and ledge system leads up along the base of the Roan Wall. This is mostly 2nd and 3rd class scrambling, generally fun, sometimes not so fun. After about 20-30 minutes you’ll end up below a notch in the rocks above. You still need to move further up valley. So I believe we dropped down here a bit then resumed a steep uphill climb through forest, then open meadows and finally a gentle ridge crest. A long traverse on heather and talus led to the base of the Salish Peak. Total time from the car was just under 5 hrs. You might get there faster.


Edited by dberdinka
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I heard the slab master whisper that these are the best routes he has ever done, which is quite a statement. More glory should be bestowed on the FA parties (for which I am not a part of).


So now the cat is out, here are a couple pics to guide thee, roan wall, and roan wall below and salish in the mist



Edited by shapp
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