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[TR] Whine Spire - Gato Negro IV 5.10b 7/25/2007


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Trip: Whine Spire - Gato Negro IV 5.10b


Date: 7/25/2007


Trip Report:




Last week Tyree and i climbed Gato Negro on Whine Spire in the WA Pass area. Overall, we thought the route was high quality, varied, and just plain fun. The climbing surprised us at being not as steep as we had anticipated, and the grades seemed a bit inflated. Though its proabaly one of the top 5 pitches i've climbed in the area, the crux 3rd pitch, felt no harder than 10b, and overall i think most of the grades will drop a letter grade or two as the placements and the route gets cleaned up. We climbed the direct finish to the false summit at around 10- which really seemed to complete the route nicely. The descent was rowdy! One 30m rap off the summit brought us to the middle of nowhere, where we placed a 2 nut anchor which got us into the gulley. About 900ft of pretty damn loose unroped downclimbing ,with one more shady rap off of a chockstone, brought us back to our packs.


A couple of pics:


Looking down at the bolted 2nd pitch, a worthy improvement:





Shot of 5.9 flakes and cool overhanging double cracks taken midway up P3:





Fun roofs on P8:







Direct finish to the false summit:





On the summit:




The wildest thing that happened to us all day, occured at the base of the route back at our packs. We're lying around lamping, indulging in our pleasures, when all the sudden I jumped up and looked uphill. A basketball-sized rock was catapulting towards us a couple of hundred feet away. We managed to barely dodge the rock, and a few more that it picked up. I must have been using the force 'cuz you couldn't hear the rock at all. We had completely let our guard down. Be careful out there folks, it ain't over til it's over.


Gear Notes:

Rack of doubles to #2, single #3,#4, and #5. With new rap station it can now be climbed with a single 60m rope.


Approach Notes:

Easiest approach in the wine spire area.



Topo Link

Cleaner topo w/out new 2nd Pitch


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As an alternate descent, you can get up to the West Peak summit area with some moderate simulclimbing on good rock (the black cornflake covered downclimb to the spire notch is probably the "hard" part). From the summit area, scoot across a little nearly level snow, some scruffy scrambling to the West summit, then down and left towards an easy gully. Keep an eye out for a big cairn to the right, which signals your right turn to leave the gully and traverse over to the ridge overlooking the basin you started in. Easy, fast, low stress, and safe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

John et al;


Glad you liked Gato Negro. Nice photos and I can't believe how much cleaner it looks than when Larry and I did the FA 6 years ago. I guess it has been getting some traffic. No doubt the grade of the crux pitch was somewhat inflated. We had a minimal rack and that pitch was really dirty (read; scary). I agree that the new direct 2nd pitch is a vast improvement over the dirty 5.8. It better be as it was a real pain to bolt. Did you feel the grade was fair on that pitch? That steep bolted face was the way that we tried to climb on the FA but it was way run out and we had to bail to the much less glamorous, dirty, loose cracks rather than spend too much time on one pitch so early in the climb. Much of that upper 5.8 crack climbing is just plain fun. We did the climb early in the summer so there was snow in the gully for the descent and it was pretty casual (even in rock shoes) so a June climb might save some anguish on the descent.


BTW: There has been more new route activity in the area and if I can find the time I will try to post something short.


Regards, Scott Johnston

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Still haven't quite heard if it's one or two ropes to get off?


Scott, I think you should include something about the descent since you've made very nice topos and are handing them out in front of the guide shack. It just seems silly not to mention anything about how to get off...Becky guide silly.



Anyways, I'm totally cursed on that route. You don't want to know how much bailure I've had on that! I'm bringing a handgun next time I go.

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Mike; It has been too long ago and my mind is too adled to recall specifics of the descent. What I do remember is that we did 2(?) single 60m rope raps into the gully and left slings or cordolettes then followed the gully back to the base of the route. There was a little low fifth class down climbing over short steps (??). Maybe John or others who have been there more recently can chime in with details. Larry and I were too busy whining (hence the spire's name) about our painful shoes so my brain was probably shut down to survival mode.


I sure didn't mean to be cavalier about the descent as it has real potential to be dangerous and my omission from the topo was an oversight for sure. I will make changes to the topos at the NCMG shop.

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Scott: the 2nd pitch seemed like good, solid 10a, awesome climbing, thanks.


Layton: with the addition of our new 2 nut anchor, you can now rap with one 60m rope. Off white's suggestion for an alternate descent sounds enticing.

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Whew; I'm relieved that we don't need to downgrade that pitch too. I might get a complex or somthing. I climbed that pitch with a brush in one hand and prybar in my mouth (even though it didn't need much cleaning) so my rating perspective could have been skewed.


Mike; I will update the topo when some more recent ascensionista comes forth with better descent beta.


In the mean time here a couple of teaser shots from a recent climb Larry and I did in the same neighborhood. Look familiar to anyone? Not too savvy on how to work this whole photo thing so here goes nothing.....the_prow.jpgpitch_one.jpg

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Scott: its so hard to rate new routes. the little bit of new route activity i've done, we rated about 2 letter grades below what the climb felt like with trango s's hanging off of our harnesses, repeat ascents have confirmed the lower grades. lesson: sandbag to cover your ass. :lmao:


In the mean time here a couple of teaser shots from a recent climb Larry and I did in the same neighborhood. Look familiar to anyone?


looks like the NE Butt of Hardy. 3rd ascent of dissapearing floor route with direct finish FA?

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  • 1 year later...

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