Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
dberdinka

first ascent [TR] Mount Shuksan - Northwest Arayete III 5.9 8/6/2007

Recommended Posts

Trip: Mount Shuksan - Northwest Arayete III 5.9

 

Date: 8/6/2007

 

Trip Report:

 

On August 6th Matt Alford and I climbed an enjoyable rock route on the northwest side of Mount Shuksan. The route follows the crest of a fine arete on good rock for nine pitches to the summit of a prominent horn above the White Salmon Glacier. Though dirty at times, the position is incredible, the rock is solid and every pitch is sustained for it's grade.

 

I had first seen this arete at least twelve years ago while descending the glacier and thought it both beautiful and improbable due to a lack of features. Ever since the idea of climbing it has been knocking about in my head. I'm not sure what took so long but it was great to turn that idea into a reality! As it worked out the rock here (Green Schist) is horizontally banded and the rock is just littered with positive jugs and pockets that allow moderate climbing up imposing walls.

 

Picture_001.jpg

 

We left the car at first light and reached the base of Winnies Slide four hours later. From here a short descent led to the base of the arete. There was significant shrund that made accessing the rock a bit problematic. We end up rappelling off a bollard to reach a ramp on the left side of the arete. A good ledge system on the right side could probably have been used as well.

 

Matt takes the first pitch. Fun, juggy face climbing was followed by a 100' of 5.8 friction right up the crest of the low angle arete. The gear grew increasingly sparse until he had to run it out maybe 40' to the belay. A second short easy pitch led to a much steeper wall.

 

P1 Frictioning up the crest of the Arete

arayete_p1.jpg

 

The third pitch exemplified what makes establishing new routes such an amazing experience. We're at the base of a steep blank wall. On the left is a filthy corner system full of grass. Out right a few weaknesses lead towards a steep arete and the possibility of good climbing around it's edge. The grassy corner will go, but the climbing will suck. The traverse out right is a total mystery.

 

Will it go? Is there any gear? Whats on the other side? What if I can't make it?

 

P3 Working things out on the crux traverse

arayete_p3.jpg

 

Intending to head up the corner I find myself heading out right instead. Focusing on protection I find that the apparently blank wall has a few narrow seams obscured by lichen that allow me to place several solid pins. Soon I'm at an obvious crux move. Cleaning some loose blocks off a small ledge I watch them freefall to the glacier. Hesitating I close my eyes, focus on my breathing, feel the chill in the cool shade, listen to the ice creaking and groaning below. Eventually I just run out of reasons to stand still so I commit, stemming wide, finding a small uncling, shifting over and reaching for the crest of the arete. Grabbing solid jugs I pull over the corner and find myself on a beautiful wall of clean, orange rock. IT GOES!

 

P3 Matt pulling around onto the beautiful orange wall

arayete_p3b.jpg

 

So many intense experiences tend to just slide away. Things no longer "stick" like they once did. But this one is different, this one set deep. I'm going to remember exactly how wonderful it felt to pull around that corner for a long time.

 

The fourth pitch was the best of the climb, awesome juggy 5.7 climbing on near vertical rock with great gear. Soon we're at the base of the imposing upper arete. The climbing looks improbable but once again the rock turned out to be covered in positive holds. Staying about 40 feet left of the arete Matt is able to climb more or less straight up the wall on 5.7 rock to a belay in an alcove.

 

P4 More Arete

arayete_p4.jpg

 

P6 Starting up the steep upper wall

arayete_p6.jpg

 

Climbing through a grungy 5.8 roof I find super featured 5.6 rock on the crest of the steep arete for a full ropelength. Matt quickly leads another long pitch of fun corners to a fixed pin belay at a small roof. A final short pitch up clean slabs ending with an easy arete brings us directly to the summit. Unreal, the route unfolded far better than we could have imagined!

 

P7 Stellar climbing on the crest of the Arete

arayete_p7.jpg

 

P9 It Ends like it Begins….

arayete_p9.jpg

 

It's late in the day so we snap a quick summit shot and get moving. An easy scramble down the backside gets us to the Upper Curtis Glacier. After following some mountain goat tracks we picked up the boot track leading back down the mountain. In my exhausted state the entire descent seemed somehow timeless as if it took no more than half-an-hour. Yet many hours and a beautiful sunset later we reached the car with the last of the dieing light.

 

Well there's already a Northwest Arete and a Northwest Rib on the mountain so Matt (grudgingly) agreed to name our route the Northwest Arayete after someone I know.

 

Gear Notes:

Rack to 3.5" with a double set of very small to medium nuts and small to 1” cams. A few short knifeblades and bugaboos recommended.

 

 

Approach Notes:

Follow Fisher Chimneys Rt to edge of White Salmon Glacier (bivi sites) then descend a few minutes on steep snow or ice to the base of the arete. Potential Shrund problems getting on the rock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mabey you were abducted by aliens on the way down!!! Nice route, i like the name too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one, Mr. B. It looks like better rock than I might expect and an awesome setting for a rock climb!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

P3 Matt pulling around onto the beautiful orange wall

arayete_p3b.jpg

 

That's a stellar pic!! Exemplifies alpine rock climbing. Nicely done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got some more photos from Matt so I thought I'd post one more

 

Even the 4th class pitch was great

 

P5_nwarayete.jpg

Edited by dberdinka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyree and I went and repeated Darin and Matt's Areyete route last wednesday 8/15. We had a blast and thought the route was both high quality and aesthetic. The whole bollard set-up was pretty shady. It seemed like the picket we were using to backup the junk-show was sticking out of the bottom of the snow fin, it was so thin. :crosseye: But nonetheless it worked. Definetly used some short knifeblades, and it seemed like a stubby angle could tame the runout on the first pitch a bit. We climbed it in 7 60m pitches and a bit of simulclimbing. Cheers Darin and Matt, a fine line. Go get it.

 

Some pics:

 

Nightmare on Bollard Street:

 

Araye_Bollard.jpg

 

 

 

The immaculate pitch 1:

 

Areyete_P1.jpg

 

 

 

There's a line. The Upper Arete:

 

upper_areyete.jpg

 

 

 

Mmmmmmm, Alpine Climbing

 

Panareyete.jpg

 

 

We had originally planned on taking the labor day route up the pyramid to the summit, but a lack of energy and sunglasses nixed that idea. Any beta on the labor day route? Can anybody draw it in?

 

pyramid.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Sol and Tyree. Glad you found it likeable and I wasn't just smoking crack. Maybe I should have said something about the undercut snow fin, but ignorance is bliss! Glad you're alive.

 

The full linkup to the summit of Shuksan would be a hell of a climb and a really big day. Can't wait to hear about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm glad that I didnt know about how sketchy the snow fin was until I was already commited to the rappel. That was THIN! I proabally wouldnt have gone up there if I had known. Sol was saying, "dude, do you realize that you are on a super thin snow fin?" as I was digging the bollard. I remember thinking to myself "whatever Dad- I dont need the lecture" but once underneath it I realized how fucked up it really was...I wish we had a pic of it. Good times- and thanks for picking out yet another gem Darrin. Whats next?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS- has anybody climbed the labor day route or the 1937 rt on the summit pyramid? Any beta on either would be appriciated...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the last year the Arayete has seen at least three repeats. There seems to be some general agreement that it is in fact an enjoyable route. Most parties have apparently taken "variations" on P3 and P6 resulting in substantially harder climbing on looser terrain than Matt and I encountered (both pitches were enjoyable 5.7 for us). So to that end here is an overly detailed topo of the route to help keep things mellow. lick on it for the full-size version. Enjoy...

 

arayete_topo.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×