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[TR] Snoqualmie Pass - Rumors of Ice #7 12/14/2007


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Trip: Snoqualmie Pass - Rumors of Ice #7


Date: 12/14/2007


Trip Report:

When hiking up near Red Mountain last weekend on the PCT, I happened to run into an ice flow that I had never heard mention of before. In checking the Washington Ice book it mentions:


“There is an interesting single pitch climb about 2 miles up the Pacific Crest Trail toward Kendall Peak, at approximately 3800 feet. The route tends to be steep for 20-30 feet and then kicks back for the remainder of the pitch. The route can be done at approximately WI3. Avalanche danger is severe.”


The route that I saw appeared to be about 2 pitches long, so I called my friend Stewart up, and we decided that playing hooky to ice climb was a much better idea than actually working. We hit the pass at about 6 AM, and after about an hour we could look up at the route. The route looked bad from below, but we decided to hike up anyways to get a good look. After about another 15 or so, we got to the base. We passed through some avy debris here, and we were both happy that we were wearing our beacons. After looking at the route for a while and drinking some coffee, Stewart decided to give it a go.


The first pitch was about 35 meters long, took screws the whole way up (various sizes) and only had one short section where the ice was thin, luckily the climbing was easy at that point. We belayed off a set of small trees on the left.


Surprisingly, the second section of the climb looked pretty good once we actually got up there. Not being as strong of a leader, I passed the lead to Stewart and he headed up again. This pitch was definitely harder than the first, and had a section about 10 feet long that was “fragile” (left variation). For future parties, you could head to the right side which appeared to be a bit thicker. The entire pitch took screws the whole way. At the top, Stewart headed over to the climbers right and belayed off a nice big tree.


For descent, we rappelled off a large tree on the climbers right (single 60 meter would work), hiked down about 30 feet, and rappelled off another large tree on the climbers right (to use the same anchor would require a single 70 meter rope).


The route overall was pretty fun (definitely good for the crap normally found at Snoq). Additionally, the flow was growing while we were there (several of the screws had to be chipped out since a half inch of ice formed before they could be cleaned). Perhaps the flow will get better? (if so, future parties could attack the last 20 vertical feet perhaps?)


Rough topo:



Looking up from the PCT:



The ice:



Approximate route:



Stewart on pitch 1:



Gear Notes:

Used a variety of screws (short, med, long). 70 meter rope or double 50/60s required if using our anchors.


Approach Notes:

Park at the Snoqualmie parking lot, hike about 2 miles on the PCT, look to your right once you enter into a big open area with boulders.

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Thanks for the invite Matt, it certainly made for a nice Friday morning to get on some ice!


For anyone else looking to get out there, this was two fun full pitches worth and not so far from the car. I saw some really old tat (rainbow webbing and white cord) at about the 25 meter mark on the first pitch, so someone else had been there some time ago (we propose the name "Rumors of Ice #7" unless the FA has a better idea). The top 20 feet of the last pitch looked like it would be more fun with better ice, so I took the easy ramp to a convenient tree instead. I think you could get down with a 60 meter rope but it would take some shenanigans to get to a lower tree.


Someone get out there and keep this thing out from under the snow for a while! :-)

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After reading about the "rumors of ice" late Friday night, a friend and I headed out yesterday under the cover of daylight and the mobs at Summit West to see if the rumors were true.


Once you break out into the open area it's a short hike untill you can see the route. 8" or so of fresh since Matt and Stewart were up there meant and new trail to break and some wallowing and cleaning on the route :cry:


Yesterday brought steady snow all day and night and I'd imagine it's in the process of being buried. If there's still anything left once this storms passes and the avy danger subsides, I'd say it's worth your effort. Plus, you might get some decent skiing. We were forced to ski our skin track for the most part due to the marginal coverage in the trees.


Since this was my first ice climb with nothing to compare it to, I'd say it was WI-FUN. :rawk:







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