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racsom

[TR] Index Upper Town Wall - Green Dragon 2/2/2008

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Trip: Index Upper Town Wall - Green Dragon

 

Date: 2/2/2008

 

Trip Report:

This is just a little trip report to mostly report on conditions at the Upper Town Wall.

 

On Saturday Nate and I went up to try Green Dragon. The idea was to climb it in 2 days. We met up with fenderfour and argus since they were going to give Town Crier a try in a day (after finishing the first pitch which was really bad, they decided to go for some hamburgers instead, smart choice)

 

Saturday:

Nate leads pitch 1 (5.9 pitch was mostly aided and free climbed at the top). This was a scary pitch since there was a whole bunch of snow at the top of the first pitch. That meant that Nate had to dig a whole bunch of snow to find placements for gear. He also had to transition to free climbing at the top of the pitch were there was snow. This made for some sketchy climbing. Mean while I was trying to avoid most of the chunks (some up to 10 inches wide) of snow that were being hurled by Nate. Fenderfour had the same problem leading to the right of us.

 

I lead pitch 2 (all aid climbing) and this was much safer than pitch 1. The only thing was that some small parts of the crack were filled with water and slightly mossy slick stuff. Other than that it was still good. After getting to the top of pitch 2 we rapped down. We left two ropes so that I could try to come on Sunday to finish the route.

 

 

Sunday

 

Nate was sick so limegreen came with me to give the route a try. We jumared up the fixed ropes I had left on saturday. Some of the rope was covered in water ice. That made for some exciting jumaring. As I was jumaring up pitch 2, snow started to fall from the top of the route. Turns out 2 BASE jumpers were up there and it was cool to see them jump. Limegreen took the lead of pitch 3 and while she was leading, she would break small icicles (1/4inch diameter about 1 inch long) and hurled down over to me. However most of the time it was just dripping water from the roof. We reached the top of pitch 3 and decided to rap down since we didn't think we had enought time to make it up the route.

 

(Note: Nate, Limegreen and I are pretty new to aid climbing. We do have experience free climbing (doing trad)) The whole route seemed ok to climb. I bet a good efficient aid climbing team could do the route with out much problems. However still be careful of the first pitch since all that snow at the top of pitch 1 makes for some dicy climbing. Also remember early morning some parts of the crack are ice covered.)

 

IMG_1015.jpg

Limegreen leading p3

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Me leading p2 (mandatory butt shot)

IMG_1001.jpg

Nate leading p1

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Argus belaying fenderfour.

 

Many thanks to fenderfour and counterfeitfake for the beta.

 

 

Gear Notes:

We used standard aid climbing gear. Gaitors would have been useful on saturday. My toes were wet and cold.

 

Approach Notes:

Most of the trail was covered with snow. We got lost at first trying to find the wall. However we managed and now there is a boot track to the base of the route.

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Sky Valley Rock shows p1 of Green DragOn to be 100 ft to the right of p1 of Davis Holland which you climbed. It's a much more interesing aid pitch, but the top out can be sketchy in wet weather.

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The actual GDO first pitch is sketchy when wet and mossy, let alone when covered with snow!! A few loose chunks to avoid grabbing and some moss and grass and you've got a recipe for good times. I think the last 20ft took me almost as long as the rest of the pitch.

 

Awesome that you guys got out there!! I've been watching the weather for something less than 70% chance of rain to no avail. Definitely PM me if you're in need of a partner. I'm in Everett so it's right out my backdoor.

 

For in-a-day adventures with no or minimal hauling short fixing is the way to go, particularly in winter as good weather/light are limited. It also keeps both people moving which helps with the cold and wet and boredom.

 

I'm jealous. Nice work!

 

 

Edited by Baltoro

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We were actually on the 1st pitch of GDO, while they were on the 5.9 crack. I'm glad Fenderfour led that pitch after getting up there and seeing the top out. Of course, getting bombed with snow the whole time while belaying kind of sucked as well.

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For in-a-day adventures with no or minimal hauling short fixing is the way to go, particularly in winter as good weather/light are limited. It also keeps both people moving which helps with the cold and wet and boredom.

 

Short fixing is definitely a time-saver. Racsom didn't explicitly say that it was roughly his third day aid climbing, and his partners' second and first, respectively. Pretty hardcore effort from a bunch of aid noobs. :tup:

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Even more hard-core then! Way to grab the bull by the horns.

 

Nice work on the 1st pitch GDO topout Fenderfour!

 

You guys and gals are inspiring!

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Thanks Baltoro. I figure that is the best way to learn (as long as you are safe). The approach is not bad. There is snow up there and it is a little bit of a pain when you get of the trail. I bet by now most of the snow has melted and it is not too bad. The rest of the route looked ok. Pitch 4 looked like it would be wet. Not sure what the other pitches looked like...

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You do realize that pitch 2 is like C2/C3. That's pretty burly for that early on in your aid career. But like you said, as long as you're safe, go for it. I'm headed out that way sometime this week. Glad I saw the shot of the other guy belaying belay the actual Green Drag-on start as the block I normally use for a solo anchor is pretty buried in snow and would be quite the hassle to dig out. Pray for no rain!

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Hey great trip report. Something this board needs more of during this time of winter blues.

 

 

I moved your TR to this forum (North Cascades). I know it might seem odd, but that is the way it breaks out (Index in the North Cascades Forum). I just want to make sure people looking for a winter climb of Green Dragon can find it in the Trip Report Index.

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How did I miss this TR?

 

Nate (Racsom's partner) showed amazing stamina for utter bullshit climbing while leading his pitch. That guy is rad.

 

You guys kick ass.

 

 

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Right on guys! This TR is a great flashback to when my climbing partner(best friend) and I where learning to Aid and thought Green Drag-on would be a great time...Well it was! We even brought a portaledge to make things more fun, and learned that even though you are aid climbing you CAN bring too much stuff. here are a few pics to enjoy.

 

Green_Drag-on_attempt_1_7_.JPG

Yup... Barry and I brought too much stuff :(

 

Green_Drag-on_attempt_1_17_.JPG

Starting just to the right of the 5.9

 

Green_Drag-on_attempt_1_34_.JPG

cleaning that same pitch...

 

Green_Drag-on_attempt_1_39_.JPG

in that fine Washington weather

 

a few months later we came back and did it right, no portaledge, daypack vs haulbag, one full day

 

Green_Drag-on_3rd_attempt_30_.JPG

second to last pitch

 

Green_Drag-on_3rd_attempt_45_.JPG

right near the top

 

Keep up the great attitude and you guys will have a wonderful time with Aid climbing. Barry and I have had MANY great adventures together. we have even gone to places with better weather.

 

yosemite_03_101_.JPG

Yosemite '03

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Hey are the panties still under the roof at the pitch 4 anchors??? I girth hitched those to the hangers on that trip with AlpineH.

I believe that was a dynamic thong, full strength rated to 12 kn.

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Way to go... good training for winter alpine.

 

seem to remember cam hooks being good on this route, also be aware of the mandatory, easy but runnout, free section on the last pitch.

 

 

Y'all know why they call it Green Dragon don't ya?

 

 

Cuz it's green and it drags on.

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I heard it was named after the bus system in Yosemite...??? who knows. I do remember there being some long pitches :)

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I don't think the panties are still anymore. Just like a rope, they can only last so long.

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