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DirtyHarry

first ascent [TR] Castle Peak - Middle Buttress 8/3/2008

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Trip: Castle Peak - Middle Buttress

 

Date: 8/3/2008

 

Trip Report:

Blake Harrington and I, Peter Hirst, climbed the Middle Buttress of Castle Peak in the North Cascades. The Middle Buttress hosts one other route - the "Colorado Route", climbed in the early 90's. Our route probably shared some of the same terrain as the Cod route, but probably a lot of independent terrain as well. The rock was high-quality for the most part, though some of the cracks higher up were choked with sod. Blake led two challenging 5.10 pitches and I led one, though his was more runout than mine. The other pitches were in the 5.7 - 5.9 range. A good route that felt very alpine in natute, in that it followed a feature rather than a crack system.

 

Here are some pic's (taken by Blake). I have more I'll post when I get a chance.

 

p3.JPG

 

Golden_Staircase.JPG

 

flakes.JPG

 

Gear Notes:

Climbing equipment involving the use of pitons.

 

Approach Notes:

Oh the Wildflowers.

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Whoa! That rock looks clean and nice, though a bit crackless I gather?

 

Where the Hell is this Castle Peak anyway?

 

Nice job mans!:rawk:

 

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sounds like Kearney's route is the choice one on that mountain

 

Nice JORB! Isn't it PRERTY back there?

 

 

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3 pics and a single paragraph? Thats all I get! I'm left feeling deprived. Great work, looks like an amazing route. I need to get some of that.

 

D

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What'd you guys do as far as timing? Is it a day to get and, day to get out?

 

Thanks for getting on something less traveled, and making it look sweet...

 

N

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Manning Park is such a beautiful area. I've only skied there in the winter and backcountry in the early spring.

Great TR!

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The feature we climbed looked better than the Kearney Route, but I haven't climbed the Kearney route so I guess I can't say for sure. About 6 hours in on Saturday (including a 1/2 hour huddle under a larch tree to wait out a squall); Left camp around 5:00 am on Sunday, back to camp around 6:00 pm, and back to the TH around 11:00 pm. It was a long day and a third day would have made it more enjoyable.

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no shit. you'll get no more respect there than you will here.

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I told the Alpinist guy to hold off, as my photos weren't much, and on a postage-stamp sized screen Peter's looked better. But Peter doesn't have the interweb at his house, I went to utah for 8 days on work and dropped off the map, the mailman evidently went on strike, yada yada yada.

 

I'll describe the route topo and more pics in the morning pending receipt of said photo CD from Pete.

 

I think it's worthy of a repeat. The area is beautiful at least and worth the hike in on its own.

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Hey Blake! Bros before hoes! ;) Blake has entertained us with slides at Ropeup, these two guys are PNW to the core.

 

Nice work you two! Looks like very nice rock, and it's almost like it's in a foreign country!

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Is it really Grade IV though? Aren't the established routes on that face pretty much all given III in Beckey?

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Yes very serious topic. This could potentially be the next....

 

Anyways, I'm in it for my own self interest. I'm not going to climb it this season but I'd be down for repeating it.

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Pete was a great partner, except he kept trying to drop stuff (like ice tools) on my head from above. A few more photos and route description, as well as I can remember it.

 

The beautiful approach and camp

 

Approach3.JPG

 

camp6.JPG

 

Castle Peak North Face – Middle Buttress

The “Colorado Route” generally follows the buttress crest, the climb Peter and I did was off to the left side of the wall.

The glacial moat may be an obstacle late in the year. Two snow patches above the glacier may block parts of the route. All Lengths and grades are approximate.

 

Clouds giving way to sun in the morning

 

walking.jpg

 

looking_up.jpg

 

P1. Begin in the blocky line just left of the gulley/chimney on the left edge of the buttress. Toward the end there is a wide crack, most of the pitch is low 5th. 70m 5.8

P2. Climb up and right to the top of the snow, aim for the clean wall below a L-Facing corner. 20m Low 5th

P3. Up unprotected face climbing to the corner, which has good gear (fixed LA piton in place). From the top of the crack, hard 5.10 face climbing leads to a ledge. 30m 5.10+

 

 

Peter_on_p3.jpg

 

Peter_p3_again.jpg

 

P4. Face climb left from the belay, then up the perfect flakes and cracks to the pedestal above. 40m 5.10-

 

p4.JPG

 

p4_crack.jpg

 

P5. Move down and left from the belay to a hidden corner, and work your way back up and right to a spot above the belay. 30m 5.7

 

p5.JPG

 

P6. Left and up to the bottom of a long seam/ finger crack. Move left at the base of the crack, and up around a series of corners and roofs. We belayed down near the chimney. 45m 5.10

 

p6.JPG

 

P7. Up the featured arête to the right of the chimney/gulley, then up a perfectly white shallow dihedral, undercling right, and belay. Small TCUs usefull. Some may find this pitch runout. 5.10 30m

 

P8. Climb left and pull into fantastic hidden finger crack in left-facing corner. Move right at the top. 40m 5.10-

 

P9. Traverse right along a ledge and pull up in a long corner/dihedral with two trees in it. The cracks here became mossier but good flakes and edges abound. 75m 5.7

p.10 Move left into a corner choked with moss. Follow this upward ~10m until you can move left onto the amazing golden stripe of quartz. 75m 5.8

 

Golden_Staircase1.JPG

 

p.11 Follow the golden stripe upward and leftward, near the gulley/chimney again. End at a ledge and amphitheatre below many overhanging walls. 80m 5.8

 

 

Golden_stripe.jpg

 

P.12 The best option would be to move left up a finger crack/corner to the crest on the left, and follow it to the top. We went up the gulley, across snow, then up a weird V1 boulder overhang and rightward to the top. 80m 5.7

 

last_pitch1.jpg

 

 

The scenic de-proach

 

lake.JPG

 

Gear to 3” with small cams and pins (knifeblade, Lost Arrows) useful. Descent is down the E. Ridge to snow slopes.

Edited by Blake

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