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[TR] Alpental Wall (beta) - 9/4/2008


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Trip: Alpental Wall (beta) -

 

Date: 9/4/2008

 

Trip Report:

Ok, so whats the story with this little feature on the far left of the rock ridge?

climb008.jpg[/img]

 

After having spied this mini-wall some time ago, I conducted a brief (maybe too brief) search on the web and came up with no info - routes, climbs, fatalities or otherwise. Deciding I would unlock out its mysteries for myself, I convinced 2 other friends (Owen, Aharon) to join me for a little adventure. Fooling myself with delusions of developing the next local classic for the snoquamie locals to enjoy, I cheerfully drove us to the Alpental parking lot and began the hike in.

climb011.jpg[/img]

Took about an hour of navigating to reach the extremely loose gulley which feeds up to the base of the wall. We noted several spent(?) dynamite casings scattered among the rocks

climb018.jpg[/img]

On the hike in, I pleaded with the lords of the Snoqualmie Batholith, hoping that some millenia ago they somehow raised a clean granite wall from among the brittle andesite which is all too common in this area (think "the tooth", chair peak, kaleetan). Perhaps this 'granite wall' has been simply overlooked by climbers throughout the years. But what appeared as shades of white stone from a distance soon grew into a blend of weak and brittle rock with a chalky colored lichen growing over it.

Alpental Wall (as I have named it). Our intended line - higher up, we spied a cool looking crack which snaked its way nearly to the top

climb017.jpg[/img]

Me, starting out on low angle, zero-friction, 4th class dirty slabs. I began kicking down rocks on my two partners below, who occasionally hollered and cursed up at me. I reached a corner in the wall and tried to find a place for a nut. Everything seemed really loose

n42901741_31375664_9983.jpg[/img]

I shimmied and squirmed up a couple steep rock steps, trying to get to a ledge with some trees in it. From below, this ledge seemed like a perfect spot to begin tackling the wall

n42901741_31375666_531.jpg[/img]

While trying to find some place to stick a cam in, I knocked loose a couple fairly large blocks. I whirled around and yelled, "rock rock!" I watched the two pieces ricochet off the lower slabs and shoot like missles straight for my two partners. Owen, a background in martial arts, skillfully dodged the first block. Aharon, my belayer, screamed a lout explitive, then curled up into the fetal as the second block narrowly missed his legs. "F**K!" He yelled. He later told me he felt the rock brush by one of his legs. Several subsequent near fatal rock incidents led me to abandon this whole wall. Even on the way down, I managed to send more rocks their way (they call me belayer slayer).

In short, we packed up, cursed loudly, and vowed never to return here.

climb024.jpg[/img]

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I wonder if it would go in late fall or early spring (or winter for that matter) when snow is covering the loose shit at the bottom? Or do you think the main crack feature is full of shit too?

 

I think the reason the rock is so loose lies in those mysterious dynamite casings we found on the hike in :eek:. Their avalanche control efforts have ruined the rock!

Btw here is a better angle of the wall and the crack we spied halfway up. No clue if it would have been any more solid

climb021-1.jpg[/img]

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