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Braydon

[TR] Observation Rock - North Face 10/18/2008

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Trip: Observation Rock - North Face

 

Date: 10/18/2008

 

Trip Report:

If your like me and generally could care less about the text :) , the pics will come later. Otherwise heres a description of our climb.

 

I'm really suprised this route hasn't had any trip reports yet. Hopefully this will give a little better idea of what it's like.

 

After doing Baker's north ridge I found out I really liked ice climbing so I decided to try something else. OR looked fun because it is about 4 pitches and never too steep so I could possibly do some leading. Dane picked me up at 5:30 and after getting a bite to eat we were getting ready in the parking lot. The approach was long but listening to Dane's personal stories about the Eiger's North face, Slipstream, and Aconcagua really helped pass the time. At about 11:00 we were at the base of the climb.

 

The climbing was a great mix of alpine ice and neve covered alpine ice which really gave your calves a bit of rest. After the first three pitches we had a choice to go straight up the hard 60 degree glacial ice or a little to the left on more of the stuff we had been climbing the previous 3 pitches. Given the idea I wanted to lead something I chose the left option and we topped out after about 2-3 hours on the face. Ice climbing is awesome! Climbing that felt really great. The descent went uneventful and it as always I got back to the car with around 30-40 message from my parents. I always seem to underestimate how long climbs will take...

 

Gear Notes:

6 screws, 50m rope.

 

Approach Notes:

Longer than I thought...maybe 5-6 miles, 2500ft gain?

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Guilty, Iceman :)

 

Guess I should have mentioned one arm is still numb and can't straighten it out all the way. Second time I have been out since I could walk again. Figured if i kept you entertained making up stories you'd never notice.:wink:

 

How come you didn't mention the one about the strippers in Vienna?

 

Glad I brought the rope gun though to take care of me in case I choked.

 

Fugging long walk out for those 4 pitches! Just glad they closed the road today or I'd be tempted to go back this week :rolleyes:

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Guilty, Iceman :)

 

 

How come you didn't mention the one about the strippers in Vienna?

 

 

Entertain us!

Thats sweet that you are getting out again, that fall sounded friggin nasty.

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Fugging long walk out for those 4 pitches! Just glad they closed the road today or I'd be tempted to go back this week :rolleyes:

 

Captain Caveman and I did it in 1999 car to car from the closed road. Moonlight ski out was sick! Wallowing in bottomless powder was not...

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Captain Caveman and I did it in 1999 car to car from the closed road. Moonlight ski out was sick! Wallowing in bottomless powder was not...

 

Good job!

 

This is such a great climb. It is unique because late in the season it is real alpine ice (although a bit short @ 600' of climbing) close to the road and the Seattle area. If you are local you should do it at least once.

 

I read online about a "2 hr" approach. And my hat's off to anyone who hits the bench below the climb in 2hrs from the parking lot even on a dry trail :) Most wanting to get up this climb during the short days of fall will want to schedule a bit more time in and out for their first trip to OR.

 

In the spirit of full disclose for those looking for accurate approach info on the climb let me add a few details.

 

The road in closes on Oct 20. From the closed Mowich Park entry gate you add 5.5 miles and another 1400' of elevation gain. Park Service says 3 miles from Mowich lake trail head to Spray Park. Another 1300' of gain in that 3/3.5 miles to Spray Park. By the best route possible to the top of the ice on Observation Rock you are looking at 5+ miles total (most will do a mile or so more wondering about) from the trail head parking lot and total of 3000' of gain.

 

Well worth the 11 or 12 mile round trip. Bring your mtn bike or skiis if the gate is locked for the additional 11 miles. Today your mtn bike would be perfect!

 

Couple of pictures (that first got my attention) from Alpine Daves's web site of the last two pitches in exceptional condition. It really is as good as it looks. Reminded me of the N Face of Athabasca.

 

http://www.alpinedave.com/O_Rock/obs_rock.html

 

DaveUpperFace2.JPG

 

DaveUpperFace.JPG

 

(Braydon where are the pics of you leading and the shot of Ptarmigan ?!)

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Jeebus Christ, Dane, you sure did fix yerself up fast! Hat's off to you for healing up so well and getting back out there. What's it been now, 6 months? How's the tendon's holding up? That grinding sound in your neck finally go away? Awesome news to be reading this so soon after...

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Special? Thought we went through this before....rolling around and moaning on top of you doesn't make "us" special Sobo. Might scare the youngsters away though ;)

 

Difficult enough to find a decent partner these days...sheesh!

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It is that time of year again.....

 

Current conditions look a lot like this...

 

Close-up-from-Ridge.jpg

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