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Argus

[TR] Static Point - Lost Charms 10/26/2008

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Trip: Static Point - Lost Charms

 

Date: 10/26/2008

 

Trip Report:

Sunday DRep and I decided to give Lost Charms a go. After some recent posts, we weren't sure how far we'd be able to drive. We were able to get to the turn off for Static Point when we ran into the road block.

 

Static_1.jpg

 

After crawling through the roadblock, we encountered the next obstacle. Twenty-one new troughs, some of which are steeper than the climbing at static. We were beginning to feel unwelcomed.

 

Static_3.jpg

 

We had planned on taking care of some foliage on the approach, but forgot our machetes so that will have to wait until next time. When we got to the slab the wind was howling. We waited for an hour or so, but it never died down. We decided to give it a go anyway.

 

We scrambled up to the Lost Charms tree. The first pitch was pretty easy, but the wind was making easy slab climbing terrifying. We managed to find the fixed pin and anchor, which had new hardware.

 

DRep following pitch one:

Static_2.jpg

 

DRep led the second pitch up the corners to the ledge at the base of the pillar.

Static_4.jpg

 

I led pitch 3 up onto the bridge flake. I didn't think the gear below the crux would hold a fall, so I traversed left to the pillar at the crux and placed gear up high, then went back and pulled the crux.

 

Just through the crux and onto the bridge flake:

Static_5.jpg

 

Lounging at the belay on the bridge flake:

Static_6.jpg

 

DRep led pitch 4 up the finger crack. This was my favorite of the route. There's a new yellow master cam (not ours)stuck up here for all you gear hounds. I could get it to move, but gave up after a bit.

Static_7.jpg

 

Pitch 5 led up more flake to the base of the great flake. The bolt here was a 1/4" button head spinner, so I had DRep send up the kit. There's now a beefy 3" stainless bolt. I think the original bolt should have been place 4' higher as a fall on the crux here would have you landing on a ledge, but I used the old hole anyways.

 

Pounding away at the base of the great flake.

Static_8.jpg

 

At the top of the great flake we traversed left to a set of chains. I think these are the anchors at the top of Granite Jihad. We skipped the last pitch and began rapelling down Online from there. The wind made rapelling a serious chore, but after 5 double rope rapells we made it down.

 

Gear notes:

 

We used gear to 3", mainly small cams and nuts.

 

Pitches 1, 2, and 5 have new hardware at the belays, 3 & 4 are natural anchors.

 

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Not very much. I think it took us around an hour for the approach.If I recall, you could drive maybe 1/4-1/2 mile down that road previously. It's just a pain in the ass to hike through all those troughs. Funny how they have no money to maintain the roads, but by the looks of it they spent a buttload unmaintaining it.

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pulling culverts and re-contouring the road prisms helps minimize future blow-outs and can open up fish habitat on roads that will not be used in the near future. it's sometimes stupid they have to essentially re-open the road to get to the neglected culverts but most often it's money well spent.

 

thanks for the route maintenance and approach update.

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Why minimize future blowouts if the road is abandoned and it's 100+ yards to the river on a low angle slope? Rat, if you haven't noticed, there is a huge dam on the Sultan River making it impossible for fish to reach the north and the south forks of the Sultan. It was clear to Argus and I that these were made to keep people out and it was money terribly spent. An indestructable gate at the entrance would have been more relevant in keeping deuschbags dumping garbage out.

 

On another note, Lost Charms is a cool route.

 

Note to self: wind makes slab climbing really scary.

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Why minimize future blowouts if the road is abandoned and it's 100+ yards to the river on a low angle slope? Rat, if you haven't noticed, there is a huge dam on the Sultan River making it impossible for fish to reach the north and the south forks of the Sultan.

 

maybe they'd rather the sediment stay in the road prism rather than end up in the reservoir,

 

an undeactivated road WILL fail. eventually.

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If adding a half mile of walking to Static Point will help a few members of an endangered species, Rat, I'm all for it. However, at the meeting that I attended, I got the distinct impression that the DNR guy who may be making decisions about access in the Spada Reservoir area was very unfriendly to recreation more than he was concerned about Bullheads. He looked at an entire room full of people that included conservation groups, land manager types, and recreational users and said: I don't have to provide recreational opportunities and I'm not inclined to do so.

 

I have not paid enough attention to really know, but I can well imagine that the decommissioning of that road might be about politics, money, and control more than it is about saving Bullhead. I'd like to know what other's may have to say about this, because my paranoid thoughts may be entirely unjust.

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I have not paid enough attention to really know, but I can well imagine that the decommissioning of that road might be about politics, money, and control more than it is about saving Bullhead.

 

Perhaps. And I wonder if the fact that Spada Lake is the primary drinking water source for most of the humans in Snohomish County was also a consideration.

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I bet the spur toward Static Point received NO maintenance dollars over the last fifteen years, and I have heard absolutely nothing to suggest that protecting the water supply quality has had anything to do with these particular management decisions regarding recreation in the Spada Reservoir area. That point was NOT even hinted at in the presentations on this whole Spada area planning process that I attended.

 

As before, I invite somebody who may have information on these matters to add information. I mean no disrespect, Curt and Dru - I am only asking questions because I don't know the answers - but I don't have any information to suggest your speculations are valid. I am willing to cede, if given information, that decommissioning of this road was a good idea. I just don't have information to suggest so at present. What did it cost? Did the road actually threaten endangered fish? Did this particular decommission project actually help anything? Was the small amount of recreational traffic thought to threaten water supply quality?

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A little extra hiking never hurt anyone. The huge berms are obnoxious though.

 

I was up there a month or so ago. We never did find the fixed pin that is mentioned in the books. Where the heck is that thing? Did you pretty much go straight up and right from the Lost Charms tree?

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I was up there a month or so ago. We never did find the fixed pin that is mentioned in the books. Where the heck is that thing? Did you pretty much go straight up and right from the Lost Charms tree?

 

DRep is pretty much at the pin in the first picture. It's just below a small overlap.

 

As far as the spawning goes, according to the following article the lake was self-sustaining with the rivers in their condition back in 1990. "Analysis of year-class abundance indicated that natural production in stream spawning and rearing areas after lake enlargement remained sufficient to sustain the fishery".

 

Link

 

Rat- I couldn't find any relevant information about spawning in the article you posted. It seemed to only be concerned about fish heading out the reservoir the other direction.

 

As far as Dru's sediment comment, it seems that many of these trenches are going to be doing more bad then good. Only a couple of the 21 trenches had any sort of erosion control measures put in place.

 

In my opinion, the roadblock at the beginning definitely sends the message that they don't want anyone going back there.

 

 

 

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it seems that many of these trenches are going to be doing more bad then good. Only a couple of the 21 trenches had any sort of erosion control measures put in place.

 

 

 

Yes but you are comparing a present orange to a future apple. When the ditch failed and eroded through in the same or an adjacent place it would have transported much more sediment downstream.

 

I wasn't on site - I don't know a lot of specifics about this site. But doing nothing to a road for 15 years (Matt's statistic) is not a good option from a geotechnical standpoint. At that point it often costs as much to play catchup with maintenance as it does to build the road in the first place, and only a fraction of that to put it to bed. For most of these roads, unless there is some assured annual funding source, deactivation is the only practical option - and it often has to be quite thorough. The road up from Squamish to Mt Habrich is a great example.

 

It's not like this is some overhanging sport crag where you might be worried that the hiking approach will make your legs too big and heavy, right?

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The road was actually in good condition prior to this, aside from all the garbage, which they neglected to take out anyways.

 

I agree that removing the culverts could have a positive impact on the road. I'm just saying if you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. I don't think most of these ditches are going to hold up once the rains hit. Many of them are very steep with nothing growing on them. I'll be interested to see what they look like next spring.

 

I don't think anyone really cares about the extra half mile (currently) that we have to hike. It's more about the message we are getting from the powers that be.

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The pin is actually visible from the Lost Charms tree if you know just where to look.. sometimes its still hard to find once you have started the pitch though.

 

For what its worth the second pitch doesnt go up the bushy corners but instead moves out left from the belay and climbs clean rock with small cracks heading up and kinda leftward.

 

Nice to have that old bolt fixed up though! Thanks guys!

 

 

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I don't think anyone really cares about the extra half mile (currently) that we have to hike. It's more about the message we are getting from the powers that be.

 

Yup.

 

And for access to the reservoir itself, they propose to continue to allow boating but in order to do so they will deactivate and regrade about 4 miles of road and replace it by reconstructing a mile or so of road switch-backing down a steep hill, with roadbed that has in places nearly filled in and has overgrown for fifty years so it looks like woods not road to somebody like you and me. This will include removal of the bridge over the South Fork of the Sulton River (just short of where we turn off the "South Shore Road" to start in the spur road being discussed here) and they will remove many more culverts.

 

Dru and Rat are at least partly right: the presentation I attended focused on the fact that they just didn't have the money to upgrade the road to comply with new fish standards, but the overall tone of what I heard suggested a real hostility toward recreation.

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I was at the same meeting and agree with Matt's perception of the general attitude towards recreational interests from the DNR reps on this specific issue. Hard to imagine from such a forward looking group.

 

And I quote from DNR's website:

 

 

"Our Mission

 

To provide professional, forward-looking stewardship of our state lands, natural resources, and environment. To provide leadership in creating a sustainable future for the Trusts and all citizens.

 

Our Principles

In achieving our mission, the following principles guide all DNR employees:

 

Enduring Stewardship

Visionary Leadership

Inclusive Decision-Making

Creative Solutions

Respectful Relationships

 

Our Vision

At DNR, we envision a future in which our human and natural environment provides abundant and diverse social, ecological, and economic benefits for all the people of Washington, in this and all future generations. In acting to ensure this vision, we achieve sustainability "

 

:noway:

 

MH

 

 

 

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There are no threatened or endangered fish upstream of Culmback Dam. There are no anadromous fish upstream of Culmback Dam. I am not sure where Rat is getting his info. Upstream of the dam there are rainbow and cutthroat trout (and potential hybrids of these two species), large scale sucker, brown bullhead (non-native introduced species in Spada Lake), and brook trout (non-native species). Prior to construction of the dam, the best available information indicates there was a natural upstream migration barrier that prevented upstream passage for anadromous fish (i.e. salmon and steelhead, and anadromous cutthroat trout and bull trout). These are the fish facts by someone who knows via direct survey experience.

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For what its worth the second pitch doesnt go up the bushy corners but instead moves out left from the belay and climbs clean rock with small cracks heading up and kinda leftward.

 

 

I contemplated this but wasn't sure. However, due to insane wind I decided my objective for the day would be to avoid as much actual slab climbing as possible. I chose to stick to the trees instead.

 

I can't believe DNR is going to take out the bridge. This would really hurt access not only for us but for some classic hikes in the area. The actions of the DNR are very similar to the original access plan proposal in Hyalite Canyon (reservior/access/ignorant officials). The hostility towards recreational groups which MattP talks about is understandable. I grew up in Sultan and frequented the Sultan Basin for hikes and such, my lingering impression of the area is that it is a dump and dangerous (garbage and shooting). The City of Everett and Snohomish County Sheriff have really cleaned the area up in recent years. Are there any other user groups we can associate with in protest ie. hikers? Or Is it already too late to do something about this plan?

Edited by DRep

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As before, I invite somebody who may have information on these matters to add information. I mean no disrespect, Curt and Dru

 

I raised the drinking water issue, Matt, in response to ongoing posts suggesting that without endangered fish there is no legitimate reason to keep dirt out of creeks. As Rat and Dru have pointed out, any logging road with stream crossings puts some amount of dirt into the stream, and much more when they fail.

 

Despite the skepticism here, my years of dealings with DNR suggests their primary reason for abandoning roads is not to obstruct walkers, but to avoid annual maintenance costs. And they do have cost numbers to weigh those alternatives.

 

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As I said, Curt, the DNR guy said that cost was a paramont concern and I believe it. However, I also think that public recreation was lower on the list of priorities than I would like. He was disdainful as to hikers, climbers, boaters, or anybody else who might want to access the area for recreational purposes. Seriously so.

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Not surprising. Maybe next time, someone can ask him where that thinking fits into the agency mission statement that hanman dug up!

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There are no threatened or endangered fish upstream of Culmback Dam. There are no anadromous fish upstream of Culmback Dam. I am not sure where Rat is getting his info. Upstream of the dam there are rainbow and cutthroat trout (and potential hybrids of these two species), large scale sucker, brown bullhead (non-native introduced species in Spada Lake), and brook trout (non-native species). Prior to construction of the dam, the best available information indicates there was a natural upstream migration barrier that prevented upstream passage for anadromous fish (i.e. salmon and steelhead, and anadromous cutthroat trout and bull trout). These are the fish facts by someone who knows via direct survey experience.

 

evidently i was not clear enough when responding to drep's comment about fish barriers. i agreed that, yes, the dam is a barrier to anadromous fish but resident non-t/e fish exist in the lake. rainbow and cutthroat can spawn in streams feeding the lake.

 

drink, spew, fight.

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