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RJRiha

Tumwater canyon climbs

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Yesterday I was up by Retardant Rock/Special Spot, and looked long and hard for "Arselips and Elbows" to work on honing my offwidth technique. After much traversing around on loose soil, I found a few large cracks, but nothing that looks like the picture in the book, and nothing with a reasonable walkoff/TR setup. Anyone found this one?

 

While I was looking, I did stumble upon a gem that surprised the hell out of me. It was an absolutely stunning corner crack that looked to be hand, or slightly larger size that went up out of a broken corner, made a perfectly arching 90 degree turn to absolutely horizontal, went about 6 feet like that, then made a sharp 90 degree turn and straight up to a little ledge/slabby dome topout. I'd be surprised if this thing hasn't piqued someone's curiosity in the past, but appears as though it hasn't been climbed (at least in years) due to the presence of at least one death flake lower down, questionable rock in the broken corner, and a bunch of plants growing out of the corner, not to mention no evidence at all of a trail going to it. I didn't spend the time assessing whether you could reasonably do it all on gear (there was a gully on the left hand side that might serve as a walkoff), or whether it needs a bolt up high for the slabby dome topout (might be difficult), or whether it needs anchor bolts for rappel. If anyone's interested in plucking this gem, start at Special Spot, and traverse just under the various rock faces, through a notch that you can chimney through (or go through a tight tunnel), and keep going until you reach a prominent gulley. At this point you will see the crack; it's hard to miss....

Edited by malcolm777b

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It is probably a bit more to the West than you were expecting. The Thumb which is in the same area as Retardant/SS is a great route for honing OW/Squeeze technique.

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It is probably a bit more to the West than you were expecting. The Thumb which is in the same area as Retardant/SS is a great route for honing OW/Squeeze technique.

 

We saw the offwidth on the thumb. I didn't jump on it because I was too focused on how nice the picture of Arselips and Elbows looked in the guidebook. The book refers to the climb being several minutes past the established crags up there, and we went far enough to think that we had somehow passed it, either too high, or being tucked up in one of the indistinct gulleys. We COULD have kept going, but it was looking less and less promising as there was no evidence of human travel that we could find. Next time I'm up there, I'll keep looking. Have you found A&E? Is it obvious?

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just keep going, If I remember correctly there is a slight down climb about five to ten minutes past retardant rock then you keep skirting the cliff and work your way back up a little higher to get to arse lips and elbows, it's not really worth the walk up there, very short and easy squeeze chimney not really off width but fun. But it is obvious once you have passed it and are looking back. A better bet for training is carnival crack.

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Its a squeeze, not challenging to get up but hard to make it look good. Its definitely past the crack roof up thing. I'd recommend Careno corners (p3?) for a nice OW.

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While I was looking, I did stumble upon a gem that surprised the hell out of me. It was an absolutely stunning corner crack that looked to be hand, or slightly larger size that went up out of a broken corner, made a perfectly arching 90 degree turn to absolutely horizontal, went about 6 feet like that, then made a sharp 90 degree turn and straight up to a little ledge/slabby dome topout. I'd be surprised if this thing hasn't piqued someone's curiosity in the past, but appears as though it hasn't been climbed (at least in years) due to the presence of at least one death flake lower down, questionable rock in the broken corner, and a bunch of plants growing out of the corner, not to mention no evidence at all of a trail going to it. I didn't spend the time assessing whether you could reasonably do it all on gear (there was a gully on the left hand side that might serve as a walkoff), or whether it needs a bolt up high for the slabby dome topout (might be difficult), or whether it needs anchor bolts for rappel. If anyone's interested in plucking this gem, start at Special Spot, and traverse just under the various rock faces, through a notch that you can chimney through (or go through a tight tunnel), and keep going until you reach a prominent gulley. At this point you will see the crack; it's hard to miss....

 

 

They're anchors on top. Take two ropes if you plan on leading. Slaphappy and I tr'd it some years ago. Probably a mid 10. Hasn't been led as far as I know. :tup:

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