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[TR] Static Point - Online 5.10B 6P, Lost Charm 5.9 6P 7/13/2010

David Yount

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Trip: Static Point - Online 5.10B 6P, Lost Charm 5.9 6P


Date: 7/13/2010


Trip Report:



As we arrived at the rock, Scott Vetter was less than impressed with the wet conditions. The 90 minute approach completely soaked us, the underbrush hanging low with moisture. I carried a stick and beat at the bushes on both sides of the trail, trying to release some of the excess water. Whatever. By the time we arrived a the rock we might as well have swum across a river to get there. Soaked.


I was in fine spirits. I’ve seen the rock wet early in the morning, then dry out quickly. I casually pulled out my harness and put it on. I pulled out the slings and racked ‘em on my gear loops. I pulled out my chalk bag and attached it. I pulled out my shoes and put them on. I pulled out the rack (sliding ball nuts, TCUs, micro nuts, and Red and Gold camalot). I pulled out the ropes and flaked them. All the while, we were talking. Scott wished we had continued driving east on Highway 2, all the way over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth. And as we talked the rock was drying.


In less than an hour of arriving at the wet wall I felt the damp slab was ready for climbing. The rock was damp everywhere and there were flowing wet streaks as well. The first bolt is in center of picture, in the wet streak.




Scott geared up, but not with joy and verve.




I began the ascent to the first bolt. Recently I’ve taken to running a few laps to the first bolt on my way out from the wall. I’ll run up to the bolt, then handline down with a rope threaded thru the hanger. My thighs feel a good burn after 3 or 4 laps to the first bolt. But today I was taking my time, choosing my feet, paying attention to the flow of subtle features up the rock. I slipped. Just one foot, but still caught my attention. The rock was damp and quite slick. I slipped again, and again. Finally I clipped the first bolt.


I’m climbing in the less wet areas and clipping the bolts which are in the mostly wet areas. When I reach the anchor I turn around to review Pitch 1.




Scott begins the pitch




Looking up at Pitch 2




Scott following Pitch 2




Scott following Pitch 3




Pitch 4 goes smoothly. Now the crux, Pitch 5. I’ve been wondering how this crux would go, the rock is still damp. Since we began climbing the rock has dried somewhat, but the rock is not dry. I’ve climbed Online twice this year and I know I was more focused and less spontaneous on this ascent because of the dampness. Four bolts later I turn around to view the crux between the prior two bolts.




A close up of the crux, between bolt 2 and bolt 3.




As I watch Scott climb I am surprised by his consistent tempo, he doesn’t stop to carefully consider the crux. He marches straight thru. When I holler at him for making it look too easy and ask him how he did it, he just replies he connected the nubbins. The right stuff:




Scott finishing Pitch 5 of Online




He finishes to the top of Pitch 6, we rap down, then scramble over to Lost Charm Tree. David Whitelaw in his guidebook Weekend Rock describes Lost Charm as a 5.7 with one point of 5.9 which is bolt protected and can be aided thru. I mostly agree. I would strongly caution a leader that maximally leads at 5.7 considering this route as reasonable.


One remarkable feature of this route is the single bolt in 800 feet. The belays are bolted but the pitches are devoid of bolts, a full gear route at Static Point. The only one.


The topo in Darryl Cramer’s guidebook Sky Valley Rockshows an “FP” at an overhang not far off the ground. Weekend Rock shows a “pin.” Scott looked for it, when I followed I looked for it, several days later I led this and looked for the “FP” and then when rapping down I looked some more…….. the “FP” in the topo no longer exists. Scott beginning Pitch 1.




After passing the overlap you make a long traverse right.




Then work up and right. I recommend ending Pitch 1 at the rappel anchors at Spencer’s Spaceport. The Cramer topo shows a “hard to find” pair of bolts that ends Pitch 1 of Lost Charms. Nope. Not there. The Whitelaw topo shows a belay stance to end Pitch 1, but that makes the first pitch way too short, avoiding some good rock, as well shorting Pitch 2 and missing a fun sequence. Pitch 2 really should begin at the rappel anchors from Spencer’s Spaceport.


Pitch 2 is a fun and subtle pitch at 5.7 but not for the faint of heart. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I suppose you could keep to the right facing feature but it’s so much more interesting out on the face to the right, though, sparse in pro. It ends on a broad ledge with bolts and a nice large tree nearby. Looking down Pitch 2:




I may not be certain where Pitch 3 begins but when Scott saw that gorgeous right facing corner he knew his line. He climbed up the right side of the Pillar.




He traversed and pulled past the first right jutting feature, climbed a little higher, put in a Gold Camalot and then began a delicate traverse on featureless face.




He was only 2 feet away from the Bridge Flake to his right when his feet cut free! I dropped the brake ropes and began hauling in slack with my bare hands only. I glanced up once and saw him facing slightly left and somehow running down the slab! His feet whirling in circles like a cartoon Road Runner. MEEP! BEEP! I kept on grabbing loose rope. I may have decreased his fall by 8-feet, but he still took a 15-footer. And somehow he never skidded; he just ran it out.


When the full force of his fall came onto me I was holding his rope with just my left hand. The force pulled my arm upward maybe a foot or less. My hand didn’t slip on the rope. I’d guess the force my hand felt was about 30-pounds. Certainly less than a single-arm 40-pound dumbbell arm curl.


Scott marched right back up there and began the traverse again. And fell in the exact same place. He wasn’t feeling it so invited me to give it a go. As I climbed to his highest gear I saw a weakness moving out right, but much lower than his attempted solution. I clipped his high piece and then saw the compelling magic in his line. Scott’s solution is 5.9 / 10A and not likely “on route” for Lost Charms.


Once I made the traverse and walked along the Bridge Flake I turned back and looked at the other solution. I believe the route moves right, 10 feet lower than we did. I believe the route keeps at 5.7 by moving right on the thin foot ledge.




You can clearly see the thin foot ledge 10-feet below the thick tuft of grass. This ledge moves right and then steepens as it ascends to join the Bridge Flake. I ran Pitch 3 and Pitch 4 together, which might not work without using a pair of Half Ropes.


Pitch 5 is where the single protection bolt is. It protects the move up to the Great Flake. You clip then smear up to the thick flake that is floating off the main wall. A Valley Giant 12-inch cam would not protect this flake. A Big Bro #5 might not protect this. But once you get your hands on this baby your life’s path is set. Lieback, smear, lieback, smear!! Looking down on Pitch 5, but the Great Flake is only photogenic from below.




Here’s the Great Flake, looking up from the next route left, Granite Jihad [climbed on a different visit]




We didn’t do the full route, Lost Charms. There are 2 more pitches that take you left on broken ledges and then up a 5.6 crack. Rather, we pulled past the Great Flake and then followed a bolt or two up and right to anchors.


We rappelled from here, though the next pitch, I Found It 5.10C, looked like sweet Static Point fun!


There’s plenty of space between bolts so you can get creative with your personal solution. The hangers are Leepers. The bolts are1/4-inch and rusted so badly the bolt threads sticking out are indiscernible. The little nuts are rusted so far you can’t see their flat working faces, they look like blobs of metal.




Good times, for sure. But, another day.




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The topo in Darryl Cramer’s guidebook Sky Valley Rockshows an “FP” at an overhang not far off the ground. Weekend Rock shows a “pin.” Scott looked for it, when I followed I looked for it, several days later I led this and looked for the “FP” and then when rapping down I looked some more…….. the “FP” in the topo no longer exists. Scott beginning Pitch 1.


The pin was there a couple of years ago when I climbed it. I think it's in the thin overlap out in the middle of the face.

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Ah, I made the assumption it was in the overlap about 20-feet up from the ground. This is a crack that would take a pin nicely. There's also a fine Purple or Blue TCU placement. Scott placed a Blue TCU clipped to the orange rope, in the picture.


There is an overlap directly above him, with a small bush on the left side. Maybe there?


Next time I'm out there I'll take a good long look.

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  • 2 years later...



In general climbing is good from March to early November, but never on sunny summer days at Static Point.



September, 2012

Before you drive out to climb at Static Point it's easily worthwhile to place a phone call to ask if the South Shore Gate is open at Spada Resevoir. The gate is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from May 1 to October 31, except for 1) roadwork, or 2) dangerous conditions. And in my experience it's not rare for them to decide there exist dangerous conditions, and they have roadwork to perform every year during Spring to Fall.


The Snohomish PUD contols the gate and their website will give the gate's status. But the actual page with the gate's status is buried in several layers of choices and the navigation is not intuitive nor descriptive. But here's the URL as of September 2012:



425.783.1774 Karen Bedrossian (or her subsequent replacement)

425.783.8804 Barry Chrisman


If you don't reach either of them you can call the main number and seek other suggestions from the operator

425.783.1744, or 877.783.1000


option 0 to speak to an operator at Snohomish PUD and ask them about the current status of the South Shore Gate at Spada Resevoir. Ask the operator for the direct phone number and the full name of the person they will connect you with, for your records.


If the gate is closed, you can still climb at Static Point, just add 3 miles of casual downhill mtn biking or hiking.


Sometimes you must park at the registration station at Olney Pass if the right gate, South Shore Road, is closed. The right gate is the South Shore Road, take this. The three miles (on road Nf-6129 around the reservoir / lake) to the decommissioned spur road is gently and consistently downhill (fast and easy on a mtn bike). When you arrive at a large bridge (crossing the inlet to Spada Resevoir), the spur road is just past on the right and is blocked by several boulders and a large snag placed crosswise. Park here. You used to be able to drive part of this spur road, but now you park in a pullout on the South Shore Road.


You can climb all year long at Static Point. Several routes were first climbed in January. The granite slab faces south and dries relatively quickly. In the winter when it's a sunny day the climbing can be at it's best, as the friction of climbing shoe rubber reaches it's maximum at 49F, I've read. If the South Shore Gate is not opened and if there isn't snow at the 2000-foot Olney Pass, then a casual 3 mile downhill mtn bike ride accesses the old spur road (this spur road can be biked for a few minutes but quickly turns into hiking only because of 21 deep gorges cut into the road).


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