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YocumRidge

[TR] Darrington Ice - Three Fingers east face - lower cirque 12/5/2010

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Trip: Darrington Ice - Three Fingers east face - lower cirque

 

Date: 12/5/2010

 

Trip Report:

Last weekend my friend John (aka Badass Plotz / aka Telemarker) and I ventured to the Three Fingers in Darrington.

 

Being inspired by this picture taken by Marko almost the same time last year,

3Finger_E_Face1.JPG

 

we plan to search for some scary ice in the lower cirque on the east side of 3 Fingers.

 

As expected, FS road 2040 is washed out and barricaded by logs, so we leave the rig as close as we can get to the TH and hike out. After 3.5 miles, we got to the Squire Pass creek and drop down to the river valley where we encounter debilitating postholing and numerous creeks to deal with.

 

Crossing the creek followed by a few more:

5239601826_6c855ca3e2_z.jpg

 

 

Being smart, we did not bring misery shoes and left our skis in the car. Good luck with that! The long assed sufferfest persists and we keep falling through the giant postholes. With my uncanny and supernatural sense of direction, we successfully end up in the wrong drainage (which is my recurrent theme for the last few months) and that adds a couple of bushwhacking hours to our “Disneyland” style approach. Oh well, by 3 p.m. we reach the basin and get to admire the beauty of the 3 Fingers range.

 

5239011237_9f19299922_z.jpg

 

 

Things on the east side of 3 Fingers are looking sweet, with many couloirs nicely filled in and available for skiing, especially if one survives in the avies coming down the gullies every 5 minutes and can teleport themselves to the base to avoid the schwack.

5239604934_dcaffec124_z.jpg

 

 

Anyway, we miserably camp in 10s F temps and hit the cirque next morning, desperately trying to find some climbable ice. Not much is in, except a few sketchy flows on the NW aspect of the cirque and most of them don’t touch down.

5239009357_e8f665bc1a_z.jpg

 

 

After a few persuasions, Plotz who is concerned by considerable avy danger, reluctantly agrees to head over there and give it a shot.

 

I get to lead the first pitch - the best pitch - that goes at WI3:

5243555756_59a1ae953f_b.jpg

 

It starts with some sheisty ice that is gradually thinning out to unprotectable delaminating stuff as you go higher up. Not much of a confidence booster while looking for solid ice gets more time consuming:

5239613786_58171a916d_z.jpg

 

 

Plotz comes up and jumps on the next pitch that is mostly thin, hollow and steeper (at about WI4/R), exiting at the snowfield:

5239014767_8c3a676c58_b.jpg

 

 

Thin pillar 15’above the belay can’t bear our abuse any longer and gives up. John falls crushing through the curtain and landing with his crampons 5” from my face.

 

 

Crushed belay:

5239020329_1695645288_z.jpg

 

 

I am still living in oblivion as to how he was able to get up and re-lead the entire pitch.

 

 

Plotz re-leading P2:

5239612078_a6b1f39517_b.jpg5239023173_3e9fcf01b8_z.jpg

 

 

 

I follow the blood soaked trail to the belay where we rap down to the base.

5239025829_b3a6cb4a65_z.jpg

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

10 Screws (used), rock pro (used), pins (not used)

 

Approach Notes:

Chainsaw

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glad you two came back safe....thanks for the update and photos.

 

I really want to climb lines to the left of John and AlpineDave line, but that avy there it sketch.

 

what size screw did he fall on? screamer or no?

Edited by powderhound

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Looks like you had lots of fun and a good tale to tell.

 

Johh - Hope you didn't fall into a creek and get wet feet.

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damn John. if that's not a sign to break out the skis not sure what is. way to get after it

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Good effort kids. Next time just climb the NE face... it's better ice! :)

 

Also just over the ridge next to Salish peak and Craig Lakes is this:

1403fingers5.jpg

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I follow the blood soaked trail/quote]

 

That's a rowdy weekend, M. Way to get after it. You know it's a good time ice climbing when you break out the "face paint"!

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Good effort kids. Next time just climb the NE face... it's better ice! :)

 

Also just over the ridge next to Salish peak and Craig Lakes is this:

1403fingers5.jpg

 

How long is this? Do you have a TR? Looks sweet.

Edited by rocketparrotlet

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