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bwwakaranai

[TR] Darrington/Illusion Wall - The Page 12/5/2011

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Trip: Darrington/Illusion Wall - The Page

 

Date: 12/5/2011

 

Trip Report:

This summer we finally completed a two year project on the left side of the Illusion Wall resulting in a fine multipitch, mostly bolt protected face climb. Although this route may lack the standout features found on Excalibur or Holy Grail, it does contain some excellent and sustained, knob littered pitches. The Page is probably a touch softer in the grade than the other climbs on Illusion Wall. Even so,it should not be taken too lightly as it will challenge the 5.10 climber at times. This holds especially true on pitch 4 (p3 if you link starting pitches) which is probably the best of the climb. The huge, wafer thin flake made my nether regions quiver and though it is seemingly solid, one should not reef too hard on her. Luckily you dont have to put gear behind the expandorama and can instead clip a couple of bolts and pass through gingerly. There is some loose stuff at the start and end but all and all the route is worthy of some repeats. Pitches 1 and 2 are short and could be linked. The last two pitches are merely a way to the top of the formation (might as well). The middle is the reason for doing it. Me, Mike Dobie, and Ian Geddes were lucky enough to enjoy the FA on a pleasant summer day but Matt Beasley, and Darryl Kralovic also did a lot of hiking, pounding, and cleaning. Even Mr. Greyell threw in an anchor on a coffee break from his project. Nice working and whiskey drinking with ya'll... another fun, somthing to do in Darrington.

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Approach Pitch in a mist

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P1 short, link with p2? (Mike Dobie)

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P2and3 Mike lead this in one pitch with terrible rope drag, new anchor installed breaks it up in two

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Death Block on P1 ledge, went to trundle but stopped due to not having a pocket knife to cut arm off when it gets pinned behind it.

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Looking down the crux p4(5)

 

2nd to last pitch. Stay a little right, single bolt avoids loose stuff out left

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Last pitch is like 5.2 but gets you to the top (single bolt) Watch the hornets nest!

19_5.JPGp><p> Mike

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/517/medium/1711.JPG' alt='1711.JPG'>

 

 

Gear Notes:

Light rack to 1". 15 runners

 

descend double rope rappels down route or one of the other routes

 

Approach Notes:

See Excalibur

Do the same approach pitch and traverse 4th class ledge a little further left to the next set of anchors below a short corner and face with 2 bolts.

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Nice! that makes 4 routes now on that wall?

 

question about the approach to the wall. There is a slab with a fairly high "approach shoe pucker factor" and some single bolts above. Is there any rational why I could not leave some old rope fixed line there? Is that area a "filter" to keep the riff raff out?

Just wondering if I left a rope there, if someone would take it down.

 

 

Edited by genepires

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Awesome! Another nice looking line to get on! I can't wait to get back up there this season! :brew:

 

I hear ya on the hornets nest, last time I was up there, I was hit by a nest of yellow jackets on the approach. Before I could get away, I was stung in the hand and head. w00t!

 

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Nice! that makes 4 routes now on that wall?

 

question about the approach to the wall. There is a slab with a fairly high "approach shoe pucker factor" and some single bolts above. Is there any rational why I could not leave some old rope fixed line there? Is that area a "filter" to keep the riff raff out?

Just wondering if I left a rope there, if someone would take it down.

 

 

 

There goes the neighborhood. :)

 

 

Good job guys they just keep coming!

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Looks totally awesome. Question: is that guy climbing with his helmet hanging on his harness? Why not just wear it?

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There goes the neighborhood. :)

 

the area went south the minute someone said anything about the illusion wall on cc.com and yours truly showing up there only made it worse.

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There goes the neighborhood. :)

 

the area went south the minute someone said anything about the illusion wall on cc.com and yours truly showing up there only made it worse.

 

:lmao:

 

You would be a welcome addition to any area Gene!

No fixed line though!

I love being scared on that spot - EVERYTIME!

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If shap can climb up the approach slab alone without a rope then anyone can, though I do like a hand line coming down, especially after some whiskey and a toke.

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I personally prefer the approach when its really really wet or better yet, covered in snow. Of course, if I go up there in the snow again, I will probably ride a tauntaun. :yoda:

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I like it at the beginning of the season and all the duff and dirt is a fine lubricating layer on the slab. :)

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well, that would depend on 'what' you consider a..."route". Along with several of my friends and a few 'clients' we have gone up the wall about 5 or 6 different ways. (sometimes crossing, zip zaging, over all of these 4 routes) 3 of those ways we have put in bolts, all on lead. some for the future, so we could go back without gear, only draws. I have spent about 40 days (all added up) on this wall, and about a doz. nights, making it 'one of' the least walls i,ve climbed on, on the super large "squire creek wall". The wall has plenty of features so you can travel without placing bolts, if you can handle 50+ ft long run-outs (and some doing so on marginal placed gear, (loose unstable flakes, that a 'friend' would expand/move the rock)) Some of the very first bolted routes were put up on this wall, back in the early 80,s).

Ken Strong ( the 'gear rustler', and part mountain goat)and i both have had serious close calls with death, on this wall, both with super magical that odds said, "outside intervention" saved our sorry asses. Many features on this wall end with .. "of death", named by Smedley. He has named many of my routes on squire, as i dont really care to name routes,(or, better, put in routes, cause 80+% of the time, i was just exploring) and we only started doing so, so we would know 'where' the other was talking about.

"Illusion wall" started to take hold because i was always calling it a huge illusion, a result of looking at it from down below, and then looking down, from way up on it. Im glad it became the Illusion wall, as it fits, (unlike... chris's wall, that i changed to zippys wall, about 17 yrs ago).

The access to the wall has changed greatly with the removal of all the super old cedar at the base of the route, making a trail to this wall, ( that lately has become a trail of bolts/routes) that now takes mear mins. , when in the past took more than an hr. I cried when i saw the new trails, and my daughter,who was with me, said it was the most she had ever heard me "cuss and swear". After trashing thru the brush to get to Illusion wall (till i found a "better way"), i had become quite intimate with these super old well established cedars.

So, ones mans new super hiway, and most who just want to get in and "do a route" will find the removal of said trees a very welcoming thing, others will see quite the opposite.

I have removed more loose rocks with super delight off this wall, (in numbers, not weight)speeding mother nature along. i enjoy watching the rocks fall, and the smell of the super fine "quarts die right" rock rubbing itself violently together. I also would not want to be below em, when they decided to depart. I would guess that i have personally moved over 5,000 lbs of rock that was "READY TO GO" off this wall, in advance, because i was going to spend more time on this wall in the future, that never happened. I did see it become a 'sport route type' climb (ACCESS and HEIGHT), but im guessing now that most of squire will become just that. I hope that zips wall (esp. the north end of it)and 'dinking around' slabs, doesn't become a 'sport climbing' wall, (more of a true mountain climb )but every-time i go back there, i see at least 10 new bolts where i have cruised right by many, many times before without.

im just an old school guy, full of illusions, and have fully enjoyed spending about a full yr of days on the squire walls, and more than a 100 nights, in the wild-ness of Squire Creek Wall. I would not enjoy seeing this become another 'town wall'.... but, ... Its all an Illusion, and certainly, not MY rock, as others seem to believe, thats how i feel. In short, there a a certain type of feeling that comes with the 'feeling' or, Illusion, that says... "i feel like im the first person to come thru here", and i would hope that WE can leave some places here, so others can feel this feeling.... or Illusion.

AS matt says... im "the king of rant"....

It is also the wall i developed the "mountain draw", to help reduce rope drag, and they work quite well.

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I agree with you on more than a few of your points CM(Zip).

A feeling of being the first one through would be something to hang on to.

My brief history in the area of the last 12 years or so have seen many changes and I can tell you the feelings I have had while witnessing these changes has varied the spectrum.

 

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Chris, we all totally respect the things you have done out there up the Squire. Although there are more bolts (and of larger size :) than you are accustomed to, I don't think many folks would call these "sport routes". And I don't see it as becoming a super duper popular place overrunn with folk. Most of the younger crowd are still mostly into pulling plastic and steep sport routes, and cuss like crazy climbing 5.10+ slab with mere 12' between fat bolts even though they can cruz 5.12 limestone.

 

I personally cut the trail through the Cedars that you mention and spent a very long time doing it. I sincerely appolozie if this is personally upsetting. However, I garuantee they will be back shortly and the way will become hard again if left unattended.

 

Thank you again for "crazy" inspiration.

 

I think a larger portion of this wall will remain "wild" for a very very long time.

 

 

Ps I miss the C&S website!

Edited by shapp

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I also might add that in a way Chris, your previous work up there made it much more possible for the current routes to be done they way they were. Without the engineers route, putting up the Holy Grail would have been much more difficult I suspect. And the bolted 2x4s etc. on the approach slab, much different than trimming some trees?

 

Again, all due respect, there are not many around of your fortitude :) Lots of folks think Hanold is crazy for the things he has done unropped, climbing hard slab unropped (or soloing while roped but with essentially no pro) is an entirely different type of scary shit.

Edited by shapp

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Ha Ha. I figured I'd stir the pot with this. Much Re-spect to you Darrington pioneers who put yourselves at risk for the sake of exploration and love of the mountains and wilderness. Your boldness and that of your predecessors continue to amaze me everytime I'm faced with a run-out and think of how you could have possibly placed that bolt on lead. Or everytime I'm crammed in some offwidth thinking how the hell did that guy do that in boots or EBs or barefoot for gods sakes. You balls are the size of small coconuts, your courage not short of a true Samurai.

 

With that said, I dont believe that these feats neccessarily mean you love or respect the rock, nature, or climbing any more than me or the next ass hole. I understand the fear of loosing that sense of adventure, especially when these grounds were once so isolated or unknown to many of us. Once upon a time I had a sacred place that was overrun by gumby and friends...

Im a realative newbie myself, first climbed in Darrington just 11 years ago and have only done probably 8 or so routes there. I never loved slab climbing, having been scared shitless climbing in Tuolumne and Pine Creek. Love the knobs not the runouts. Anyways... I can relate to having had close calls although these incidents fall short of staring into the face of DEATH! They were enough to lower my willingness to truly put my ass on the line. I guess I bring this up to defend tactics used to put up this, as stated above, one mans freeway via rap bolting. Maybe you should actually give it a try, who knows you might not be that offended by the spread and even enjoy yourself. As far as the tree branches... Are the environmentally concerned not also the same folks who have left barrells of spewing shit up there? I may have bolted on rappel but Ive never bolted a 2x4 to the rock.

 

Ian, why didnt you have your helmet on young man! Im guessing because he's as white as a ghost and the hat shaded his fine scottish mug.

Edited by bwwakaranai

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Ha Ha. I figured I'd stir the pot with this. Much Re-spect to you Darrington pioneers who put yourselves at risk for the sake of exploration and love of the mountains and wilderness. Your boldness and that of your predecessors continue to amaze me everytime I'm faced with a run-out and think of how you could have possibly placed that bolt on lead. Or everytime I'm crammed in some offwidth thinking how the hell did that guy do that in boots or EBs or barefoot for gods sakes. You balls are the size of small coconuts, your courage not short of a true Samurai.

 

With that said, I dont believe that these feats neccessarily mean you love or respect the rock, nature, or climbing any more than me or the next ass hole. I understand the fear of loosing that sense of adventure, especially when these grounds were once so isolated or unknown to many of us. Once upon a time I had a sacred place that was overrun by gumby and friends...

Im a realative newbie myself, first climbed in Darrington just 11 years ago and have only done probably 8 or so routes there. I never loved slab climbing, having been scared shitless climbing in Tuolumne and Pine Creek. Love the knobs not the runouts. Anyways... I can relate to having had close calls although these incidents fall short of staring into the face of DEATH! They were enough to lower my willingness to truly put my ass on the line. I guess I bring this up to defend tactics used to put up this, as stated above, one mans freeway via rap bolting. Maybe you should actually give it a try, who knows you might not be that offended by the spread and even enjoy yourself. As far as the tree branches... Are the environmentally concerned not also the same folks who have left barrells of spewing shit up there? I may have bolted on rappel but Ive never bolted a 2x4 to the rock.

 

Ian, why didnt you have your helmet on young man! Im guessing because he's as white as a ghost and the hat shaded his fine scottish mug.

 

:tup:

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Brandon, thanks for sharing the stoke and inspiring others. :rawk::rocken:

 

................

 

I don't think I've met the illustrious CM, and he may be a delightful chap in person to whom we should all bow in grateful reverence, but in my view shitting on another man's dream in public is a completely inexcusable act far worse than placing a bolt on rappel or cutting a tree limb. Get over yourself and get back onto the rock we all love.

 

I think of a passage from a Magic Treehouse story my kids listen to on long drives to magical places:

 

Jack: What people own this land?

 

Running Bull (laughs): People cannot own land. All land belongs to the Great Spirit.

 

....................

 

Brandon, I can't wait to share the stoke on THIS route and your NEXT one. Let's send the pink route in the gym this winter ;)

Peace,

Rad

 

ps. If y'all think Alex H can't handle hard sketchy slab read his piece on free-soloing the NW Face of Half Dome, including the 5.12 slab at the end.

 

 

 

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i was really hoping that more climbers were going to ..chime.. vent on in here, as a result of my reply/post ... or, my reply to "genepires". I know there are others who feel the same way about me.

... I actually thought 'it' was sending/posting, only to genepires, aka, for his eyes only, cause it seems, that might have happened in the past here. Perhaps, ive got this site mixed up with another one. When i read ... "stir the pot with this", i dont feel so bad about it now. I love to stir the pot, its good to mix things up, simmer and mellow. Get it out in the open. put it on the flame. It is usually over here-say too. Well, here is the horses mouth!!!

...one of the things I KNOW i dont have mixed up, is what has happened up on squire wall, as that place is a, 'sacred' place to me. And, i share story's about that place. I love to share story's, and things that have happened to me. i ONLY talk about what has happened to me, things i saw/read, felt and hear. I have learned that to say what some one else heard, or to repeat what someone else heard someone else say, doesn't work, and can be miss-con-screwd! I do consciousnessly live in the present. history is a big subject to me, as knowing more history, can tell me so much more, about.. the future. Plus, i am a function of the past. I really am a, information junkie. One of my nicks, givin to me by the same person who called me..."zippy", up on zips' wall, is... IGICU. "" eia-cha-cue"" ( Information Gathering Iconoclast Carbon Unit.)

... I have really done NOTHING to advance other climbers, on squire walls! (the stuff that i did, that could have... fixed lines and the twin cables across the creek, WERE all sabotaged, with i feel, directly aimed at me, to cause me bodily harm, What a stupid thing todo, cause it is non-discriminate!) In fact, im sure i have done quite the opposite. (aka, sucker routes) The rap routes are a descent, not advancement. All tho, to keep in balance,i have taken about 80 different climbers up there, for their first time on squire creek wall. Many, for their VERY first time climbing. A large percent, it was the first time climbing on real rock,... some, ...placing pro. on lead. A few, pounding in their first piton, some, having their first 'real' fall, and many, catching their first 'real' fall (me). A few did a "first accent" with me, without even knowing it, at first. Was always fun to tell them that they were the first one thru...there. There has been, a memorable first, for just about every one i have taken up there.

....Thanks for your post "RAD", cause it forced me to go back and read what i wrote, and i will be sure to post this, after i have read this, Which IS a post/answer/reply, to many above posts. I dont' intend this to be a "flame", ( ya, i am old school) and is not written that way. I sincerely apologize in advance if you see it that way. "FLAME-ING" is way to easy for me. I like to take the ..more difficult way. You are not alone to make such judgments about me, without even meeting me, (alltho, i think that might reinforce what you already believe about me) or, trying to understand me. I dont see how i "shitting on another man's dream" , in what i wrote, but can guess, in how/what you read, you have certain feelings about what you thought i was ..saying. Was not at all. I do know this area well, ( i could post a pic. with lines and dates all over the place, and for some already, would be a great disappointment and take away their 'feelings') and i might have climbed several parts of "his route" here, with a swiss climber, back in the 80,s. this is One of the reasons i said, what i..wrote, ... to "genepires. When i came back 'here', and saw that this had posted to 'here', like this, i felt instantly 'bad' about doing so on his post about his efforts here. Only because, i feel like 'he' would not have done this route, if the tough cedar trees had still been there. to go around these, involves a lot of traversing and more slab climbing, that has dropped a lot of climbers out from doing so in the past. IM not talking about... some 'branches or limbs". I was talking about trees that were older than me. Growing in a place that took a lot of time to start, and develop, as they get pounded and trashed by mother nature every year, over and over again, at the base of a huge chunk of rock. Thats why they are/were so tough and strong. Bent and twisted. they are/were AS old as some of the 100+ft firs and cedars that are growing here on "my property", i pay taxes on, and i feel, i am responsible for, and DO HAVE owner ship over. It is the way i feel. I dont feel that way about the wilderness, the mountains, parks, and "public" places. AND, i was sharing my feelings, not an easy thing for me todo, as those who have heard me speak ..."in public" can tell ya. I don't like to do that, but one of my most memorable/magic times, was speaking to a graduating climbing class, with the late Dallas Cloke (and another 'famous, well traveled' climber). I only cried a few times, but it was a real treat for me. ( it was held in a college math class, and i got to use as an example/explanation, a 'poster/chart/formula, on the walls, for every question i was asked).

... So, as long as I'm ... "spewing shit", and your talking "tree branches", and "tree limbs", let me, please, tell you about the bolted 2x4,s to the 'rock'. IT IS one of the things i truly feel "bad" about, that happened up on Squire Wall. And, have learned.. alot, about speaking to others, and... doing what you all seem to be, telling me here. (about my life, and what todo, and, ...)

...I am 'assumein' you ALL are talking about the ones that are in the little gully, just above the slabs, directly above big tree, about 200ft of travel, not elevation. When those 2x4,s were put in there, the place was not at all like it is now. Even the area called big tree, is named for a tree that isn't even there now. It was a huge cedar, im guessing about 1,500yrs old. Gone, literally stripped away, by the force generated by Squire Wall. It used to be the way thru there, down in the muddy gully, (that got replenished with fresh mudd every spring) as the branches were very thick there, and my fixed lines in this area, disappeared every year. I have gone back to the squire walls every year now since 1986, and the first time was in the early 70,s. It was way different then, and only by going back and being aware of stuff, in the present, i could see so much change. As a result, i used to take a different way up, and usually down, (down, usually not being by choice). The "engineers" as i called them, were busy building the trail up thru the woods, from the parking lot, to big tree, and i eventually ran onto it. I still didnt take all the trail, as i felt going thru the woods without a trail added to my wilderness experience. There were some places we did the same, cause of the devils club. And you couldn't tell where we were going, as we really did do with purposefulness. The last 1,000 ft tho, (below big tree) became a, this is where you go, cause of the terrain. I loved how you COULD go on this part of the trail, and really not seem like a trail, as it was still wild. the branches would part easily and were of NO problems. This area could sustain high traffic, because of the deep water shed, logs, and rocks and ramps. I loved the feel of the branches rubbing across my body. The hidden 'doors', that would just part for you! They seemed to be talking to me, telling me about the others that had done the same earlier. What i didnt know, was they were not done 'building' up there, on this last part. We had talked about the area of mudd in the first gully, above the first slab,s, many times. Waht do to about it, and how. They asked me not to brush out the trail to the parking lot, and, just below big tree, where it used to go back into the woods. I told them i would never cut live conifer or blueberry bushes down or shape them to my desires. It was a 'wilderness' anyway. (not technically yet tho). When i saw that they cut one of my favorite cedars down, and a well producing blueberry bush, that put out the best berry's,... i just came unglued. Then they started to 'build/finish the trail' at the top, below big tree. When i ran into them after that, i let them know how upset i was about what they were doing up there. I gave them a verbal tongue lashing like they never had. The words just flowed, like my public lectures. About the tree trimming and Where they placed bolts. I even brought up their 2x4,s. Being the certified, registered, structural engineers they were, designing huge buildings, i felt i had that right to trash their .. efforts. Especially the 2x4,s bolted with a single bolt in the middle. Treated wood. And i did. I gave them a 'flaming' they will never forget! Like i said above, i now feel really 'bad' about that. I truly do. Its upsetting to me. I begg for their forgiveness. I have tears in my eyes now typing this. ask any one who has received the wrath of angry zip. It aint pretty. They NEVER came back to climb on the big squire walls after that. (they did go around to climb up 'chicken shit gully' (their name for it) so they could get to the top easily and fast, anyway. that was their goal). It WAS NOT MY PLACE, to vent, on them, how i felt about that, and what they did. It was one of the stupid things i have done up on squire. AND I HAVE DONE A LOT OF STUPID THINGS UP THERE! I think about it all the time. I have learned from doing so. I am so sorry about how i treated them, even if it was only for less than an hr. And, it was only them, my son, and i. There was not anyone else around.

... and the barrels of spewing shit??? I could go on and on...about that too.. All my "barrells" are clearly marked as..'mine',altho it is meaning-less to others. i have lost much gear to others who felt like it was THERE for the taking. about $500+ worth, (they took only cams & light weight biners) or then, equivalent to about 2 weeks of my time. (running a 'climbing gear store', i lost a lot to theft, which is the "equivalent", some years i worked for...'free' as a result). They know who they are, and i know it too. There are about 6 or 7, maybe more, different people that have..Buckets (or barrells?) "up there." I used to get upset about it, not any more. I even didn't like seeing DJ's gear and sleeping bag moving down the rock to its 'final'? resting spot. I now see it as a "art-a-fact." I would be upset about someone taking ALL my stored water, BEcause they came/come ill prepared, but there is food and water stored there for anyone to use in an emergency.It is clearly stated so. I have been saved by having this place to ride out a storm many times. One time it turned into days. I was not impressed that someone felt it their duty to trash the place, and spread stuff out, destroying it. Taking my knife to partially cut fixed lines at the top, was a real bummer. Leaving the knife stuck so i could see it, by the top of the almost cut line? ? ... that was scary. some of that is still there for them, to take care of. I am a firm believer in karma. I have MANY storys to prove that, to me.... its all about the odds!

Would love to meet you (?) Shapp, and have you take me on one of your routes there! I'm sure i will run into you up there some time soon. I look forward to it! hope its over a camp fire, with good whiskey and plenty of mother nature! thanks for your words Tyson! they are much appreciated.

... now rap bolting... I'll save that for another time!!!! (im sure i made no mention of that! yet.)

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Just to be clear, I don't object to a discussion/rant about history, ethics, or anything else. Debate is good. But don't do it in a Trip Report (TR). Trip Reports are undoubtedly the best part of this site and we want to encourage more, not dump on the ones people post.

 

So please go to the Climber's board, click "New Topic", start whatever discussion you want, and continue it there. If you want, someone can even set it up for you and send you a link to go there directly.

 

In fact, the best thing you can do, CM, is to write a Trip Report and photos of some of the routes and adventures you've had over the years. I'm sure lots of us would love to hear them.

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In fact, the best thing you can do, CM, is to write a Trip Report and photos of some of the routes and adventures you've had over the years. I'm sure lots of us would love to hear them.

 

I couldn't agree more!

C'mon Chris lay out some history for us. I know a bit but would love to know more and I am, sure as Rad said that there are lots of us who would!

 

Good job Brandon and co. for your work up there on your route. I do feel that this place is never going to be "over-run" with "sportos" but maybe having a bit more history of this "sacred" place would lend more reverence to the area (not that I feel it is totally lacking).

 

Cheers all,

Tyson geBauer

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