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telemarker

[TR] Leavenworth - Outer Space, April Fools Tower, Pearly Gates 6/19/2012

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Trip: Leavenworth - Outer Space, April Fools Tower, Pearly Gates

 

Date: 6/19/2012

 

Trip Report:

I work for WA State, and as such get regular salary freezes and cuts. As consolation, we are given "mandatory" vacation days. Yesterday was one of those days, so what the hell, may as well go climbing.

 

My friend Dean Olin joined me for this fun outing, shooting photos with his fancy camera. We warmed up on Outer Space, taking the more direct RPM roof start. At 5.10b, and mostly 5.9 fun crack climbing, it's a high-quality alternative to the Remorse or standard OS start. The roof has fun moves and is nicely exposed.

 

We caught a couple parties higher up, but everyone was chill and having a great time, and the waiting was not too bad. Outer Space never gets old no matter how many times I do it.

 

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The day threatened rain a few times, but never materialized until late in the day. The temps were perfect for climbing.

 

We scampered back down, and over to April Fools Tower to climb Tarkus. AFT sits at the far north end of Snow Creek Wall. From Outer Space, AFT stands out as a sharp pinnacle calling out to be climbed.

 

I've climbed this before, and done it in three pitches. The first is a gardening fest with good cracks for pro. It goes at about 5.dirt (5.8).

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Belay at the huge pine after about 40m. From there, climb up to a roof and go left up and around to a layback, smearing on abundant lichen. At least it protects well.

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To reduce rope drag, belay at a nice ledge just past the roof at an old, rusted out smc bolt. This pitch, with the lichen, felt 5.9ish.

 

The third pitch is a steep hand crack with chicken heads and a flaring crack. Abundant lichen on this headwall to the top of AFT.

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There are a couple ancient bolts on top of this tiny summit, but there was no way in hell we were going to trust them. Instead, rap off the nearly detached horn that is seemingly being held up by ancient webbing, installed around the 1920's. We slung the horn with a couple slings and leaver biners, held our breath, and weighted the horn.

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Good look at the flake:

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With Dean's 70m rope, we made it all the way to the ground on the backside (west) of AFT.

 

We schwacked down to Pearly Gates, and fired off Leap of Faith before being drenched by a squall. Great day out, and Tarkus would be a great climb with a little cleaning and a new anchor on top of the summit.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by telemarker

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Looks like a solid day out, with minimal weather hassles. AFT looks pretty nice from the photos - though you can't see the grunge I suppose.

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Looks like a solid day out, with minimal weather hassles. AFT looks pretty nice from the photos - though you can't see the grunge I suppose.

 

You should have come over! Easy to say in hindsight. AFT would clean up nicely with just a bit of scrubbing for the next party to climb it in a year or so.

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maybe that'll be me. It looks like fun. I'll even throw some new anchors in on top too when I do it!

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