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trees4me

[TR] Minaret - Ridge of Gargoyles 7/14/2012

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Trip: Minaret - Ridge of Gargoyles

 

Date: 7/14/2012

 

Trip Report:

Somehow the Ridge of Gargoyles landed at the top of my buddy's list. I also enjoy Olympic obscurity, and hadn't made it over to the Olympics yet this year, so I was on board for an open ended adventure. The crux of the trip was having to shrug off lots of better offers to climb peaks people had heard of, higher peaks, greater peaks, less chossy peaks, less bushwhacky peaks, peaks with better forecasts...

 

Doing some research, it looked like Minaret offered the best class 5 climbing in the group, with the rest generally being scrambles. A plan was hatched with Minaret via the east ridge (5.3) as the primary goal but we opted for overnight gear in hopes of tagging other options in the area.

 

Beta is good but scarce. There are 3 TRs about the Ridge of Gargoyles online and only one where people had actually climbed Minaret (cc.com tr ). The TRs were inspiring, this one especially made us want to live deliberately on the Ridge of Gargoyles.

 

The approach was very straightforward, as was the climb in general. The description in the newer (2006?) guidebook was easy to follow and an improvement over the 1998 book for this route. We made good time to the col at the top of the dirty gully, but stared at Constance for too long. Dropped our overnight gear at the col and then headed straight up the first 20m pitch. From there it was generally easy scrambling until the airy promontory which we scrambled over, though it looked like there may have been a bypass route down to the north to avoid rapping.

 

P1080640.JPG

First pitch

 

 

We made a rap from just past the airy promontory, then scrambled a few feet to the last col below the summit block. The traverse was generally easy class 3/4, with a fun finish. Poor protection and lots of loose rock from baseball to basketball size made this a much more exciting climb, but it took its toll on our nerves.

 

P1080649.JPG

First rap

 

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Summit block with traverse ramp right to left

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After the traverse pitch, I led out to the summit block, slinging gendarmes along the way. The loose airy ridge and deep notches had me searching down and left for a bypass, which worked ok.

P1080663.JPG

 

Finally hit the summit and found the 1979 summit register still wet. It had a bad smell to it and I felt like a tombraider opening the thing.... 1977,1979,1986,1991,2009 were all that had signed in. We saw no evidence of the 2004 climb (other than a ratty sling that may have been there's), but I suspect a few other partys have summited and not left any evidence.

P1080655.JPG

I returned to the belay anchor, Ryan tagged the summit, and then we rapped off to the west. It was loose class 4 climbing and it was nice to have the rap. We downclimbed to the south from the Lower Gargoyle/Minaret notch and eventually found our packs and the correct col.

 

P1080653.JPG

West ridge class 4 route, we rapped upper section

 

By then it was late and we were dehydrated, so we opted to head down for water.

P1080681.JPG

 

Made it to shelter rock camp at dusk and brewed up dinner and some coffee, before deciding to head for the cars in the dark. The campers had never heard of the Ridge of Gargoyles, but we felt like we had lived deliberately and sucked all the marrow out of life, at least for Saturday :)

 

link to pics

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

no snow, ax for scree

I placed 2 small tricams on the day...

lots of slings for loose rock, the bigger the better??

helmet might be good

love of choss

 

Approach Notes:

Hop off the trail at camp and follow the river. Go for awhile and go left up the major trib until the obvious cascade (trib to trib) on left. Grab water cuz that's your last chance for awhile. Head up right of cascade following the book's route description.

Edited by trees4me

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I'm inspired! That sounds like a blast. Need a love of choss no doubt. That's what keeps the Olympics free of snob-riff-raff!

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"We saw no evidence of the 2004 climb"

 

Looking back at my summit photo of this one (from your link at the top of your TR), I recall the register being wet and ratty. There is a small black film canister (yes, I was still using a film camera in 2004) in the photo in my TR, that I believe I left on top with a small note. I take it you didn't find that?

 

We probably left a sling up on top too.

 

Nice job. So that's what it looks like in the sun!

 

John

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"We saw no evidence of the 2004 climb"

 

Looking back at my summit photo of this one (from your link at the top of your TR), I recall the register being wet and ratty. There is a small black film canister (yes, I was still using a film camera in 2004) in the photo in my TR, that I believe I left on top with a small note. I take it you didn't find that?

 

We probably left a sling up on top too.

 

Nice job. So that's what it looks like in the sun!

 

John

 

We found 3 slings, 2 were faded enough to be from 2004, while one seemed shiny (2009 i guess...). I saw a film canister, but it had a note from the 70's in it. Everything was soaked and rotting so unless you brought your own paper/pencil there was no way to leave anything.

 

It's a nice vantage point and a fun area, but a bit loose. Definitely a good adventure

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Somehow missed this post until now. Nice trip and great TR!

 

Here's what the register looked like on our visit in 2009. We could barely make out the 2004 trip on the bottom three lines. Looked like your name there John 2nd or 3rd line from the bottom under what looks like June 24,2004. Anyway, here's to climbing Olympic obscurities!

 

Bob

 

 

P10208692.jpg

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Somehow missed this post until now. Nice trip and great TR!

 

Here's what the register looked like on our visit in 2009. We could barely make out the 2004 trip on the bottom three lines. Looked like your name there John 2nd or 3rd line from the bottom under what looks like June 24,2004. Anyway, here's to climbing Olympic obscurities!

 

Bob

 

 

 

That's it! The lower part of that page was very faded and we couldn't make out the last few lines. The 1991 group was barely legible, and I didn't make out the 2004 group at the bottom. Must be pretty harsh winters up there !

 

It's a cool area, and I'd like to go back a bit lighter and faster for a traverse ROG-ABC-Warr-Cons linkup, basically a Tunnel Creek high route. That'd be cool!

 

 

Edited by trees4me

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