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[TR] Washington Pass - Spontaneity Arête and Rapple Grapple 5/10/2013


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Trip: Washington Pass - Spontaneity Arête and Rapple Grapple


Date: 5/10/2013


Trip Report:

My wife and I headed over to Washington Pass this weekend to get on a few moderate routes during this great early year where the routes are accessible/descendable by snow and the rock is clean and dry for the most part. We started out on Spontaneity Arête on Le Petit Cheval. The approach, while probably the most challenging part of the climb, was moderated by the three fixed ropes. We managed to find a marginally sketchy log crossing over Early Winters Creek after a brief detour upstream. On the route itself we encountered fun, easy and straightforward climbing in short spurts between sections of scrambling and simul-climbing. The descent went very quickly thanks to the ability to do a single rap to the snow filled gully in stable snow. We carried our boots up the route so that we could take advantage of this easier descent option, and were glad we did. We got back to the car in the early afternoon and had time to get a tasty ice cream treat down in Winthrop while lounging in the 90 degree heat.


The following day we headed up to do Rapple Grapple on Liberty Bell. The snow at the pass made for a pleasant and speedy ski up to the col. It was nice to have the route to ourselves, with only a few other parties going up the Beckey Route. We found Rapple Grapple to be a fun alternative to the Beckey Route, with only one move that seemed to approach 5.8 where there is a bit of a reachy finger crack near the beginning of the second pitch (we used the standard Beckey Route start as the first pitch). The whole route up was snow free and dry. The ski descent from the col was way more fun than the typical boot ski down loose rock and pebbles, and made for a speedy return to the car. There were plenty of other skiers enjoying the conditions on the Birthday Tour and surrounds. Watch out for that monster cornice!



That night, we decided to enjoy the comforts of North Cascades Basecamp, one of our favorite little bed and breakfast lodges right below Goat Wall in Mazama. The owner/operators are very friendly, and the atmosphere is comfy and laidback. We had some delicious food at Wesola Polana down the road (good beer and tapas) that night. The following day we devoured some delicious waffles at Basecamp, walked around our favorite town of Mazama, and ate some awesome sandwiches at the Mazama Store (is this becoming a food post?), prior to heading home.


Anyway, the skiing is fun right now, and most of the rock routes that get some sun look to be in. Get out there while the snow lasts!



Gear Notes:

Singles to #3 C4


Approach Notes:

Take advantage of the snow while it lasts

Edited by BrettS
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Mark Allen's goal with Spontaneity and everyone's goal should be at WA Pass to move away from the very popular routes like Beckey (it has an e by the way and keep him away from your wife) because there is so much good rock that we should avoid an Everest trail up to the Beckey Route. The Goat Wall and other Mazama new routes should open things up.


And think about Beckey walking from way down the road just to do the FA. We all get to park close, shake off the cobwebs, and access the "obvious couloir" (another Beckey joke).


Thanks for posting and I'm glad you had a great time up there.

Edited by matt_warfield
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