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Steph_Abegg

[TR] Juno Tower - Clean Break (IV, 5.10b/c, 1500') 7/11/2013

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Trip: Juno Tower - Clean Break (IV, 5.10b/c, 1500')

 

Date: 7/11/2013

 

Trip Report:

[img:center]http://images.summitpost.org/medium/856388.jpg[/img]

 

After a couple of days climbing on the spires at Washington Pass, my sister Jenny and I decided to cap off our climbing trip with a route we had both been eyeing for awhile: Clean Break on Juno Tower. From the west-side highway view, Juno Tower is an indistinguishable bump on the ridge just north of the Wine Spires. But the hidden eastern walls of Juno Tower steeply rise 1500' above the Silver Star Creek Valley. Clean Break is on the steep east buttress of Juno Tower. The route is named after the clean 5.10c splitter crack on Pitch 1 and the many splitter cracks that follow. With pitch after pitch of sustained climbing on beautiful clean granite in wild surroundings, Clean Break is a must-do rock climb in the Cascades. Amazingly, this stellar route was not discovered until the mid-1980s.

 

Jenny and I decided to climb the route car-to-car, approaching via Silver Star Creek and descending to the highway via the west side by intersecting the standard Burgundy Col approach trail. The entire adventure (including the 3.5 mile hitchhike back to our car) took us 13 hours. What a way to spend a summer day!

 

Overall, we were very impressed with the quality of the climbing on the route. The first 2/3 of this route is possibly one of the best alpine rock climbs I have done in Washington State.

 

I've posted a full trip report on my website: http://www.stephabegg.com/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/cleanbreak

 

Nearing the base of the route. The splitter 5.10c crack of the first pitch of Clean Brea is just above Jenny's head in the photo.

9265493793_c727ebbdc8_c.jpg

 

Jenny bravely led the splitter 5.10c crack of Pitch 1. This lone crack is the route's namesake, and also the crux of the entire 15-pitch route. It is rare to find such good crack climbing on an alpine route in Washington.

9265494007_8e2d32dcee_c.jpg

 

After the first two difficult pitches, kick back and enjoy a few mellow pitches of 5.6-5.7 flakes and blocks. This photo shows Jenny near the top of Pitch 4.

9268270456_d6e60bb45f_c.jpg

 

From the top of Juno Tower, there are a couple of descent options. One option is to scramble down the ridge to Sunset Col and then descend back into Silver Star Creek basin and hike out to trailhead from whence you came. The other option is to make a southward descending traverse down the scree to Bench Camp below Burgundy Col and hike out to the highway via the standard Burgundy Col approach, and then hitch a ride (or bike or walk) 3.5 miles to your car. The second descent option sounded like less effort, so that's the way we went (this descent is shown in the photo on the left). From summit to Bench Camp took us an hour, and from Bench Camp to the highway took us another hour.

9265495473_ff404cd6ec_c.jpg

 

We ended up on the highway 3.5 miles from our car at the Silver Star Creek pullout. Our plan was to hitch a ride or just walk the downhill 3.5 miles to our car. It took all of 58 seconds from the time we popped up out of the trees onto the highway to the time a van occupied by two friendly road-tripping climbers from Colorado pulled over and offered us a ride (thanks!). Five minutes later and just under thirteen hours since we started that morning, we were back at our car at the Silver Star Creek pullout. What a fun day!

9265495659_78aae9b999_c.jpg

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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awesome. thanks for the stoke! will need to set shoes on that one.

 

Chris and I tried to hitchhike from blue lake TH to the hairpin with less success. Why would anyone pick up a couple middle aged smelly men? But two chika's?

 

never been to the base, but do you think there are other new easier route possibilities to the right or left of clean break? Looks like beckey route terrain form the photos. (blocky and trees)

Edited by genepires

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Genespires - I was thinking the same thing about the terrain to climbers right of Clean Break. Looks like a bit of a tree battle but maybe some good rock.

 

I think we passed you guys on our way west, walking down hwy 20. Almost turned around and gave you a ride as we were so thankful to have gotten ours a few minutes previous. Should've done it!

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Chris and I tried to hitchhike from blue lake TH to the hairpin with less success. Why would anyone pick up a couple middle aged smelly men? But two chika's?

 

/quote]

 

Did you guys climb Liberty Crack? Did Chris lead the Lith Lip? Was it epic?

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Nice report on Clean Break! My memory of it was that the first two pitches (especially the first) were stellar, then the rest of the route not so much. But if you're saying it's the best alpine route you've done, maybe my memory of it is wrong!

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I think we passed you guys on our way west, walking down hwy 20. Almost turned around and gave you a ride as we were so thankful to have gotten ours a few minutes previous. Should've done it!

 

actually that was a couple years ago. About half way, we eventually got a ride in the back of an open bed, fully packed with stuff, pickup truck from some questionably sober individuals. grateful but maybe not the best judgement to accept for 2 men with families.

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Nice report on Clean Break! My memory of it was that the first two pitches (especially the first) were stellar, then the rest of the route not so much. But if you're saying it's the best alpine route you've done, maybe my memory of it is wrong!

 

it is a alpine route. can't compare apples with oranges. Would you say that clean break is not superb compared to other 13 pitch alpine routes in washington? Oh yeah, we don't have that many.

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I wonder how it compares to the DNB of Bear Mtn? I guess I should go climb the DNB to find out.

 

From my experience on the NB (not DNB) of Bear, I'd say both are quality 5-star alpine routes. But the car-to-car vs. Chilliwack River schwack....

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I wonder how it compares to the DNB of Bear Mtn? I guess I should go climb the DNB to find out.

 

Sorry for hijack; great TR Steph

 

DNB is one of the best routes in the Cascades IMO. To me it felt a lot like Stuart North Ridge (awesome position, aesthetic line, etc) but a little more wild. For sure don't expect as clean as CNR but do expect a great climb.

 

Kearney's topo makes it seem bigger than it is; I remember belaying 12 pitches but that was with some simul climbing. The 10b move is maybe two moves (?) and easier for tall people so no reason to sweat it.

 

Car to car is impressive and will require some luck onsighting the approach. I'd say better to play it safe and give yourself a day to get in and a day to climb the route and hike out. I've been into Bear 3x and each time I got lost in a different spot on the approach in or out.

 

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I wonder how it compares to the DNB of Bear Mtn? I guess I should go climb the DNB to find out.

 

From my experience on the NB (not DNB) of Bear, I'd say both are quality 5-star alpine routes. But the car-to-car vs. Chilliwack River schwack....

 

Well considering your alpine climbing résumé, I'm compelled to climb Clean Break again! Thanks for the report!

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My understanding is that a lot of parties on juno get off route after the first 2-4 pitches, Maybe the supertopo has the best idea? Can you weigh in on that Steph? It was nice to run into you again, btw!

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I remember it as a great route that eased up a little after the first two pitches. Steph, props to your memorable sibling one day ascent.

 

DNB of Bear is on the radar after a close up view of it from Mt. Redoubt on our Chilliwack slam last week.

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My understanding is that a lot of parties on juno get off route after the first 2-4 pitches, Maybe the supertopo has the best idea? Can you weigh in on that Steph? It was nice to run into you again, btw!

 

On SuperTopo's Pitch 4, we traversed right and then up some 5.6 blocks, as was noted in the SuperTopo topo. I notice that the topo in CAG notes a "left traverse" here which seems to me to be incorrect since the right traverse we took certainly kept us on route and dumped us off at the base of the 5.9 cracks and 5.10a face move above.

 

So I think SuperTopo has it correct about needing to traverse down and right to stay on route. However, I would say that the SuperTopo topo shows the traverse as being much more of a descent than it actually is. The topo makes it seem as if to make the traverse you need to descend over half the amount of the previous pitch (Pitch 3), which would be over 40 feet. So this is what I did, but when I got down about 40' there was clearly not a feasible route. So I climbed back up and ended up spotting the 5.6ish traverse just about 5 feet down and 15 feet right of the belay at the top of Pitch 3.

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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