Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber


      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  

[TR] Index UTW - Wildest Dreams -- There may be climbers below 10/19/2013

Recommended Posts

Trip: Index UTW - Wildest Dreams -- There may be climbers below


Date: 10/19/2013


Trip Report:

Saturday, October 19, a bright sunny, fall day at Index, after about 10 dry days. It was perfect for an Upper Town Wall outing. I had long wanted to do Wildest Dreams, and this was the day. Luckily, I was able to get Eric Hirst to go along.


We found out upon arriving at the base of the wall that a lot of other climbers had similar ideas, though luckily no one else was on Wildest Dreams.


The route was cleaned and put up by Chris Henson and partners in 2006. It has four pitches, rated 10+, 11, 12b, and 10+, going to the top of the wall. Everyone who has done it rates it four stars. We'd give it five if we could.


Eric led the first pitch, doing bolted 5.9+ face climbing to a steep corner that gets thin near the top. The finish is the crux, with stemming, jamming, and arete-grabbing.





Over on the route next door, Pat Sullivan was having fun on the thin face and arete climbing of Golden Road.




For the second pitch, I followed a fin/arete for awhile, with bolts for protection (5.10), then the fin ends with a right-trending seam. The crux is at the last bolt, and here I fell before seeing the key smear for the right foot. Being good at gym climbing means nothing at Index: you have to learn to find the subtle features fast. After the crux, a few easier face moves ends at a 5.10 mantel. Eric, sans chalkbag, cruises the pitch.




Even the slopy mantel.




While Eric was preparing to try the 12b crack, I heard a whoop coming from the left. A fellow had just cruised over the final roof on Heaven's Gate. (I recall falling off that thing a few years back, so I can imagine how he felt.)



(Look above Eric's helmet, see the climber above the roof.)


Meanwhile, there was a party finishing up on Lovin Arms. The photo below shows the 12b crack, the last pitch of Wildest Dreams, and two guys on Lovin Arms.




The crack eluded both of us. We named it 'three house of the seventh bobcats stacked on top of each other' due to its resemblance to the route on Lookout Point. But House of the Seventh Bobcat has a more difficult move than this 12b crack, this crack is more continuous. Hard layback tips jams with thin smeary feet.


The last pitch was the longest and best. Roughly like stacking the first part of Lovin Arms p1 with Zoom, it has great jams and fun face moves, including a slight leadout on one section. Two bolts at the start, but the rest is cams and nuts.


Eric at the slight runout section.



Looking over to Lovin Arms, one party was just starting:



While another was just finishing:



As Eric was climbing up, I looked over towards the sun and saw the most amazing sundog:



I pointed it out to Eric below, and took a shot. Then I noticed all the arcs:



Halos, arcs, and parhelia. This was truly a rare atmospheric display. Then I noticed the parhelic circle developing. I'd only seen this once before:



Meanwhile, Eric was getting a little pumped, so I put away the camera and continued belaying him up.


Near the top:



At the top, we watched the fog rolling back in. Heading up from Goldbar, towards the pass and towards Galena.



We recovered an old rope for Chris, and started hiking barefoot down the trail. There were tons of mushrooms of many colors and shapes:



Soon we were above the Tempituous area, where the off-roaders like to come and toss things off the wall. At least they used to. Now there is a warning sign, slightly damaged, high in a tree:


"There may be climbers below"




Gear Notes:

Bring at least 7 quickdraws, doubles in cams to 2.5", maybe a triple for the ~2" size, perhaps one larger cam for p4, and lots of thin cams and small offset nuts.


Approach Notes:

Hike to the Upper Town Wall, head left, just past the Sport Wall, but before Heaven's Gate. Look for the big crater in the trail.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice, beautiful fall climbing up there! I wussed out and just aided the 12b, that final pitch was a bit scary/fun to lead too! Looks like you had a great day out.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice trip report Jon, that was us making noise over on Heaven's Gate. What a busy day on the upper wall! Hard to pass up such perfect conditions. I spent a day on Wildest Dreams this spring, and agree that it is a total classic. The first pitch is a great warmup for it or other climbs, and the 2nd pitch is totally superb with an awesome finish. I felt the 5.12 pitch was definitely honest, but think it would be worth A0'ing if not up to the grade for the final pitch. We sussed the gear on p3 and it seems like after the last bolt you use two green C3s in a row, then either a purple or red C3 near the top where it opens back up a bit. We brought brushes to scrub on our outing but found the route in really clean shape. Hats off to Chris for his fine work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great trip up the wall with everyone chatting and having a blast all the way up. I definetly want to thank Eric and you for the nice profile shot you took of me on Golden Road(those are always the best)!!!


Dave, great job on the sending Heaven's Gate! I was very happy to see your proud work!


Eric, that was an amazing onsight of the spicy pitch on Wildest Dreams. Well done my friend....well done:)


All the best,




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Pat, there is another great shot I posted of you on the Golden Road page of Mt. Project.


It was definitely fun seeing all the other parties up there.


Dave, though I prefer Wildest Dreams overall, Heaven's Gate definitely has the best top-out on the UTW -- even better than Lovin Arms. Your party of three really cruised HG, it was great to see.


Oly - I guess a lot of us resort to some aid on the crux thin crack. Definitely worth it for doing p4. That slightly spicy bit on p4 added some nice character to the pitch, and reminded me a little of Zoom at the Country. But I'll be back to work that thin crack!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to run into you on the trail and on the wall Jon and Eric! Real fun to see all those parties in high spirits having fun on the UTW. Rare gem of a day at Index in late October!


BTW, thanks for the picture of us on DH-LA. You got me right at the kind-of awkward start of that first pitch of LA. Fun route!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, days like that should never be passed up! Best part is meeting the other climbers up there.


You're welcome about the pic. I have a few more pics of you on p1 of LA. Not the best resolution, but great perspective. Send me an email and I'll send them to you. I'm on gmail at "jontne".



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Sherri.


Just occurred to me -- of the 13 climbers up there that I noticed, all were male. The two aid climbers on Green Dragon were probably male too (seems they all are).


The Upper Town Wall could definitely use a little more gender balance!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

go get it wayne!


"climbed" it Sunday--truly stellar, and now a bit cleaner too.


To be clear: no loose rock at all, just a bit of grit that my flailing largely removed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The new Index route du jour! Wayne and I climbed it last weekend. Loved the first and last pitches. Funny how a climb put up 8 years ago is now on everyone's radar.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It can take that long. See: Passenger, Supercave, Pickets Traverse, etc.

Fun route!! I am getting Upper Town Wall syndrome! The routes I am finding up there are longer and proud. That 2nd pitch is burley. Cant wait to try Golden Road and hit the Beach more too.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this