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[TR] Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel 12/8/2013

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Trip: Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel


Date: 12/8/2013


Trip Report:

Ice climbing conditions on Sunday were pretty much as good as it gets in the Columbia River Gorge. We got to the Rooster Rock pullout at about 8:30 a.m. By the time we made it to the base of the route there were already two parties of two ahead of us. One additional party of three was also in line ahead of us and were discussing setting up a TR on the first pitch. Thankfully they talked themselves out of it and went elsewhere.

The first pitch was great, we basically stuck to the left side as the right side was still somewhat flowing. The ice was thick and screws and tools both sunk deep. I made the belay station and shared it with a friendly Aussie fellow. He had cut the gnarled slings off the bolts which was helpful.

Jake followed me up and enjoyed his first pitch of water ice. Pitch two went well also, that first part was steeper and thinner than I remember it being three years ago though. I didn't have enough shorter screws so I had to sling a couple of 16cm screws short. The second half of pitch two was a cake walk but it was wandering and wet. Thankfully I had lots of long slings and alpine draws.

No falls although to be completely honest it wasn't a perfectly clean ascent as I hung on a screw once or twice. We both had a blast on the climb though.

The rappel off was easy. The parties ahead of us left new slings and a biner for rappelling off the top and we replaced the old webbing at the top of pitch one with new cords/webbing and a rap ring.



Gear Notes:

The second pitch is longer than I remember. I placed 9 screws, mostly 16cm but some shorter. I could have used a stubby or two as well, it wasn't very thick in some places. You can rap with double ropes from the trees at the top to the belay station and then a quick rap to the bottom. Lots of long slings and alpine draws.


Approach Notes:

Elected to walk around the lake, didn't want to get hypothermia on the approach.

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