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first ascent [TR] Dirty Face Drool (FA) - 2/9/2014

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Trip: Dirty Face Peak/Lake Wenatchee - Dirty Face Drool (FA)


Date: 2/9/2014


Trip Report:

Some climbs are harder than others to complete and the mighty Dirty Face Drool took me three attempts over four years to finally find the right conditions. This climb is probably of little significance to most everyone but me, but since this climb is right out the back door of my cabin; it has haunted me since I first saw it quasi-form in 2009.


It is a south facing climb on Dirty Face Peak ½-mile past (west) of the Lake Wenatchee Ranger Station:




It probably comes in for about 36 hours most years but the light colored rock creates a reflector oven to amplify the sun and quickly destroy it. Overview shot from a previous attempt which shows it better without today's fog and new snow (P1 hidden and not well-formed):


My first attempts involved slabby mixed climbing up to M5 on P1 (I freaking hate slabby dry tooling) to find P2’s vertical curtain in not-yet-touched-down dagger shape.



With the skiing continuing to be uninspiring, I was able to convince my favorite reluctant ice partner, Moira Armen, to give it a shot Sunday with promises of skiing by lunch when it turned into a dry tool fest. Surprise! We found stellar ice on a very high quality route. It went in five 40-60M pitches. Today, the climbing went up to casual WI4ish with lots of snow covering the frozen drainage in between fun curtains and shorter steps.


P1 - easy today since all ice/no DT required. (Ice is obscured by last night's snow)


P2 (so fat today!)






P4 was a move-the-belay pitch. Final pitch:


The walk off was super easy with gorgeous Lake Wenatchee and Nason Ridge to add to the ambiance.



And, we still were able to ski lots of laps at Stevens in the afternoon.


PS - Every WA ice climb that I have done this year I think will probably be the last one of the season but two days after doing this climb (as in earlier today 2/11/2014) Justin Busch and I climbed really fat ice below Red Mtn. It is still out there if you go looking.


Gear Notes:

Screws only today but lots of rock gear used on previous attempts.


Approach Notes:

Oh yeah, that. Trespassing is technically required to reach this soon-to-be classic but the lots between the highway and the base of the climb are still undeveloped so park at the ranger station and walk softly.

Edited by Doug_Hutchinson

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Haha Wayne, nice innuendo! :)


I said it at the time, and I'll say it again in public - that was really, really fun - I think I am ready to re-embrace ice climbing (but only on non-epic powder days)!


The turns at Stevens weren't as much fun as climbing this - thanks again, Doug, for a great day out! Best date of 2014 so far!


But our BC ski trip next week is probably gonna blow it outta the water!

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