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Hiromi

Climbing Suggestions

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From the south Sound area, I'd head for the Tatoosh Range (in Rainier Park) or the Olympics for easily accessible and relatively moderate climbs (assuming that is what you are after). Check out Mount Ellinor or Mount Washington in the Olympics, and Pinnacle Peak or Castle Peak in the Tatoosh. The standard "summer" routes make good winter outings on all of these except Pinnacle Peak, where you should approach from the Castle-Pinnacle saddle rather than traverse the steep open slope NW of the peak. All of these involve some exposure to avalanche danger, with Ellinor probably being the safest of the bunch.

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I'm guessing "slog" is about my only option right now. Rock or ice would be great, but I'm afraid I'd have to drive a long way to find suitable conditions, right?

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If you are willing to drive a ways, Mt. Hood is a great winter climb. It's basically a slog, though. You can car camp in the parking lot and do it as a one day climb.

 

 

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The Palmer is great in December, the bergschrund was pretty much filled both times. But there is a thread somewhere else on the board about avy danger on Hood (and elsewhere).

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Thanks for the great ideas! A few questions... is Mt. Washington a one day climb? What is 'the Palmer'? I've never heard of it. Hood sounds great. I would definitely be willing to drive that far. How long a day do you think it would be for someone in reasonably good shape?

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The 'Palmer' is "The Hairy Palmer", a bar that Trask owns. Just kidding, I believe it is the Palmer Glacier on Mt. Hood.

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Hmm... gun-toting gapers, the "Hairy Palmer" and a boy named Sue... I wish I could say it was starting to make sense, but it just isn't! You guys crack me up!

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There are at least three Mount Washington's in Washington and Oregon. All three are day climbs.

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The main couloir, which rises from right diagonally up and left, is pretty much a walk-up that barely gets steeper than 35 degrees, though it is in an interesting location, and empties out a couple hundred feet below the summit. More step kicking then leads to the summit rocks, where there is a short bit of semi-technical climbing (like 30 to 50 feet max). To the left of the main couloir is another, that is much narrower and a little steeper and often has one or two icy steps, followed by an interesting traverse back into the main one. Near the top of the main one is a chimney system heading up and right that is more technical - mixed and rather steep though probably not more than a ropelength of hard climbing.

 

The problem I have had with the Tatoosh Range is that they don't open the gate early enough in the morning. These routes on Lane Peak are short enough that a late start is OK, but the late gate openings are still a pain in the neck and anything more complex becomes pretty difficult if you can't leave the car before 10:00 a.m. So you may have to drive up the night before and I don't think you are supposed to spend the night in the parking lot.

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An interesting alternative on Lane's "Zipper" is instead of going over the shoulder and up the southeast side, turn right at the shoulder and follow a mixed lead to a somewhat knife edged ridge to the main summit. Some exposure.

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I believe the "Zipper" is the "main" gully that I described. Last year, we were told on this very board that the one to the left is "Lover's Lane."

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But assuming that Hiromi lives in Olympia or thereabouts, I'd head for Mount Washington (harder but still only barely technical) or Ellinor (easier) for an enjoyable summit climb. In this kind of weather, you will often find them sticking out above a sea of clouds covering Hood Canal.

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McClellan's Butte on I-90 is a also a good 1 day effort, steep couloir, could be icy if conditions are such, avalanche hazard also. Icy rock at the top up the middle, or bail out to the left and up to the top with a running belay. Non technical 1 day outings easy to get to are Arthur Peak, Gove Peak, and Florence Peak out of Ipsut, at least keep you in shape.

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Hiromi does live in the south end, so Washington (on the peninsula) is a good one for me to try. I think the Willis Wall is out. I've been told it would involve camping in a cold place with no running water or electrical outlets for my curling iron.

 

I do like the Arthur, Gove & Florence suggestions, and will try to find further information on those. I've been up McClellan Butte and enjoyed it very much.

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Another good option in the Olympics, 1/2 day outing is Mt. Angeles. I just did that last weekend. You can park directly below it and pretty much just kick steps straight up on the south side, seems like higher avy danger that way. I start at Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, traverse along Sunrise (?) Ridge to the base of Angeles, wrap around to north side and then just a little kick stepping gets you to the top.

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