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Dru

Cheam Pk.

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Climbed the NW Face finally on Friday with Fred Touche. Left home 5:30 AM. Left car 6AM. Bushwacked. Got to bowl at treeline c. 11:30AM. Climbed endless snow to 65 degree and easy mixed. Roped up for a couple of M3? boulder problem rockbands fortunately with THE ONLY TREE ON THE ROUTE as an intermediate belay. Reached top of rock bands ~2:30 PM. Reached top of face c. 3:30 PM. Endless descent down west ridge (great views of Slesse, sunset etc.) and followed decomissioned logging road from hell slog, back down to Bridal Falls at 9PM. Fred hiked highway back to get car. Got home c: 10:15 PM

 

The only pro used was 2 pickets and a sling around a tree. The ice hook, 4 screws, 8 pins and 8 tri Cams stayed in the pack.

 

I tried to do this route Marc Twight style, and consequently light. So after packing for the first time, I reread Xtreme Alpinism, then:

 

-wore Schoeller jacket and pants ionstead of Gore tex

-took light 38 litre Arcteryx pack instead of heavy BD mixed Master

-took Quarks instead of Pulsars (these were surprisingly good in the snow)

- wore leather boots instead of plastics

-took light crampons with horizontal frontpoint and no antibotte (old strap on Grivel 2F) instead of heavy Charlet Gr8 w/antibotte

-left emergency bivy gear at home in favor of extra headlamp battery

 

 

I did not take GU.

 

When I got home, I DID drink a straight shot glass full of olive oil. Washed it down with beer while soaking in the tub. I recommend this as post climb meal to everyone.

 

 

As to the route, we intended to do the 2nd ascent of the Kay/Zozikyan. No idea where it goes on the face so we just followed the inobvious easiest line as much as possible . Im gonna try and get in touch with Bruce Kay and find out just exactly where they climbed.

 

Heres a photo of the face from Spring (May) 2001. We had more but thinner snow cover. Our line went up the face on the right (right of the central buttress, IE) just right of the vague couloir that dead ends in a rock wall.

 

The face is 2100m high from road to summit, but the first half is all bushwacking approach. The actual height gain on the technical climbing portion (where we used crampons and axes) is about 800-900m. 535_cheamrange1.jpg

 

On Saturday I got liquored up and then got out the needle and spent an hour taking devils club thorns out of my hands. Dont ever let anyone tell you winter alpinism is fun. It is nothing but suffering and misery. wink.gif

 

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The rock had little or no protection opportunities anywhere. However, it was mostly solid enough that you could use it for hand/foot holds where a big chunk stuck out of the snow, or stemming up tight gullies. But most of it was hidden under snow and a 5mm layer of "bubble pack" ice.

 

Cornices were minimal and avoidable.

 

Stability was great, no avalanches or cornice fall seen or heard all day and nothing moved or made worrisome noises when climbed on.

 

We climbed on a single 60m 8.5 mm rope and it was good. It was really a psychological gesture to rope up anyways. Aside from the tree, the anchors probably wouldnt have held a fall (half driven picket in soft snow)? Or maybe they were bomber and I was just scared for nothing.

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It was the shit, I went faster and climbed better. Definitely the right choice. Thanks Mark Twight!

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Even for my screwing around on the wheelchair routes, I've dumped all the heavy, so-called "have-to-have-it" crap and gone super lean. My knees dig it and I've been no worse for wear. Booyah bigdrink.gif

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My legs are still hurting, it was hard to walk up the flight of stairs to my apartment today!

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Dude. I would never ever go repeat that route having done it once. HOWEVER, it's defnitely worth doing once! I think the Serl route is probably the most classic line.

 

I didnt get to see Knight. Lady was in the way. However, I talked to Guy Edwards yesterday - he went in for a bash at E side of Slesse winter route but didnt feel like soloing it. He told me Spagnut had been in to Wahleach Lake side of things to try Lady & Knight but didnt climb either. grin.gif

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Yes but Im only half way thru the roll so it might be a few weeks yet.

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Nice one, Dru. But I think winter climbing IS fun and I kind of like Devil's club (even though I, too, had to pull some thorns out of my hands yesterday). Congratulations on what sounds like a fine outing.

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I know what you mean about not wanting to repeat it, but totally worth the 1st time!

 

Once again, nice job!!!!!!!! bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

Now you'll hold your head up higher when you drive by Hope.

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Ive gotta say though, they are more fun when happening to other people laugh.gif

 

Mike, I would do the route again in a flash, if there were a better descent, like maybe a snowmobile waiting in Spoon Creek or some friends with snowshoes or skis on the summit ridge meeting me. But otherwise the long tired dark slog out was what made it a 1-time-only thing.

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Superb Dru!!! You're my hero!! grin.gif

 

Seriously great climb and a great trip report. I usually don't finish TRs that long, you know that ADHD thing confused.gif!! Top notch, and I too have dranken a beer while in the bath tub, and in a hot tub too. Obviouslythe hot tub is better, with good company tongue.gif!!

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pictures

 

3446_cheamnw.jpg

 

the line as seen the day before

 

357facefrombase-med.jpg

 

Fred racks up at the base

 

357lowonnw.jpg

 

Fred emerges from a rock band low down (the rock is hard to see cause it drops away to more snow underneath him)

 

 

3445_fredoncrux.jpg

 

Fred thru the rock and approaching the belay tree on the first crux pitch

 

laugh.gif

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Congratulations. That's way cool and way scary. Sounds like a "just don't fall" type of climb. Don't know if I would have had the balls to do it.

 

You said pickets would probably not have stopped a fall. Do you think flukes might have?

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snoboy said:

Dru, is that a Sasquatch to fred's right in the third pic?!?!

SASQUATCH eek.gifeek.gifeek.gifeek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

 

Maybe I should sell the pic to Kokanee for their label then.....

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