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ivan

first ascent [TR] Tower Rock - FA - Rapunzel's Back in Rehab - C1 7/15/2015

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Trip: Tower Rock - FA - Rapunzel's Back in Rehab - C1

 

Date: 7/15/2015

 

Trip Report:

The Beast - don't be fooled, them thare are full-grown trees :)

DSC02611.JPG

Tower Rock, 2 hours from everywhere, appears oddly neglected - Brown Beckey's got the tiniest blurb of the single route up it done in 1982 (anyone know of a second ascent? i can't find anyone who's tried it) but no picture n' no topo - tim olson's oregon rock guide has some more detail than beckey, but still the vast monolith appears to have continued unloved

 

tower's just south of randle, an unladen swallow's flight from the cispus river - the face is gigantic,something like 1200 feet tall - the rock is basaltic, according to beckey, but like nothing i've seen - like over-baked brownies, it's composed of a hodge-podge of components - incredibly solid and compact, it's cross-hatched in all directions, crackless, and crumbles into bricks and blocks of all conceivable sizes - the tower looms over it's talus field, fiercely steep, it's upper-wall reminiscent of the right side of el cap, incredibly bulging and over-hanging

 

tower is composed of two giant faces seperated by a ledge/fault system that was the path taken by the first team to climb the face - currently, after 7 days of effort, our route climbs the lower wall - it'll be just as much work to finish the upper wall, if the rock quality holds

 

as it currently exists

DSC02616.JPG

yeah, there's a lot more to go, but as it stands, what's there is 600 feet tall and a great day-tripper's aid adventure already - i figure the worst that can come of telling folks about this now before it's complete is that some other sad fools can go do it for me :)

DSC02612.JPG

 

trip the first:

fuck, this happened so long off i wonder if my recollection's right at all - me n' bill n' ben in the late winter - a burr up their bespectacled asses about a mythical 10-pitch free route up a largely untouched tower - the plan to hike to the top then set a rap-line down the likely route - out of town on a friday night to the frightful fall of rain - ghetto camp before the gate in gales of damnable damp - the roar of frogs - the next morning the most sordid thang - endless hours uphill w/ drill n' bolts n' chains in the continuous cloud-fuck n' frenzied chilly breeze - near the summit gob-smacked to gain a blazed trail barely a mile from a seasonal road - the top a huge disappointment, it characterized by clouds and beaming rainbows and rock so rude they rarely accoladed the attribution - soon there after the weekend righteously concluded and me around for the sweet family on the sabbath

 

trip the second:

on the reconnaissance earlier, dejected at finding a kitty-litter summit, we'd paused after a tortuous overladen descent on the boulder field and pondered on future options - a man w/ an aid-climber's conscious could do a take on "infinite bliss" and find a bitching way up the crazy big blank face - it was sure to take a mort of mortal work, but bill n' geoff are true gentlemen all measured and solid for this kinda goofy shit - we banged up from p-town on a friday night and made camp up at the turn around on the forest road - stumble-fucking up the forest we arrived amazed and ready to ramble on - many mozzies n' deer flies this damned trip - pitch 1 went quickly between geoff and bill, the later bounding up free on low-angle stacked mossy talus to make an anchor atop tier 1 - me i got tier 2 - all bolts at first until i no longer feared the ledge, then lotza 2-hook moves in a row until reaching the top of the tier where i left a fixed hook to protect a low-angle romp to the second anchor - we retired to camp n' soggy fires n' fulsome screeching music - day 2 we jugged to the top of p2 and bill and geoff got up a ways before yielding to me, whereupon i drilled n' hooked to a high point we marked w/ red tat before descending and returning to our troubled and lonely little lives - i recollect getting a true n' glorious drunk on in the passenger seat n' slumbering back to vantucky :)

 

geoff putting up the first pitch on the scrubby, compact low-angle first tier

P6060034.JPG

the artist as a young asshole ascending the second steeper tier

P6060040.JPG

geoff workign on pitch 3, the first steps onto the very steep lower wall

P6060042.JPG

 

trip the third:

lovely ospreys n' robins round the lake - pete n' pam play camp hosts - camp weddings n' nightly fishing sheenaningans - muskrats n' pond-skimming swallows - bastard mozzies n' mean biting flies, mostly in obeisance for the first couple cold days, but growing in malevolence as the weather waxed towards wicked hot - the sweet ne face of Tower almost totally shade-soaked for the mid-morning riser - kids n' retirees n' rv's n' jumping trout n' tame dogs - the listless routines of an aimless life - awake w/ the sun - fresh shits n' dewy breakfasts - a short but grim uphill grind through steep forest w/ plentiful windfall, shirt soaked through by the time we hit the sunny talus field at the base but soon blessed w/ shade - warm juggy work to start and then to the serious business - fear frenzies despite being armed w/ all the wonderful war machines of modern man - a long time of terror n' toil - the day dispatched, we make a rapid descent, each time by a different winding way - beer n' stripping soaked clothes off at the mercifully close car - me auolde yosemite food bin rummaged through for a desperate dinner, usually of beer n' tobacco n' pringles n' whatever benevolent bill threw my way - an hour or so of bird-watching n' binge-reading on maggie thatcher's frigid teeming fucking bush - to sleep at the post-gloaming in a grand 6-man tent alone, racked out on a queen sized inflatable air mattress, wrapped in down and dozy drunkenness - the night passed moaning to sore muscles as i twist n' turn until the dawn drags me to my addled senses, then it all runs off the reel much as it reckoned the day before...

 

first several days of murmurings n' mumblings w/ just me n' bill (me a damn baby in comparison to my venerable and august elder - that baby weighing in at a mean 250 bare-nekkid pounds and a coward to boot of course) - bill a bastion of genteel sincerity that must sadly have bitch-left this world many generations ago - me strangely silent of song for days - my mind scrambled and saddened by the robust requirements of 6-weeks of family-left sorrows gone off in the valley - eventually songs to lift my times and shape my senses - "mining for gold" by the cowboy junkies running on an eternal loop in my mind - long after-shocks of "burn down the mission" caused by geoff for sure

 

after 3 days of toil we grow weary and call in the cavalry - the silverman boys gonna come down n' save us from our misery - we make a rest day out of walking the mountain side w/ them, then retiring to the big boulder to pound pbr's n' provide Adult Supervision - they lounge around camp afterwards, contemplating on crashing the redneck wedding well under-way - we smoke bales of weed n' cackle n' cough n' find high times are treasure enough in this wicked world - eventually all good things must get on the bus w/ gandhi though and they roll off into the night in the hms revenge, ready i hope to return for more

 

the last day done-off as surely as a band-aid - after a fearful arduous jug up the wild steep fixed lines ole bill baits the question ("good news or bad?" - which would you take?) - - dedication to a last day of determined work - 5 hours of bolting and hooking on endless steep traversing ground until i was gut-wrenched at what it was likely to take me to get get back to bill - epic amounts of gear left as i rapped into the void and quickly grew dependent on bill to reel me back in - the retreat then fully declared we rapped n' ruminated n' laid our plans like parchment paper, all of it ultimately putting us on sweet terra-firma w/ a fuck-load of gear to get off - surprised by bill's pronouncement of this day, i had no proper pack to cram all the crap into

 

eventually we ambled on down the way, me overloaded like a gypsy carnival-whore w/ rope-bags aplenty such that i swooned on multiple occasions as the straps cut into me wind-pipe and i passed yards off unyielding to gratuitous thoughts, my mind in a true and lovely gray place - the last night spent in part w/ militant california-paul, such as exemplar of that shakespearean clap-trap about sounding of fuck-all and negative fury, yet yielding nothing :)

 

our objective from the relative sanity of the rv park n' its teeming trout pond

DSC02631.JPG

white-boys jugging the first 2 tiers - at this angle the lower wall takes up most of the entire frame, but the upper wall's just as big n' steeper

P6070047.JPG

700 feet of ropes n' route-making machine

Tower7.jpg

just starting the second pitch

Tower5.jpg

bags of bolts n' drills n' bullshit - starting to install pitch 4

Tower6.jpg

geoff at the top of p4, kyle jugging up to the mid-pt anchor

DSC02617.JPG

 

closing thoughts: happy to share the discovery w/ the nw brethren - leave yer self-righteous bolting morals at home w/ yer bitches - the place went unloved for a reason :) - the only cracks evident are where awful rock-fall is just a geologic fart-in-a-stiff-wind away - if intending to push the route higher (what's there is plenty for a day-tripper), please let me or bill or geoff know so one of us can come along - perhaps a dozen separate lines could be pushed to the top in the same style, each likely to take weeks n' 1000$ to put in place :) - recon trip to the top found almost no real rock up there - at some point all lines must turn to awful kitty litter, but maybe it'll go anyhow?

 

topo as it currently stands - hope to see this fucker get taller in the fullness of insensible time :)

 

topo8.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

- up to 30+ draws if clipping all bolts

- 2 bathooks (talons can work, but they risk blowing out the drilled holes)

- ideally 2 70 meter ropes, but 2 60'S can work if careful

- cheater stick not bad idea, as many of the bolts were installed by a fear-fucked orangutan at his max reach

- lower off tat or quick-links/biners for follower at traversing parts

- helmets essential - much potential for rockfall of all sizes, especially if hauling or jugging - base area very dangerous in strong winds or if below climbers on first 2 approach pitches - upper pitches largely protected from natural rockfall (be careful up there :) )

 

Approach Notes:

Exit 68 off i5 - east on 12 to randle (about an hour) - right (south) turn at randle (follow signs for tower rock RV park) - quick left about a mile south of randle, then another turn right about 6 miles later - rt turn at tower rock RV park/cispus learning center signs - left onto logging road (75?76?) just a 100 yards before rt turn to tower rock forest service camp (or straight for another mile to the RV park) - forest road is closed at gate near main road during winter/early spring - about 1 1/2 mile up road (stay on main road at split a 1/2 mile up) there's a turn around (about .25 mile past a steep switchback) - from there you can continue in car but there's no turnaround - walk or drive 1/4 mile to road-end - at wierd stone-forest-altar begin hiking up steep forrested slope - about 45 minutes to base - occasional game and human trails, generally trending right and up - copious windfall in middle section of trail - steeper for last 1/3 of trail - idea is to skirt talus field on right and join base from tree at right edge of wall - 1st bolt is just 5 feet off ground near clump of trees about 50 feet above a huge lounge-like boulder that is a great/safe observation spot

 

descent:

currently rapping from top of p5 to top of p4 is extra-ordinarly hard - in the future ideally there'll be a rap line straight down through p5 - for now be prepared to leave a fixed line to get back to the top of p4 and for the first rapper to have to haul the second back over - descending from the top of p4 requires 2 70 meter ropes or a stop at the mid-pt anchor (no rings) - the rap overhangs but you just barely touch the wall at the mid-pt anchor - use terrain to help you rap in the right direction

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Right on Gene. As Ivan pointed out, most of the cracks on this beast are just an indicator that there is loose rock there. Some of the windyness (crookedness) of the route was to avoid it.

 

There is a bad ass looking "offwidth/squeeze chimney" that looks like it has a difficult face approach. Ben and I got close to the base of it a few years back @ 100 feet up. There was a lot of loose rock to get through so slow going. Unfortunately, available time and Rotator Cuff shoulder surgery for each shoulder in succession plus the weight I put on laying around, pretty much means I can't get on that one anytime soon.

 

Ivan and I got close to the top of it and it's at @ 500 feet high, and looking at it from close up, what appears to be a squeeze chimney is actually 8 feet wide. It may have to be on my tick list till I pass on given how difficult it will be, but like to see Ben go tag it. The high likelyhood is that some badassed kid will climb the aid line and drop in from above before leading it I'd suspect. You can see it here, looks like a crack right under the P4 traverse drawn in red. That's 8' wide at the top, not a finger crack like it looks in the photo.

 

DSC02616.JPG

 

Another great TR Ivan! I think Ivan has the poets gift of naming, but still have a lurking suspicion that he's simply popping over to http://stupidbandnames.com/ and culling the dumb ideas out. Haha! Ivan certainly did all the heavy lifting on this route, and I'm very grateful that we could both contribute what the other did not have. (Ivan brought the strength, I brought the bolts:-).

 

BTW, I'll get a iphone video up soon of how the mornings went, but basically the daily wake up call was the significant and loud splat of an Osprey hitting the water for a morning trout. Talked to old boy about it, and he seemed philosophical about sharing. Didn't bother him if a few took the slow fat trout he'd paid for, he'd often clap his hands together to scare the waiting bird of of a tree and thus get a momentary reprieve for his fish - but the morning Conga Line of Fish Hawks seemed pretty extensive to me. Ivan seemed to think that the birds had a low percentage of fish to hits, but I saw 3 trout taken one morning before Ivan was even awake.

 

Anyway, Geoff will most likely be onboard for a return trip, be nice to get Ben on it too, but if anyone goes up there before us, please don't booty our gear. If you want to leave it at the base that's cool too(not much really, basically some draws on P5).

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See if this works. Sitting in a camp chair in our site.

 

[video:vimeo]134624574

 

 

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What in the hell did I just read? A "fear-fucked orangutan"? hahaha

 

Good work up there guys. That wide crack to the left does look pretty cool Bill.

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you'd dig it the most, steve - you should drag the plaidman up there for a look-see :)

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Dang

 

Ivan is right Steve, you guys would dig it. The rock is killer solid. Route is easy. Crap, Plaidman drug me out to a pile of mud Tower by Crooked River earlier this year you could almost kick steps in, he'd be so happy with this. Couple close ups of the 4th pitch.

 

As a belayer, I got real concerned here. Ivan goes around the corner and disappeared from view. You can see a fully detached block FROM THE GROUND! that I knew would be there someplace, and was fearful Ivan would get on it without recognizing what it was from up close. Ujahn and I have both had that happen to us at differing times elsewhere. The rope was inching up but I couldn't see Ivan althoguh I could hear him muttering about loose rock. I yelled up 3 times "YOU'RE NOT ON THAT BLOCK ARE YOU". He was off of it by @ 3 feet.

 

Ivan_on_lead.jpg

 

Rock close up.

 

Ivan_on_lead_P4_Tower_Rock.jpg

 

Below: The roof system visible zoomed in. That's Geoff and Kyle up there and it's their high point for the day. Geoff is dark clothing higher, Kyle near invisible at the belay in the lighter colors. We're taking the day off and lollygagging ...getting some photos. Just to the right of the belay is that monster unattached block you can see in P1 right over Ivans head. I was musing to Ivan, how much do you think that weights? I'm sure it would be in the tons, and there is no apparent way that is help up there other than friction. It would be the trundle of the century:-)

 

Tower_rock_close_up.jpg

 

Same photo as above not cropped.

 

Tower_rock_climb.jpg

 

 

Here's the overview of Tower Rock from the Tower Rock RV campground. Say hi to Peter and Pam who run the place, good folks. Pretty cool thing, while we were there, a goodly chunk of the Nisqually tribe was there. Doing day trips Huckleberry picking and fishing. For part of the day they were picking right where the short easy trail goes to the top of the Tower. They'd seen my red shirt up on the wall from below so when the red shirt guy came back, instant recognition and they wanted to talk climbing. Good folks.

 

The roof is visible in the pic not far above the tree branches.

 

Tower_from_Camp.jpg

 

Gotta go. My boys is in town and just woke up. We're off to Beacon for the day. C YA

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That shot from the rv park makes it look like leaning tower. Great stuff.

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That is one hell of a crag. I am now jonesing to get up there and check it out. Not sure if I can drag the Plaidman away from the Adventure Queen, but maybe can twist Ivan's arm to take me for a spin. Looks wild with tons of potential, but out in the boondocks.

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not so far in the boondocks fo'shiz, it's less than driving to smith :)

 

and indeed, much like leaning tower, especially the first pitch :)

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Trip: Tower Rock - FA - Rapunzel's Back in Rehab - C1

 

Date: 7/15/2015

 

Trip Report:

The Beast - don't be fooled, them thare are full-grown trees :)

DSC02611.JPG

Tower Rock, 2 hours from everywhere, appears oddly neglected - Brown Beckey's got the tiniest blurb of the single route up it done in 1982 (anyone know of a second ascent? i can't find anyone who's tried it) but no picture n' no topo - tim olson's oregon rock guide has some more detail than beckey, but still the vast monolith appears to have continued unloved

 

tower's just south of randle, an unladen swallow's flight from the cispus river - the face is gigantic,something like 1200 feet tall - the rock is basaltic, according to beckey, but like nothing i've seen - like over-baked brownies, it's composed of a hodge-podge of components - incredibly solid and compact, it's cross-hatched in all directions, crackless, and crumbles into bricks and blocks of all conceivable sizes - the tower looms over it's talus field, fiercely steep, it's upper-wall reminiscent of the right side of el cap, incredibly bulging and over-hanging

 

tower is composed of two giant faces seperated by a ledge/fault system that was the path taken by the first team to climb the face - currently, after 7 days of effort, our route climbs the lower wall - it'll be just as much work to finish the upper wall, if the rock quality holds

 

as it currently exists

DSC02616.JPG

yeah, there's a lot more to go, but as it stands, what's there is 600 feet tall and a great day-tripper's aid adventure already - i figure the worst that can come of telling folks about this now before it's complete is that some other sad fools can go do it for me :)

DSC02612.JPG

 

trip the first:

fuck, this happened so long off i wonder if my recollection's right at all - me n' bill n' ben in the late winter - a burr up their bespectacled asses about a mythical 10-pitch free route up a largely untouched tower - the plan to hike to the top then set a rap-line down the likely route - out of town on a friday night to the frightful fall of rain - ghetto camp before the gate in gales of damnable damp - the roar of frogs - the next morning the most sordid thang - endless hours uphill w/ drill n' bolts n' chains in the continuous cloud-fuck n' frenzied chilly breeze - near the summit gob-smacked to gain a blazed trail barely a mile from a seasonal road - the top a huge disappointment, it characterized by clouds and beaming rainbows and rock so rude they rarely accoladed the attribution - soon there after the weekend righteously concluded and me around for the sweet family on the sabbath

 

trip the second:

on the reconnaissance earlier, dejected at finding a kitty-litter summit, we'd paused after a tortuous overladen descent on the boulder field and pondered on future options - a man w/ an aid-climber's conscious could do a take on "infinite bliss" and find a bitching way up the crazy big blank face - it was sure to take a mort of mortal work, but bill n' geoff are true gentlemen all measured and solid for this kinda goofy shit - we banged up from p-town on a friday night and made camp up at the turn around on the forest road - stumble-fucking up the forest we arrived amazed and ready to ramble on - many mozzies n' deer flies this damned trip - pitch 1 went quickly between geoff and bill, the later bounding up free on low-angle stacked mossy talus to make an anchor atop tier 1 - me i got tier 2 - all bolts at first until i no longer feared the ledge, then lotza 2-hook moves in a row until reaching the top of the tier where i left a fixed hook to protect a low-angle romp to the second anchor - we retired to camp n' soggy fires n' fulsome screeching music - day 2 we jugged to the top of p2 and bill and geoff got up a ways before yielding to me, whereupon i drilled n' hooked to a high point we marked w/ red tat before descending and returning to our troubled and lonely little lives - i recollect getting a true n' glorious drunk on in the passenger seat n' slumbering back to vantucky :)

 

geoff putting up the first pitch on the scrubby, compact low-angle first tier

P6060034.JPG

the artist as a young asshole ascending the second steeper tier

P6060040.JPG

geoff workign on pitch 3, the first steps onto the very steep lower wall

P6060042.JPG

 

trip the third:

lovely ospreys n' robins round the lake - pete n' pam play camp hosts - camp weddings n' nightly fishing sheenaningans - muskrats n' pond-skimming swallows - bastard mozzies n' mean biting flies, mostly in obeisance for the first couple cold days, but growing in malevolence as the weather waxed towards wicked hot - the sweet ne face of Tower almost totally shade-soaked for the mid-morning riser - kids n' retirees n' rv's n' jumping trout n' tame dogs - the listless routines of an aimless life - awake w/ the sun - fresh shits n' dewy breakfasts - a short but grim uphill grind through steep forest w/ plentiful windfall, shirt soaked through by the time we hit the sunny talus field at the base but soon blessed w/ shade - warm juggy work to start and then to the serious business - fear frenzies despite being armed w/ all the wonderful war machines of modern man - a long time of terror n' toil - the day dispatched, we make a rapid descent, each time by a different winding way - beer n' stripping soaked clothes off at the mercifully close car - me auolde yosemite food bin rummaged through for a desperate dinner, usually of beer n' tobacco n' pringles n' whatever benevolent bill threw my way - an hour or so of bird-watching n' binge-reading on maggie thatcher's frigid teeming fucking bush - to sleep at the post-gloaming in a grand 6-man tent alone, racked out on a queen sized inflatable air mattress, wrapped in down and dozy drunkenness - the night passed moaning to sore muscles as i twist n' turn until the dawn drags me to my addled senses, then it all runs off the reel much as it reckoned the day before...

 

first several days of murmurings n' mumblings w/ just me n' bill (me a damn baby in comparison to my venerable and august elder - that baby weighing in at a mean 250 bare-nekkid pounds and a coward to boot of course) - bill a bastion of genteel sincerity that must sadly have bitch-left this world many generations ago - me strangely silent of song for days - my mind scrambled and saddened by the robust requirements of 6-weeks of family-left sorrows gone off in the valley - eventually songs to lift my times and shape my senses - "mining for gold" by the cowboy junkies running on an eternal loop in my mind - long after-shocks of "burn down the mission" caused by geoff for sure

 

after 3 days of toil we grow weary and call in the cavalry - the silverman boys gonna come down n' save us from our misery - we make a rest day out of walking the mountain side w/ them, then retiring to the big boulder to pound pbr's n' provide Adult Supervision - they lounge around camp afterwards, contemplating on crashing the redneck wedding well under-way - we smoke bales of weed n' cackle n' cough n' find high times are treasure enough in this wicked world - eventually all good things must get on the bus w/ gandhi though and they roll off into the night in the hms revenge, ready i hope to return for more

 

the last day done-off as surely as a band-aid - after a fearful arduous jug up the wild steep fixed lines ole bill baits the question ("good news or bad?" - which would you take?) - - dedication to a last day of determined work - 5 hours of bolting and hooking on endless steep traversing ground until i was gut-wrenched at what it was likely to take me to get get back to bill - epic amounts of gear left as i rapped into the void and quickly grew dependent on bill to reel me back in - the retreat then fully declared we rapped n' ruminated n' laid our plans like parchment paper, all of it ultimately putting us on sweet terra-firma w/ a fuck-load of gear to get off - surprised by bill's pronouncement of this day, i had no proper pack to cram all the crap into

 

eventually we ambled on down the way, me overloaded like a gypsy carnival-whore w/ rope-bags aplenty such that i swooned on multiple occasions as the straps cut into me wind-pipe and i passed yards off unyielding to gratuitous thoughts, my mind in a true and lovely gray place - the last night spent in part w/ militant california-paul, such as exemplar of that shakespearean clap-trap about sounding of fuck-all and negative fury, yet yielding nothing :)

 

our objective from the relative sanity of the rv park n' its teeming trout pond

DSC02631.JPG

white-boys jugging the first 2 tiers - at this angle the lower wall takes up most of the entire frame, but the upper wall's just as big n' steeper

P6070047.JPG

700 feet of ropes n' route-making machine

Tower7.jpg

just starting the second pitch

Tower5.jpg

bags of bolts n' drills n' bullshit - starting to install pitch 4

Tower6.jpg

geoff at the top of p4, kyle jugging up to the mid-pt anchor

DSC02617.JPG

 

closing thoughts: happy to share the discovery w/ the nw brethren - leave yer self-righteous bolting morals at home w/ yer bitches - the place went unloved for a reason :) - the only cracks evident are where awful rock-fall is just a geologic fart-in-a-stiff-wind away - if intending to push the route higher (what's there is plenty for a day-tripper), please let me or bill or geoff know so one of us can come along - perhaps a dozen separate lines could be pushed to the top in the same style, each likely to take weeks n' 1000$ to put in place :) - recon trip to the top found almost no real rock up there - at some point all lines must turn to awful kitty litter, but maybe it'll go anyhow?

 

topo as it currently stands - hope to see this fucker get taller in the fullness of insensible time :)

 

topo8.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

- up to 30+ draws if clipping all bolts

- 2 bathooks (talons can work, but they risk blowing out the drilled holes)

- ideally 2 70 meter ropes, but 2 60'S can work if careful

- cheater stick not bad idea, as many of the bolts were installed by a fear-fucked orangutan at his max reach

- lower off tat or quick-links/biners for follower at traversing parts

- helmets essential - much potential for rockfall of all sizes, especially if hauling or jugging - base area very dangerous in strong winds or if below climbers on first 2 approach pitches - upper pitches largely protected from natural rockfall (be careful up there :) )

 

Approach Notes:

Exit 68 off i5 - east on 12 to randle (about an hour) - right (south) turn at randle (follow signs for tower rock RV park) - quick left about a mile south of randle, then another turn right about 6 miles later - rt turn at tower rock RV park/cispus learning center signs - left onto logging road (75?76?) just a 100 yards before rt turn to tower rock forest service camp (or straight for another mile to the RV park) - forest road is closed at gate near main road during winter/early spring - about 1 1/2 mile up road (stay on main road at split a 1/2 mile up) there's a turn around (about .25 mile past a steep switchback) - from there you can continue in car but there's no turnaround - walk or drive 1/4 mile to road-end - at wierd stone-forest-altar begin hiking up steep forrested slope - about 45 minutes to base - occasional game and human trails, generally trending right and up - copious windfall in middle section of trail - steeper for last 1/3 of trail - idea is to skirt talus field on right and join base from tree at right edge of wall - 1st bolt is just 5 feet off ground near clump of trees about 50 feet above a huge lounge-like boulder that is a great/safe observation spot

 

descent:

currently rapping from top of p5 to top of p4 is extra-ordinarly hard - in the future ideally there'll be a rap line straight down through p5 - for now be prepared to leave a fixed line to get back to the top of p4 and for the first rapper to have to haul the second back over - descending from the top of p4 requires 2 70 meter ropes or a stop at the mid-pt anchor (no rings) - the rap overhangs but you just barely touch the wall at the mid-pt anchor - use terrain to help you rap in the right direction

9/5-6 - trip the fourth w/ geoff n' bryan - 3 days of school, the easy ones, dispatched and snap, whizz, bang it was friday afternoon and we were flying down the highway, heading north, clutching cans n' cackling at this wicked world we are so at home in - ominous omens, devil-eyed little girls glaring out of death-cold cars at us - road signs: "the time of the lord is here" - jesus, we'd best tread lightly

 

the tower rock rv park at dusk, the ride dispatched in minutes it seemed, fueled by high-octane what-have-you n' plebian pbr's - the park much as i left it, riddled w/ well-heeled red-necks n' pam n' pete n' a feller i'm pretty sure ain't named larry but will ever here-after be for me :)

 

got good n' whiskey-drunk w/ hood-river spirits sitting round the fire n' sorted n' packed n' planned for the day to come and soon enough it was upon us - up at 630 to grits n' coffee n' black tobacco

 

holy shit, plenty of weight to pull us down on the slow amble up-hill but within the hour we'd handled it and got to the glory - bryan, his first visit to the wall, had spoken in pure-drunken-honestness of the ease w/ which he'd dispatch it all, so for his sins we gave it to him - he gamboled up the first 2 pitches easy enough as geoff n' i smoked n' chuckled n' occasionally jugged

 

geoff did p3, a looooong way to go on bolts, much like leaning tower i suppose - i then did p4, so much fun now that i'm not fear-sweating it like on the first ascent, more than half-certain the huge roofs blocks would rain down on me once rattled by the roar of the drill

 

atop 4 the boys lost their motivation n' sense of adventure i reckon - it was late afternoon for sure, but i'm sure we could have completed p5 and put in our new rap line by dark, but it would have meant being late for a triumphant performance by the tower rockers band down at the rv park and of course cutting into precious drinking time, so with tears in my heart i consented to just fixing the first 4 pitches and coming back the next day

 

a surrealistic night for certain - dogs n' fishers n' baby gymnasts n' rv's of a thousand descriptions - not 1 but 2 bands, quite possibly the laziest ever, each managing to play perhaps a total of 30 minutes w/ at least 6 set-breaks thrown in to keep their buzzes on - a roaring fire n' light-flecked lake to seperate us from the heathen masses, which we nonetheless joined from time to time to see if any hotties under the age of 50 had arrived (they hadn't :( )

 

the hedonistic scene concluded with brutal finality when the heavens opened and the fuck-sky descended around eleven - a steady baptist downpour off and on from then till well after dawn

 

sunday morning a savage one, as they always are it seems - the dregs of the whiskey sitting sullenly upon my senses - the unceasing rain toasting all hopes for progress up the mist-wracked tower - in time the melancholia did end though, as all misery must, and we hoofed it back up to the wall to see if anything could be done - by then it was so late, the wall so streaming, the likelihood of yet another dousing so certain that it was w/ half a heart me n' bryan began jugging - i made it most of the way back up to the highpt, cursing n' crying on the last stretch, only to see bryan fighting the soaked ropes of the first pitch w/o much success - the signs were shit, so i surrendered to the inevitable yet again and settled for a few hours drink'n'n'smoke'n around the base, poking around to suss out future projects - bryan contrived to bring the party to a smashing conclusion by slipping and slicing a big fat bloody smile into the meat of his hand, a moment redolent w/ nostalgia for geoff n' i as we thought of nastia last year :)

 

in the end we said fuck it and resolved to return next weekend, with the pleasant reward of getting to walk back down the hill w/ fuck-all upon our backs :)

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reckon anybody w/ a pair of prusiks could make it happen :)

 

you gonna be around next weekend steve? plenty of room for company, though i think you might be valley-bound? lost arrow gonna happen?

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Family. Wuz hanging with them all weekend and missed the group effort of almost tagging the high point. Was grinding teeth thinking of you all. :ass:

 

But the boat was running well, and would have missed this with my son (pulling pots), daughter, brother and Sadie May the elderly Terrier and trailer park floozy. In addition to being with a couple handfuls of other relatives I don't see much and my 93 year old mom who loves the coast but doesn't get out much these days.

 

https://video-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo-xlf1/v/t42.1790-2/11965038_10204837135276819_794597375_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjEzMzIsInJsYSI6MTMxN30%3D&rl=1332&vabr=740&oh=8d946249f6e99fc4e6f1989b67531a30&oe=55EEFCCA

 

15 crab, 40 clams, 2 bottles of bourbon. Oh, and the whales were doing National Geographic poses and migrating plentiful right below the Cape Lookout point after a 2 mile hike in excellent weather.

 

Rematch with the beast next weekend. :tup:

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Trip: Tower Rock - FA - Rapunzel's Back in Rehab - C1

 

Date: 7/15/2015

 

Trip Report:

The Beast - don't be fooled, them thare are full-grown trees :)

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Tower Rock, 2 hours from everywhere, appears oddly neglected - Brown Beckey's got the tiniest blurb of the single route up it done in 1982 (anyone know of a second ascent? i can't find anyone who's tried it) but no picture n' no topo - tim olson's oregon rock guide has some more detail than beckey, but still the vast monolith appears to have continued unloved

 

tower's just south of randle, an unladen swallow's flight from the cispus river - the face is gigantic,something like 1200 feet tall - the rock is basaltic, according to beckey, but like nothing i've seen - like over-baked brownies, it's composed of a hodge-podge of components - incredibly solid and compact, it's cross-hatched in all directions, crackless, and crumbles into bricks and blocks of all conceivable sizes - the tower looms over it's talus field, fiercely steep, it's upper-wall reminiscent of the right side of el cap, incredibly bulging and over-hanging

 

tower is composed of two giant faces seperated by a ledge/fault system that was the path taken by the first team to climb the face - currently, after 7 days of effort, our route climbs the lower wall - it'll be just as much work to finish the upper wall, if the rock quality holds

 

as it currently exists

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yeah, there's a lot more to go, but as it stands, what's there is 600 feet tall and a great day-tripper's aid adventure already - i figure the worst that can come of telling folks about this now before it's complete is that some other sad fools can go do it for me :)

DSC02612.JPG

 

trip the first:

fuck, this happened so long off i wonder if my recollection's right at all - me n' bill n' ben in the late winter - a burr up their bespectacled asses about a mythical 10-pitch free route up a largely untouched tower - the plan to hike to the top then set a rap-line down the likely route - out of town on a friday night to the frightful fall of rain - ghetto camp before the gate in gales of damnable damp - the roar of frogs - the next morning the most sordid thang - endless hours uphill w/ drill n' bolts n' chains in the continuous cloud-fuck n' frenzied chilly breeze - near the summit gob-smacked to gain a blazed trail barely a mile from a seasonal road - the top a huge disappointment, it characterized by clouds and beaming rainbows and rock so rude they rarely accoladed the attribution - soon there after the weekend righteously concluded and me around for the sweet family on the sabbath

 

trip the second:

on the reconnaissance earlier, dejected at finding a kitty-litter summit, we'd paused after a tortuous overladen descent on the boulder field and pondered on future options - a man w/ an aid-climber's conscious could do a take on "infinite bliss" and find a bitching way up the crazy big blank face - it was sure to take a mort of mortal work, but bill n' geoff are true gentlemen all measured and solid for this kinda goofy shit - we banged up from p-town on a friday night and made camp up at the turn around on the forest road - stumble-fucking up the forest we arrived amazed and ready to ramble on - many mozzies n' deer flies this damned trip - pitch 1 went quickly between geoff and bill, the later bounding up free on low-angle stacked mossy talus to make an anchor atop tier 1 - me i got tier 2 - all bolts at first until i no longer feared the ledge, then lotza 2-hook moves in a row until reaching the top of the tier where i left a fixed hook to protect a low-angle romp to the second anchor - we retired to camp n' soggy fires n' fulsome screeching music - day 2 we jugged to the top of p2 and bill and geoff got up a ways before yielding to me, whereupon i drilled n' hooked to a high point we marked w/ red tat before descending and returning to our troubled and lonely little lives - i recollect getting a true n' glorious drunk on in the passenger seat n' slumbering back to vantucky :)

 

geoff putting up the first pitch on the scrubby, compact low-angle first tier

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the artist as a young asshole ascending the second steeper tier

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geoff workign on pitch 3, the first steps onto the very steep lower wall

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trip the third:

lovely ospreys n' robins round the lake - pete n' pam play camp hosts - camp weddings n' nightly fishing sheenaningans - muskrats n' pond-skimming swallows - bastard mozzies n' mean biting flies, mostly in obeisance for the first couple cold days, but growing in malevolence as the weather waxed towards wicked hot - the sweet ne face of Tower almost totally shade-soaked for the mid-morning riser - kids n' retirees n' rv's n' jumping trout n' tame dogs - the listless routines of an aimless life - awake w/ the sun - fresh shits n' dewy breakfasts - a short but grim uphill grind through steep forest w/ plentiful windfall, shirt soaked through by the time we hit the sunny talus field at the base but soon blessed w/ shade - warm juggy work to start and then to the serious business - fear frenzies despite being armed w/ all the wonderful war machines of modern man - a long time of terror n' toil - the day dispatched, we make a rapid descent, each time by a different winding way - beer n' stripping soaked clothes off at the mercifully close car - me auolde yosemite food bin rummaged through for a desperate dinner, usually of beer n' tobacco n' pringles n' whatever benevolent bill threw my way - an hour or so of bird-watching n' binge-reading on maggie thatcher's frigid teeming fucking bush - to sleep at the post-gloaming in a grand 6-man tent alone, racked out on a queen sized inflatable air mattress, wrapped in down and dozy drunkenness - the night passed moaning to sore muscles as i twist n' turn until the dawn drags me to my addled senses, then it all runs off the reel much as it reckoned the day before...

 

first several days of murmurings n' mumblings w/ just me n' bill (me a damn baby in comparison to my venerable and august elder - that baby weighing in at a mean 250 bare-nekkid pounds and a coward to boot of course) - bill a bastion of genteel sincerity that must sadly have bitch-left this world many generations ago - me strangely silent of song for days - my mind scrambled and saddened by the robust requirements of 6-weeks of family-left sorrows gone off in the valley - eventually songs to lift my times and shape my senses - "mining for gold" by the cowboy junkies running on an eternal loop in my mind - long after-shocks of "burn down the mission" caused by geoff for sure

 

after 3 days of toil we grow weary and call in the cavalry - the silverman boys gonna come down n' save us from our misery - we make a rest day out of walking the mountain side w/ them, then retiring to the big boulder to pound pbr's n' provide Adult Supervision - they lounge around camp afterwards, contemplating on crashing the redneck wedding well under-way - we smoke bales of weed n' cackle n' cough n' find high times are treasure enough in this wicked world - eventually all good things must get on the bus w/ gandhi though and they roll off into the night in the hms revenge, ready i hope to return for more

 

the last day done-off as surely as a band-aid - after a fearful arduous jug up the wild steep fixed lines ole bill baits the question ("good news or bad?" - which would you take?) - - dedication to a last day of determined work - 5 hours of bolting and hooking on endless steep traversing ground until i was gut-wrenched at what it was likely to take me to get get back to bill - epic amounts of gear left as i rapped into the void and quickly grew dependent on bill to reel me back in - the retreat then fully declared we rapped n' ruminated n' laid our plans like parchment paper, all of it ultimately putting us on sweet terra-firma w/ a fuck-load of gear to get off - surprised by bill's pronouncement of this day, i had no proper pack to cram all the crap into

 

eventually we ambled on down the way, me overloaded like a gypsy carnival-whore w/ rope-bags aplenty such that i swooned on multiple occasions as the straps cut into me wind-pipe and i passed yards off unyielding to gratuitous thoughts, my mind in a true and lovely gray place - the last night spent in part w/ militant california-paul, such as exemplar of that shakespearean clap-trap about sounding of fuck-all and negative fury, yet yielding nothing :)

 

our objective from the relative sanity of the rv park n' its teeming trout pond

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white-boys jugging the first 2 tiers - at this angle the lower wall takes up most of the entire frame, but the upper wall's just as big n' steeper

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700 feet of ropes n' route-making machine

Tower7.jpg

just starting the second pitch

Tower5.jpg

bags of bolts n' drills n' bullshit - starting to install pitch 4

Tower6.jpg

geoff at the top of p4, kyle jugging up to the mid-pt anchor

DSC02617.JPG

 

closing thoughts: happy to share the discovery w/ the nw brethren - leave yer self-righteous bolting morals at home w/ yer bitches - the place went unloved for a reason :) - the only cracks evident are where awful rock-fall is just a geologic fart-in-a-stiff-wind away - if intending to push the route higher (what's there is plenty for a day-tripper), please let me or bill or geoff know so one of us can come along - perhaps a dozen separate lines could be pushed to the top in the same style, each likely to take weeks n' 1000$ to put in place :) - recon trip to the top found almost no real rock up there - at some point all lines must turn to awful kitty litter, but maybe it'll go anyhow?

 

topo as it currently stands - hope to see this fucker get taller in the fullness of insensible time :)

 

topo8.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

- up to 30+ draws if clipping all bolts

- 2 bathooks (talons can work, but they risk blowing out the drilled holes)

- ideally 2 70 meter ropes, but 2 60'S can work if careful

- cheater stick not bad idea, as many of the bolts were installed by a fear-fucked orangutan at his max reach

- lower off tat or quick-links/biners for follower at traversing parts

- helmets essential - much potential for rockfall of all sizes, especially if hauling or jugging - base area very dangerous in strong winds or if below climbers on first 2 approach pitches - upper pitches largely protected from natural rockfall (be careful up there :) )

 

Approach Notes:

Exit 68 off i5 - east on 12 to randle (about an hour) - right (south) turn at randle (follow signs for tower rock RV park) - quick left about a mile south of randle, then another turn right about 6 miles later - rt turn at tower rock RV park/cispus learning center signs - left onto logging road (75?76?) just a 100 yards before rt turn to tower rock forest service camp (or straight for another mile to the RV park) - forest road is closed at gate near main road during winter/early spring - about 1 1/2 mile up road (stay on main road at split a 1/2 mile up) there's a turn around (about .25 mile past a steep switchback) - from there you can continue in car but there's no turnaround - walk or drive 1/4 mile to road-end - at wierd stone-forest-altar begin hiking up steep forrested slope - about 45 minutes to base - occasional game and human trails, generally trending right and up - copious windfall in middle section of trail - steeper for last 1/3 of trail - idea is to skirt talus field on right and join base from tree at right edge of wall - 1st bolt is just 5 feet off ground near clump of trees about 50 feet above a huge lounge-like boulder that is a great/safe observation spot

 

descent:

currently rapping from top of p5 to top of p4 is extra-ordinarly hard - in the future ideally there'll be a rap line straight down through p5 - for now be prepared to leave a fixed line to get back to the top of p4 and for the first rapper to have to haul the second back over - descending from the top of p4 requires 2 70 meter ropes or a stop at the mid-pt anchor (no rings) - the rap overhangs but you just barely touch the wall at the mid-pt anchor - use terrain to help you rap in the right direction

 

9/5-6 - trip the fourth w/ geoff n' bryan - 3 days of school, the easy ones, dispatched and snap, whizz, bang it was friday afternoon and we were flying down the highway, heading north, clutching cans n' cackling at this wicked world we are so at home in - ominous omens, devil-eyed little girls glaring out of death-cold cars at us - road signs: "the time of the lord is here" - jesus, we'd best tread lightly

 

the tower rock rv park at dusk, the ride dispatched in minutes it seemed, fueled by high-octane what-have-you n' plebian pbr's - the park much as i left it, riddled w/ well-heeled red-necks n' pam n' pete n' a feller i'm pretty sure ain't named larry but will ever here-after be for me :)

 

got good n' whiskey-drunk w/ hood-river spirits sitting round the fire n' sorted n' packed n' planned for the day to come and soon enough it was upon us - up at 630 to grits n' coffee n' black tobacco

 

holy shit, plenty of weight to pull us down on the slow amble up-hill but within the hour we'd handled it and got to the glory - bryan, his first visit to the wall, had spoken in pure-drunken-honestness of the ease w/ which he'd dispatch it all, so for his sins we gave it to him - he gamboled up the first 2 pitches easy enough as geoff n' i smoked n' chuckled n' occasionally jugged

 

geoff did p3, a looooong way to go on bolts, much like leaning tower i suppose - i then did p4, so much fun now that i'm not fear-sweating it like on the first ascent, more than half-certain the huge roofs blocks would rain down on me once rattled by the roar of the drill

 

atop 4 the boys lost their motivation n' sense of adventure i reckon - it was late afternoon for sure, but i'm sure we could have completed p5 and put in our new rap line by dark, but it would have meant being late for a triumphant performance by the tower rockers band down at the rv park and of course cutting into precious drinking time, so with tears in my heart i consented to just fixing the first 4 pitches and coming back the next day

 

a surrealistic night for certain - dogs n' fishers n' baby gymnasts n' rv's of a thousand descriptions - not 1 but 2 bands, quite possibly the laziest ever, each managing to play perhaps a total of 30 minutes w/ at least 6 set-breaks thrown in to keep their buzzes on - a roaring fire n' light-flecked lake to seperate us from the heathen masses, which we nonetheless joined from time to time to see if any hotties under the age of 50 had arrived (they hadn't :( )

 

the hedonistic scene concluded with brutal finality when the heavens opened and the fuck-sky descended around eleven - a steady baptist downpour off and on from then till well after dawn

 

sunday morning a savage one, as they always are it seems - the dregs of the whiskey sitting sullenly upon my senses - the unceasing rain toasting all hopes for progress up the mist-wracked tower - in time the melancholia did end though, as all misery must, and we hoofed it back up to the wall to see if anything could be done - by then it was so late, the wall so streaming, the likelihood of yet another dousing so certain that it was w/ half a heart me n' bryan began jugging - i made it most of the way back up to the highpt, cursing n' crying on the last stretch, only to see bryan fighting the soaked ropes of the first pitch w/o much success - the signs were shit, so i surrendered to the inevitable yet again and settled for a few hours drink'n'n'smoke'n around the base, poking around to suss out future projects - bryan contrived to bring the party to a smashing conclusion by slipping and slicing a big fat bloody smile into the meat of his hand, a moment redolent w/ nostalgia for geoff n' i as we thought of nastia last year :)

 

in the end we said fuck it and resolved to return next weekend, with the pleasant reward of getting to walk back down the hill w/ fuck-all upon our backs :)

trip the sixth - bryan n' bill - a week after a sodden deluge we returned, 4 pitches fixed n'all the shit already up there - had a union social i was in charge of on friday afternoon so arrived at the rendezvous dangerously deranged - i soon fell into a deep n' stupendous stentorious snoring sleep but rallied somewhere along the way to get groceries - we rambled on through the growing dark and reached the rv park after a good bit of bullshitting, my soul made right and brightly glowing

 

whiskey and whoop-whooping ensued - demented dean our neighbor definitely added to the what-have-you - saturday morning arrived all too early and we roused ourselves from half-horrid hangovers and rallied on up the hill

 

jugged to the top of 4, the last 2 not so bad w/ the 1-jug, 1-gri technique - i lead the jaunt up p5, all the draws still hanging on it since july - pumped in some more bolts about the high-pt anchor as the boys made their way up - a bit of a clusterfuck really, but what big-wall is complete w/o one every 200 fucking feet or so? :)

 

dem white fellers, despite my urgent exhortations, didn't snap at the sincere offer to lead the new pitch 6, so off i set, rather tired n' sore already, truth-be-told - the good thing about being a bit gored was the bolt-spacing stays generous

 

we'd set a 3 p.m. turnaround time as we needed to put in a whole new rap line, and i exceeded that by a wee-bit - was eager to end ascending after hitting supper steepness combined w/ loose n' hollow rock

 

bill led the raps down, putting in surprisingly only 2 stations - the 2nd one being damn near exactly 60 meters, ending after a huge stretch of overhang ontop of a terrifying shattered tower

 

saturday night a staid one by last week's standards - salami n' jalapeno bread - whiskey once again n' big batches of burgundy n' black n' green tobacco - moby dick goddammit - cave man tv, but bill checked out before it got really interesting - early to bed

 

sunday broke gloomy, mist-fuck all-about, brain aching n' bitchy - we humped it back up the hill n' broke out into the big open of the talus field even as the wisps of cloud cleared the tower - it was to be 3 serious long strenuous jugs, ones i'd like just as well to forget - bryan clocked'em for what they were n' whittled away the hours instead getting whiskey-drunk down in the boulders, dodging the fragments i flung off the cliff n' building up a bonfire

 

took a long time to regain the high-pt but after all that work it was insane to think of turning around, so bill being disinterested once again i took on the leading end - the bit of bad rock reached around the angle then returned to berserker attitude - the line i wanted turned out to terrifying to contemplate - a 50 square feet panel all hollow and horrid, rooflets w/ cluster-munitions abounding - the solution was a dead-horizontal traverse to a sweet ledge, but stil a few feet below the summit of the lower-wall

 

bill to the top, a god-send for his shivering ass no doubt - it was the lord's day so we hadn't that much time to fuck-around, so he did a little recon, put in a bolt, then returned - we sorted out the shit best left behind n' bolted for the ground

 

back down i discovered some of the sad fragments of geoff's torque wrench which had precipitated itself down from 600 feet up after it foolishly believed it could fly - we sat round the fire for a bit n' bashed back down the hill, rounded up the camp shit, paid pete his blood-shekels n' then blasted back home through the growing gravid sky

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Holy smokes I can read that writing all day. Good stuff. BTW, even my sore muscles have sore muscles today:-)

 

My take. Day one: Archery season for Elk opener is today, and like Larry Curley and Moe, we all but screw all of the quiet men with bows and cammo's season by bouncing up the road early AM past all the parked 4wd trucks in the clown car with branches scraping all sides of the car. By now any sensible elk is bedded down or in the next county. Short hike. Soon we are in the overhanging jugging. Ass handed to me (us all actually). Hands and arms turned into cramping claw like pincers that won't open but successfully stay fully pinched closed. Ivan showed great wisdom in pitching the thought of a direct rap line off so as to avoid the horrendous 40-50 foot traverse which follows the route. Need to get a refund on the shoulder surgery that didn't work. Between the craw hands and pain in the shoulder, even rap bolting the anchors was a bitch. Prided myself in getting all the rocks off in the way down (more on that day 2) so that no one gets killed by a loose block. Start and end the day with Ibuprophen. Takes the pain off enough that I'm all but passed out at 8:30pm when the sun goes down, leaving the boyz to carouse by themselves at the picnic table.

 

Day 2, early to bed late to rise, but still the first up. Short hike up. Yesterdays excellent plan of the hound leading off seemed to not be happening so I jumped on it and easier jugging for less than 600' (starting up the hill) follows. Only hauling the drill and a couple ropes up leaves my fingers with strength and the claws don't return, but forgot the ibuprophen and the shoulder pain and 100 degree wall pretty much means I'm not lead bolting anything with a heavy power drill. In fact, just raising the right arm over the head at this time is difficult and painful. Ivan follows the jugging and finds a toaster/microwave that didn't get the memo that Bill was clearing ALL loose rocks off and off it goes to some loud crashing noizes. The hound - showing his wisdom, is nowhere near the base and he had lagged behind and wasn't even cued up to start, totally in the safe zone on the flat observation rock hundreds of feet away.

 

Ivan charges through like Odysseus with a drill after a quick PBR quaff and a smoke to get his lead head on. Gets to the high point. Yesterdays pants filling (for belayers) end of day exclamation had been something like: "OMG, there's like a huge detached sheet up here" followed by ominous hollow tapping hammer sounds reverbing in the rock and the spoken word: "shit, no sane person is climbing up there" (followed by quiet manically and worried sounding to my ears laughter). This mornings version sans laughter changed to: "I'm heading up anyway and we'll see" is soon changed to "going left after 3 or 4 placements." Some serious Olympic caliber loose rock tossing happens with Homeric shotput style toasters successfully tossed and/or heaved. It soon proves that Ivan nailed the right direction when a couple hours later he's on cruise with the anchors in and the rope fixed. I jug up to see him off to the left @30 feet on a beautiful moss covered/loose rock looking narrow walkway/ledge system. He must have been tired today as I'm able to clip the traverse bolts near normal like with my shorter than normal reach if I just strain a little bit to reach the bolts far out there. Grabbing what appears to be a great handhold at the endish of the traverse to gain the ledge proves the illusions we labor under in life when it chooses to move towards me. No way it's getting tossed due to it's large size. Ivan of course points out that it's loose after I've moved it a few inches out. I push it back. Leaving the time bomb for sunnier days I'm soon up and ensconced in the well organized cluster that Ivan has well in hand. "We should have a solid 30 min left, if we can get up there we'd be certainly doing the Lords work" he's says.

 

I look up. Maybe? hmmm. By now the shoulder is near excruciating but as the claws haven't yet returned I entertain the thought that a brief free climbing sojourn might get us the big ledge above. Think Thank God Ledge on Half Dome where everyone thinks they are going to bravely walk across it but invariably all wind up dropping down and either slithering or hand traversing, same here as I step on what appears to be a narrow flat ledge soon enough proves to be a soft fluffy moss hummock that is thinking that gravity and the ground is but a short flight away and in it's lexicon. Pondering how many loose rocks may be under said moss and the swinging fall that would most likely in quick succession have the rope dig into a hummock and then lift a hidden loose microwave block to boff my head as I'm swinging in space (it's steep here) if I pitched leaving Ivan holding that bag, I'm down on my knees in short order and crawling out there . No pride. Get to the end and the thing looks harder to free than I thought but Ivan encourages me to crawl back and grab the drill to put in a bolt. With even less pride I slither backwards, full on belly crawl that few snakes could duplicate, not even daring to be on my knees. All pride out the window. Thinking of life's irony's -in this case, "how did the best free climber of the group wind up sleeping on a rock at the base all day and the gimped up old guy gets handed this one. The thought of hanging on the gimp arm while trying to hold the drill in the slightly less gimpy one while standing on loose blacks leads to the thought that I'm not in any shape to free this pitch. No time for a bolt ladder, but I'd be inclined to not resort to that anyway if it could go free by a better man. Bolt goes in on tippytoes into a fantastic small patch of solid rock and then I can't reach to wrench it, but take a cleansing happy breath when I clip into it and make the move to get up and tighten it down. I look up and the pitch doesn't look quite so hard now. *cough* cough* Pride slightly returns when I'm able to walk upright like a man back to the belay with a fixed handline now in place, the moss still springy and giving but at least no loose blocks hidden underneath fly off.

 

We head down with most of the full shit show. Leaving a few pieces for the next rematch and head home. I stagger into the house to a happy dawg and the wife who says: darn you're filthy, you had fun didn't ya?" Haha. Good times.

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Damn that looks good! Great TR, and nice work. It's got me itching to look a little closer. Can't do it this year, but next spring is a definite possibility.

Is the rock as solid as the pictures make it look? I'm real interested in attempting to bolt and free a line up the arete/face that is marked by the yellow line I drew in the pic Ivan posted. It looks pretty sweet from the few glimpses I can get through the posted pics!

 

DSC026121.JPG

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Damn that looks good! Great TR, and nice work. It's got me itching to look a little closer. Can't do it this year, but next spring is a definite possibility.

Is the rock as solid as the pictures make it look? I'm real interested in attempting to bolt and free a line up the arete/face that is marked by the yellow line I drew in the pic Ivan posted. It looks pretty sweet from the few glimpses I can get through the posted pics!

 

Really? OK. Certainly worth the hike. BTW, hunting season is on, archery just started (still safe) modern rifle is soon, so wear some blaze orange - not joking about that. The other huge bit of good advice is this. Watch for loose rocks. Or blocks. Or whatever is bigger than a block.

 

The locals say that shit comes flinging off at all kinds of crazy times. Huge stuff, scary stuff, very loud stuff at random and odd times and all hours is what they say. Ivan and I hiked up one morn, and the 10-15 mph winds alone were knocking off softball to toaster sizes (from higher than Beacon Rock in some instances) regular like rain on a wet day. I'd never seen anything like it in my 43 years of climbing.

 

We thought we had solid rock, but it really wasn't. It comes out of everywhere. I just took a glancing blow from a baby rock Saturday right to the chest. Rare that I take a rock. Squirrel suitor 1200 feet up or so clearing the jump yelled rock, and then tossed several. A tiny one took a few bounces and smacked me hard. I think with some honest effort, the first 2 pitches we put in would be great free climbing. Touch base with Ivan and I and tag along next trip if you want. We'd love your company Michah. Great stone, great camping.

 

You can free the next 40' section of our route, figure out a new line for spring, and let an old guy off the hook. Cough**cough**.

 

oh, edit. As an aside. Proud route, yellow line. But I'm not sure that Chris Sharma rap bolting, would be able to free it if he worked on it till he was as old as me {old} even if he had Adam Ondra pushing on his ass from below.

 

Ponder this. The moss gets wet (and gets the freeze thaw action). Anything with no moss is so steep it almost or actually overhangs and stays dry. Its flaky basalt/andesite. So steeper than Beacon but less solid. No cracks of substance.

DSC02616.JPG

 

PM sent.

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it's definitely worth looking at for yourself and there are some free climbing options i think, though indeed the simple truth is that this monolith has gone for so long unexplored b/c it's so different from traditional walls and crags - that is both cool and a bit of a conundrum :)

 

the rock is great though not terribly freeable when good (wicked steep and largely featureless) and awful frightening at many other times - it's not so easy to sort out by seeing when it'll be one way or t'other :)

 

anyhow, it's so close to vancouver it's worth the drive - if you're comfy doing easy aid, the current route is a worthy adventure

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they're regular as rain up there, them flying boi's - thought it was gonna turn into live snuff porn Saturday though :noway:

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George, right where he jumps is now a large (@ 3feet high) aluminum cross with a faded photo of some deceased jumper attached to it. Wonder if its the same guy in the vid.

 

DSCN3342.jpg

 

I think the wood one is now gone, but memory's play tricks. Do you remember from our wet soggy death march in the rain to the top Ivan?

 

There are 2 Tower Rock campgrounds. For $2 more I like these guys best (plug in power if you want it is available). It just seems super secure if you want to leave a $300 sleeping bag and the rest of your costly gear behind for the day or so, they're @ 3/4 of a mile further down the road from the first Tower Rock campground (Forest Service) sign: http://towerrockrv.com/

 

Further, this campground would be a world class place to just haul the family and the little kids for a civilized camping trip. Rent a cabin even.

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funny, I never made the connection between the crosses on top n' the jumpers :)

 

suppose that makes sense, we saw the memorials long before the jumpers...

 

that would appear to be the pt they jump from - jeebus, there's no real good diving board up there like on half dome

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