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mattp

[TR] Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree / Shake, Rattle and Roll 8/10/2015

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Trip: Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree / Shake, Rattle and Roll

 

Date: 8/10/2015

 

Trip Report:

I've been working on an extension of the Big Tree routes for the last two seasons (I call it "Shake, rattle, and roll") and I was up there yesterday. It was, pleasantly, not too hot. There were three or four other parties up there and I think everyone had a good time.

 

Just below the Big Tree, there was a relatively new rappel station with a tri-cam and red webbing. If the person who left the tri-cam wants it back, send me an e-mail or a private message here on cc.com.

 

Many of the routes in Darrington are not intuitive because the climbing is best when avoiding the vegetated cracks and trees which dot the cliffs. Also, on many routes the original climbers did not install many bolts but even though later climbers installed more, the older routes in particular may remain scary.

 

Climbers new to the slab climbing or Darrington should first climb some of the better protected routes before venturing onto the more adventurous. And, if they do, Darrington will help prepare them (you) for the Tetons and the Bugaboos and just about any alpine rock climbing area in the world.

 

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Climbers new to the slab climbing or Darrington should first climb some of the better protected routes before venturing onto the more adventurous.

 

Hey Matt, can you list those better protected routes for darrington noobs?

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Big Tree is very adequately protected, I think the issue is staying on route the 3rd pitch that is the trick. It isn't any more runout than anything else. It also happens to be the very first route I climbed in the Darrington area back in 2000 when we moved to the area from eastern Oregon. I got totally off route on the 3rd pitch as I was "smooted" by the Washington falcon guide book. I had to lower back a ways and get back on route. I have climbed it several times since and once you know where to go, no worries. As far as better to best protected routes in the greater Darrington area with high concentration and least approach, Spring Mt. is your place.

Edited by shapp

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For an introduction to Darrington, and well-protected climbing, I'd start with Under the Board Walk, at Three O'Clock Rock. It is 5.7 at the start, then easier. It is really a sport climb and it'll give you a feel for the slab climbing. If that is too easy for you, try the first three short pitches of 'till Broad Daylight, just to the right. It is 5.8 and you can keep on climbing via The Kone (5.9) but you'll need to have a topo in your pocket or you may get confused. The Kone has probably twice the bolts it had when originally established, but it is definitely runout by modern standards. It also has a few of the old 1/4 inch bolts, but you can place gear beneath a rattly flake nearby and the climbing there is easiest enough that this is not a big deal.

 

If you are looking for 5.9, or 5.10, I'd recommend Silent Running (5.9) or Total Soul (5.10b or 5.10d). SR has 35 foot runouts on easier terrain, but it is well protected near any hard moves. Total Soul has a runout up to maybe 20 feet but, again, it has pro where you need it.

 

Exfoliation Dome has good climbing, and it is an amazing feature. Jacob's Ladder (5.10b A-0 or 5.11b), Rainman (5.10b), and Dark Rhythm (5.10b) are well protected if you have good trad skills, with DR being the easiest of the three. To the left is Sun Dried Tomatoes (5.12), which I have not climbed. I believe it is sport bolted.

 

Recent reports of scary rock on the West Buttress (5.9) are worrisome, but I have not been up there to check it and it may not be any worse than it has been for many years. The Dome is falling apart, and large flakes are in the process of falling off just as we've seen in Squamish and Yosemite recently.

 

Dreamer (5.9 on Green Giant Butress) is a great climb as well, though the approach is more substantial.

 

Lastly, there are a number of great climbs over on Squire Creek Wall. I'd recommend doing some of the routes in Clear Creek first, though.

 

A PDF guide to climbs in Clear Creek is available here: my Darrington Rock site. This does not have all the climbs in the area but it will get you started.

 

Darrington is very beautiful and, as I frequently tell people, it is a good place to learn about slab climbing that you will find if you venture to Squamish, the Bugaboos, or the Tetons. It is a local gem!

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Nice list Matt!

I would also add

"Dirt Circus" - 2 pitch 5.9

magic bus - 2 pitch 5.8+

 

They have recently been rebolted and have fun and safe climbing. You can find them climbers left of the arch area.

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