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lutzman

[TR] Chair peak - NE Buttress 10/11/2015

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Trip: Chair peak - NE Buttress

 

Date: 10/11/2015

 

Trip Report:

On saturday afternoon I enjoyed a day of relaxation inside as heavy rain poured over the northwest. I spent the day plotting and brainstorming anything to do with my sunday, which looked favorable forecast-wise. Just needed a partner and a climb that would be exciting enough yet relatively easy given rock everywhere would likely be wet. Decided on Chair peak and enlisted my partner in crime Jimmie Smith.

 

We arrived at the parking lot shortly after 7am sunday morning and spent about 2.5 hours navigating our way up to the buttress. We saw the sun occasionally, while the mountain largely stayed shrouded in cloud cover. I racked up and started climbing into the foggy void excited for some cruiser scrambling/climbing. First pitch was of course the gully trending right, then up into the cluster of trees. As I expected, water was running down much of the entire first pitch. Although wet and without reliable protection, climbing was easy.

 

Almost at the top of the first pitch, where the gully climbs back directly up, I met a ledge. Here I placed a small cam, next to my piece were two large detached blocks about the size of a large torso each. Barely grazing them as I passed, both blocks rolled, dropped off the ledge into the gully and exploded. Most of the the bigger pieces of shrapnel bounced out and over the rim of the gully but to my horror many of the large pieces launched climbers left into the gully back to my belayer. Although rattled, when the smoke cleared Jimmie was unscathed and very lucky this time. Somewhat shaken I finished the pitch, brought him up and we exchanged expressions of holy fuck.

 

Next pitch, we climbed from the tree/heather bench up to another grouping of trees on the right hand side, just to the left of the arete. From here, while most people go left toward easier 4th class, I stayed right and lead up what looked like drier and better, albeit, more difficult rock. Moves were low 5th, but with slimy, insecure footing, and relatively sparse pro, I got my dose of adrenaline on this pitch. From here we climbed up more 3rd and topped out receiving views and sunshine on the summit. Maximum stoke ensued.

 

Most route descriptions describe the descent as a mix of downclimbing and rappelling. We downclimbed from the summit back to the top of pitch 3 and from there we were able to make 5 single rope rappels to the base with almost no downclimbing mixed in. This put my mind at ease as I wanted nothing to do with the predominately wet rock at this point.

 

The route was definitely more of a challenge than the 4th class scramble I expected. Much of that was based on my route choice and conditions, but, its reputation for loose rock is obviously well deserved. Felt good to push through all the difficulties and hazards and top it out, that’s what makes a great adventure.

 

sunshine on the approach

E1o0t30l.jpg

 

foggy scrambling on the approach

00J8AqTl.jpg

0IFwa7El.jpg

 

sunshine again and views out to Chimney from the summit

469kq3tl.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

small rack

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Am I wrong in that your second photo has a helmet on someone's pack? it doesn't work well there. :)

 

way to get after it in wet conditions! even in mtn boots!

 

 

Edited by genepires

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I threw the helmet on about 50 ft above this photo at the start of the route, along with the harness and rock shoes. Wish I could say I booted to the top!

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That route was probably my first climb, back, circa 1974. I had a spiffy new MSR yellow perlon climbing rope, rated at an impressive one fall!

Midway into what may have been the first pitch, I pulled off a fair sized rock, not quite of the size of your rockery de construction. But it chopped that new rope almost completely into two pieces. We retreated, to climb another day.....

 

I quit climbing way too long ago, but have been a practising arborist for 40 years now. I visit this forum now and then, but just joined, to reply and describe my similar adventure.

 

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That route was probably my first climb, back, circa 1974. I had a spiffy new MSR yellow perlon climbing rope, rated at an impressive one fall!

Midway into what may have been the first pitch, I pulled off a fair sized rock, not quite of the size of your rockery de construction. But it chopped that new rope almost completely into two pieces. We retreated, to climb another day.....

 

I quit climbing way too long ago, but have been a practising arborist for 40 years now. I visit this forum now and then, but just joined, to reply and describe my similar adventure.

 

Thanks for sharing. I was actually surprised my own rope was undamaged. it was a little close for comfort, but its these times after a safe finish where the beers taste the best in my opinion!

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