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Expert Advice Chair Peak


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So, I've been hoping to tick this one off since I moved out here. Looks like conditions avalanche wise are going to be moderate on Monday trending down, however with all the snow the pass got during the last storm I suspect this will be a wallow fest. Is it wise to attempt this climb on Monday or should I sallow that big nasty patience pill? I just really want to swing my tools....





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Not only are approach conditions important but the route conditions also.


I think with the low/no ice on NY gully on Snoqualmie that the N face of Chair is also going to be out of condition. Typically it is just slab rock underneath, there are no real features to dry tool like NYG. If you don't have consolidated snow or ice to climb it is a real sketch fest.


What we need is a nice melt freeze cycle and the thaw level has to get pretty high like 8K or something. Without that I doubt the route will be in.


There is an option though and that's the NE buttress which gets sun unlike the N face, so it can get some melt freeze and form up that way. But I doubt even that route will be fat and it may not even be continuous.


That valley is hella dangerous avalanche territory, I would be cautious even at the moderate level.

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I have to agree with Buckaroo, the approach to Chair Peak is very avalanche prone so it is wise to let things settle down. I am not convinced, however, that the conditions on NY Gully are a good predictor of Chair Peak conditions. But definitely allow enough time for the snow conditions consolidate.


Like Buckaroo said, if the NF is not in shape, the NE Buttress is an option and is climbable in a variety of conditions. It is actually very well featured and enjoyable as a mixed climb.

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The North Face of Chair is mostly dependent on snow and freeze/thaw to come into condition. I'd bet it's plenty climbable now. It's not often a pure ice climb though- steep neve' is more the norm.


+1 to the previous comments about avy danger: The Source Lake basin is dangerous, then you have to traverse from the NEB across the north face of Chair to get the route start on an avy-prone slope, and the descent route is also avy-prone.

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