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bellows

[TR] Sharkfin Tower - Southeast Ridge 6/20/2016

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Trip: Sharkfin Tower - Southeast Ridge

 

Date: 6/20/2016

 

Trip Report:

Yesterday I celebrated my 39th trip around the sun by ditching work and heading to the North Cascades. An alpine start from Seattle had me feeling old but some coffee and a pretty sunrise driving north had me feeling young again. In reality I guess I'm starting to fall somewhere in between.

 

The road is still closed at the Eldorado trailhead so there are a few extra miles of road walking to warm up on before crashing up the overgrown climbers trail. Stream crossings were casual. Views in Boston Basin were stellar as always:

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A large group of 12 climbers left a nice boot pack up towards the Quien Sabe Glacier. From there the obvious gully to Sharkfin was obvious:

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A guide and client were near the top of the route by the time I tied into my rope solo. Snow on the initial low fifth pitch made things a little spicy. The next arete pitch was dry, super fun, and exceptionally clean:

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More snow on the final low fifth pitch let me to the top and stellar 360 degree views of Forbidden, Logan, Buckner, and everything in between:

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Some down climbing and two raps got me back to the snow and a long hike back to the truck. I accidentally upped the difficulty level of this trip by forgetting my food bag at home (!!!) and was bonking pretty hard on the road walk out. Thankfully I didn't have to outrun this guy:

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On the bright side leaving my food at home left me with a huge appetite for a big birthday dinner with my wife at Din Tai Fung in Seattle. Perfect start to my next trip around the sun!

 

Gear Notes:

Small rack, aluminum crampons and a whippet worked for me.

 

Approach Notes:

Access gulley is all snow but the moat at the bottom is melting quickly and may require some rock scrambling in the near future.

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Awesome! Happy birthday man. What a way to celebrate....big 4-0 is next! Just stay fit, you'll be fine. ;)

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Curious how you rope-soloed this, since so much of the route traverses? Did you have a ground anchor that you went back to clean after each pitch, or some other technique?

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Upward directional anchor at the bottom of each pitch, rope fixed to anchor with the rest stacked in my pack, tied in with a series of loops on clove hitches which I would release and reset as I got to the end of each loop, placing protection as I went along. Anchor at the top of each pitch and rap/downclimb to clean & reascend with a microtraxion.

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