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BootsandPants

[TR] Guye Peak - The very probable direct Improbable Traverse 8/30/2016

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Trip: Guye Peak - The very probable direct Improbable Traverse

 

Date: 8/30/2016

 

Trip Report:

I got Nathan's text message after finishing running the Si-Teneriffe loop Sunday night:

"Hey, we got weathered off the TFT. Want to climb something tomorrow?"

 

My legs still burning from lactic as I replied "Hell yeah, what did you have in mind?"

 

"Improbable traverse?"

 

Music to a North Bend resident's ears; only 20 minutes out the back door and a short approach to keep the tired legs happy.

 

We got a leisurely start hiking up the talus field beneath Guye's west face around 830AM and were at the base of the wall within the hour. We ended up scrambling up the first pitch and a half unknowingly and stopped at the sort-of-flattest spot we could find somewhere in the middle of the "pitch 2". From here, we climbed a dirty corner that for sure wasn't on route, but it looked way more fun and interesting than the loose 4th to mid 5th that was the actual pitch. During Nathan's lead, rocks began to rain down the face from above us, leaving us bracing into the wall, trying to be as small as possible, and wondering whether the rockfall was man-made, creature-made, or the mountain itself trying to swat us off.

 

Luckily unscathed, the climbing continued and this corner turned out to be pretty fun and protected well, so up we went to the base of a large vertical/slightly overhanging wall with a giant man-eating offwidth in it. While that feature looked super interesting, it was left for another day, and we made a leftward traverse through some overhanging loose blocks back onto the route proper and what we guessed was pitch 3.

This next lead was long, using all 50m of our rope to ramble up edges, dirty corners, laybacking a large flake (bring a #3 to protect this) and eventually making Lunch Ledge. Rockfall threatened us again during this lead, a large chunk coming way to close to us for comfort, so quickly and safely getting out of this choss funnel was in the forefront of our minds.

Once on Lunch Ledge, protected by an overhang, we took a quick break to water up and force down a bar. The sun was baking the face, so we didn't want to linger for long. We decided to climb the headwall crack directly above the ledge, skipping the traverse into the loose 4th class ramp, figuring that we'd be out of the line of fire quicker in case more rocks came down with that option. The headwall crack was quite fun; solid jams, pumpy down low, balancy up high, generally good rock. It was dirty in spots, but had no problems getting gear or holds. 50m straight up puts you right into the easy ramp that ends the technical portion of the route. While I've never done the traverse, I think this finish is a little more aesthetic and follows an unbroken line, it actually protects (I've heard the pins protecting the traverse aren't really doing much), the climbing is fun, and you bypass scrambling on the loose ramp. It's nice to have the alternative.

 

From the treed ledge, we scrambled up over lots of 4th and low 5th terrain to the summit and took the climbers trail back down to the Alpental parking lot, beers, and a crockpot full of chili.

 

Not bad for a Monday

 

Forgot to add some pictures; here you go

 

Intentional off-route fun

20160829_104500.jpg

 

Dirt Circus

20160829_111152.jpg

 

The exposed scrambling was really cool

20160829_134323.jpg

 

It was a beautiful (but hot!) day out

20160829_135331.jpg

 

Our route in red, traverse pitches in yellow

20160829_154927.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Single rack to 3 with a handful of nuts. If doing the headwall crack to bypass the traverse, another 1 and 2 may be helpful.

 

Approach Notes:

Park in a legal spot up Oberstrasse, or leave the car at the main Alpental lot. Either way, you'll have some walking to do.

 

Go up the talus field

Edited by BootsandPants

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lord i hate that talus approach

 

both the direct and original routes are fun, with the direct route being a bit harder (we also couldn't' really get an anchor at the top that way, which was skerry when my partner decided to hang for the better part of 10 minutes on the pumpy start :) )

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lord i hate that talus approach

 

both the direct and original routes are fun, with the direct route being a bit harder (we also couldn't' really get an anchor at the top that way, which was skerry when my partner decided to hang for the better part of 10 minutes on the pumpy start :) )

 

Yeah, that talus sucked some big ones, but at least it's literally right out of your car door. It's the ones that are at the ass end of an 8 hour hike that make me question my choice of activity.

 

We found a place for an anchor on the face right below the choss ramp, and then just did a quick "pitch" from there, up the ramp 30 feet to the trees and finished there. Seemed to work out ok!

 

Did you ever figure out who was throwing rocks at you?

 

Interestingly, there was also a big rockfall event sometime Monday morning at Exit 38. I wonder if there was a mini-quake or something else linking the events. Info here:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/massive-rock-fall-exit-38-routes-damaged/112108748

 

Holy shit; that's crazy. There were some guys who went up the NW Ramp around the same time, but I don't think they were that high up when the shit was coming down on us, and anything they kicked down would have probably gone over the other side. Would be crazy if it was a seismic event triggering it!

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Awesome report, nice work! Gotta put that route on our list. Who knew you could be alpine climbing and not actually suffer sometimes. This winter, we'll have to take you back here and do the Improbably Traverse with tools and 'pons!

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