routes In Index WA

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Messages 1 - 162 of total 162 in this topic
crazygremlin

Trad climber
index, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 10, 2009 - 05:05pm PT
im just here to let yall now that there are badass routes going up to 5.13 trad in index, Wa...
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 10, 2009 - 05:09pm PT
yes some good routes but who wants to hike all their sh#t up there in the rain to climb on moss with loose hanging blocks above your head in the freezing cold.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 10, 2009 - 05:22pm PT

Donate now so they don't turn it into a quarry.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 10, 2009 - 05:26pm PT

What Moss?
crazygremlin

Trad climber
index, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2009 - 05:28pm PT
heh. it may be cold, but it dont get wet until around september. what loose blocks?
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 10, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Nov 10, 2009 - 07:25pm PT
Yeah, Index-fun-in-the-sun, dig it!

ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 10, 2009 - 07:27pm PT
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been land
Nov 10, 2009 - 07:54pm PT



Index?? Where's Index??????


---
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Nov 10, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Hardy-har-har!
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 11, 2009 - 02:22pm PT
Don't let this place get turned into a quarry. Please contribute to the cause at http://www.washingtonclimbers.org/IndexFund/
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 11, 2009 - 02:41pm PT
Hey Reily,

Is that actually at index? I know there are some rarely in ice routes on the upper wall...
MH2

climber
Nov 11, 2009 - 03:00pm PT
I am sure the good times continue, but perhaps we were more spiritual BITD.




Not so spiritual that we didn't need to dodge raindrops, though.


Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Nov 11, 2009 - 08:05pm PT
Ryan,
It was actually a waterfall near Mt Index.
I remember that smear forming once or twice up to the right of the
Diamond was it?
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 11, 2009 - 08:19pm PT
I think one of those gullies near the diamond has frozen

The main water fall on the upper wall reportedly froze briefly (and thinly) this last year but I don't think anyone got at it.

MH2, cool "spiritual" picture of iron horse. I can't tell but it kind of looks like there aren't any fixed pins at that point? There are two right at the crux there these days (and remnants of some old broken ones). Most people these days seem to make a delicate high step up and left at that point.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 11, 2009 - 08:24pm PT
that's cool new hard routes are still going up at index. great crag!
mec

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 10:39am PT
index is a great place. love it!
MisterE

Trad climber
Canoga Bark! CA
Nov 12, 2009 - 12:08pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/639909/Climbing_Partnerships_that_didnt_work_out
doc bs

Social climber
Northwest
Nov 12, 2009 - 12:39pm PT
Studly, ur third picture looks like the third pitch of Town Crier!
Blitz
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
Yes, it is the third pitch of Town Crier and it looks like you are leading it Doc! You fired it off in short order. :)
crazygremlin

Trad climber
index, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2009 - 05:43pm PT
anybody done breakfast of champions? its a 5.13 overhang and a really cool route.
Subiralto

Trad climber
WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 05:52pm PT
Breakfast of Champoins is 10a

A nice climb never the less.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 12, 2009 - 05:54pm PT
anybody done breakfast of champions? its a 5.13 overhang

Hmmm. I always thought Breakfast of Champions was that thirty-foot slightly overhanging 5.10 handcrack at the top of Roger's Corner. Is that crack part of a longer route that involves 5.13 climbing? Or are you just referring to the fact that Index 5.10 is the equivalent of 5.13 anywhere else?
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Nov 12, 2009 - 05:55pm PT
You've got to be Studly to climb there!
crazygremlin

Trad climber
index, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2009 - 05:56pm PT
arg.. sorry.. i was thinking of a 5.13 at the upper wall at the time and it screwed my head up.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 12, 2009 - 05:57pm PT
You've got to be Studly to climb there!

Oh, we all are. Definitely. Him too.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 06:08pm PT
You probably could make BOC 5.13 if you approached it via "virgin in on the ridiculous" or a free version of "snow white".

ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 06:22pm PT
Who can name the classic climb you can see almost none of in the below photo?

Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 12, 2009 - 06:37pm PT
Looks a little bit like the top of the second pitch of Rattletale
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Nov 12, 2009 - 06:43pm PT
http://www.climbing.com/photo-video/gallery/upper_and_lower_town_walls_index_washington/


Ryan the pins are just hard to see in MH2's photo.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 12, 2009 - 06:45pm PT
Yup, p2 Rattletail. Just not the fun bit.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Nov 12, 2009 - 10:30pm PT
City Park

Chinchen

climber
Anacortes, wa
Nov 12, 2009 - 10:49pm PT
A friend of my wifes just got a shack up there on the river. Ill be spending some more time there for sure!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 13, 2009 - 01:03am PT
Here are a few more shots of Rattletale -- which is a fine climb. There was another climb just to its left that was growing over, so we re-cleaned it and it turned out to be stellar as well. We later learned it is called Avenging the Goddess Kring.

This is the view off p2 of Rattletale seen from the approach.

Pitch three

This is the start of Avenging the Goddess Kring. The photo is by someone who goes by Alpinfox on cascadeclimbers.com (I think Mister E knows him). I lifted the photo from Cascade climbers and will delete it if alpinfox objects. But it's a good shot of a fine climb.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 13, 2009 - 09:47am PT
I've never climbed at that area of Index Ghost. Looks like stellar splitters, and now I have to wait till Spring, bummer.
Here's first pitch flake of Dana's Arch. Bolted sport climb now and goes free at 11b, but also a great pitch to practice skyhooking move after move with no penalty.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Nov 13, 2009 - 10:04am PT
My brother in law put up Little Phoenix-5.13 something. I know it's a shorter sport route but what's it like?
Arne
crazygremlin

Trad climber
index, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
ynow, the weather in index has been pretty killer the past few days. all sunny, cold and sh#t..

anybody tried iron horse at the lower wall?
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 13, 2009 - 01:32pm PT
I've done short Iron Horse on TR and am hoping to lead it next time I'm out there on one of these dry cool high friction days instead of stuck working.


Who can name this upper wall (modern) classic?
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Nov 13, 2009 - 01:49pm PT
You guys are making me hate the work hell I've been stuck in. Once I get some more free time I am sure it will rain for 90 days straight.

Just thought I'd add a quick update of the LTW situation. Yesterday the Director of Wa State Parks drove to Index from Olympia to discuss not only the status of the LTW but of the entire area. It seems everyone values the area but there is a still a lot of work to be done.


Here's a pic Bringmedeath took of the Golden Arch route. Only a body length section just before the belay hasn't been freed on this pitch:

I am pretty sure this corner has never had a second ascent:
MH2

climber
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:16pm PT
Nothing to do with 5.13 but here is a route right at the boundary of the self-quarrying of the Lower Wall in the 80s. Rock dust in the crack prompted Max to turn over the lead because of risk to his contacts.


MisterE

Trad climber
Canoga Bark! CA
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:24pm PT
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:27pm PT
MH2 -
Isn't that Preying Mantle not Tai & Randy?
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:29pm PT
Index is one of my most favorite places that I have ever been. I moved to Oregon and the climbing just isn't Index! I'm just working on an indoor gym at my house right now to get back in shape. Too bad I won't get the footwork I need for Index on it!

The last time I was there was a couple/few months ago. My girlfriend wanted to see the place because I've talked enough about the place to her to get her curious. I didn't understand some things. There is a lot more bolts there than a few years ago. I don't mind bolts but they are ugly and too many of them make a wall look like a piece of shitty modern art. Kinda weird that some of the older routes done by poster above are just covered in moss. They are hard and he has "magic feet". They should get cleaned and used.

Another thing, my Index guide has more notes about hanging on gear or pulling on pieces than any place I've climbed. I don't think I could even stand up on some of those smears and edges now. I think that place is great training for yosemite! Free or aid! Damn I need to train a ton and get back there!

I'd be curious how many people have freeded Green Dragon now. It's been a couple years since they pulled that off. Probably lots but then again it's Index...
MH2

climber
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
MH2 -
Isn't that Preying Mantle not Tai & Randy?

Thanks, you are right, of course.
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Nov 13, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
It's Preying Mantel for sure. Skin Graft is to the right. Preying... is pretty dirty as a few years ago. I always thought Bob and Doris looked really good. Never been on it free climbing though.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 13, 2009 - 03:07pm PT
Those shiny bolts? I'm pretty happy they are't old and rusty, but you're right they don't need to be so bright and shiny, maybe a little camo paint might work wonders?
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Nov 13, 2009 - 03:34pm PT
I'm all for replacing old bolts. I mean index is next to a railroad! I'm thinking of other stuff... doesn't really matter. I love index!

Did that guy have rope drag on jap gardens?

One of the mossy routes unless it's been cleaned. Pretty good and the one to the left looked rad even in a sea of moss!
Aiding in the rain. Super fun heading, done this one about 10 times.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 13, 2009 - 05:03pm PT
MrE, thats me! Eric Gratz took the photo I think, it was one of those hot late summer days we flailed our way to the base of the last pitch melting shoe rubber and dripping sweat the whole way before bailing and heading for the river.

This summer I think a lot of the cleaning action in the sky valley was on the various boulders that lurk in the woods:

An exploration photo:





the hobo

climber
Jan 25, 2010 - 07:44pm PT

This thread is going hell bent for glory.
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Jan 25, 2010 - 08:03pm PT
When I was working on freeing Japanese Gardens, I went in to Dave Page's for a resole, and said to him (tongue in cheek):

"Blew through another pair of shoes trying to free YOUR CLIMB!!"

Without pause, he retorted:

"It's a lot easier in aiders."
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 25, 2010 - 08:55pm PT
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 25, 2010 - 10:09pm PT

I still have scars on my wrists that make me look like a suicide survivor from leading Rattletale.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 26, 2010 - 12:26am PT
I still have scars on my wrists that make me look like a suicide survivor from leading Rattletale.

It's kind of like compressing the entire Split Pillar pitch at Squamish into about 30 feet. But harder.

Here's another classic Index sandbag -- Sagittarius. Originally graded 5.9 I think, and now often called 10b. But it spits out 10b climbers as fast as they get on it.

Crux comes low down

But it's got its moments higher up, as well.
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2010 - 12:57am PT

I've got those rattle tale scars too...
General Ripper

climber
GnarthWest
Jan 26, 2010 - 01:04am PT
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 26, 2010 - 01:09am PT
Ryanb - you have some great images.

Godzilla + Slow Children is about as good as it gets.
Sherri

Trad climber
WA
Jan 26, 2010 - 02:24am PT
I still have scars on my wrists that make me look like a suicide survivor from leading Rattletale.

Yep. But what a way to go. :)

ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2010 - 02:44am PT
Thanks Mike,

Index is pretty much my favorite place to climb.

Here are a couple more from the lower and upper wall.

Some cool history/wierd sh#t out there in those woods too. We happend upon a bunch of old iron in the middle of no where once:

Some even say the bush house is one of the most haunted places in WA.

I don't personally go in for that but I did get a shock on a trip out to the lower wall last spring:

Hopefully the Washington Climbers Coalition manages to pull the purchase off...(link)
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 26, 2010 - 11:44am PT
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Jan 26, 2010 - 11:46am PT
Who's got a picture of the old delivery van bump.

Ghost, that shot of Saggitarius is great! The full version is a true 5.10 testpiece.

Erik
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 26, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
Zoom named after the cereal....loaded with knobs

Cunning Stunt...just a few feet away from Zoom but sans knobs.

The infrequently climbed (thus the moss) Heaven's Rear Entry Vehicle...Upper Wall
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 26, 2010 - 01:18pm PT
Index. A picture is worth a thousand words....

Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:10pm PT
Ah - the feral van.

I forgot about the stuff over at the Country. Zoom is a fabulous route. GM to Heart of the Country was my first 5.11 lead (the last pitch of Heart of the Country has about five feet of 5.11 on it).
MH2

climber
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:43pm PT
Maybe the upper part of Zoom?
ATV casualty below





Bill Meyers on Davis-Holland early 1980s

Crillz

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:46pm PT
Index is money.
Wonder how much money has been raised so far?


Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:51pm PT
yup - that shows it. I guess gorillas could lieback all the way up, more commonly you get hands in there and that edge works away at your wrists.

Must have rained before the shot was taken and all the blood was cleaned away.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:57pm PT
And, lest we all forget, the scenery in the area isn't too shabby.

And while the Index Town Walls and their immediate outliers are not huge, all around lie
acres of unexplored stone. This particular stone has seen some exploration, but there's plenty left.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 27, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
I dug around in the files and came up with a few more Index shots. For whatever reason, I don't have anything good from the Upper Town Wall, but here are pictures of a couple of the Lower Wall moderates.

Roger's Corner (pitch 2)

Nearing the top of Godzilla

And looking east, across the lower wall toward some bigger challenges.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 27, 2010 - 01:11pm PT
Lift your eyes to the heavens!

Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 27, 2010 - 01:18pm PT
I've taken liberties with Reilly's photo. The route up the red line is ~ 24 pitches on the FA. ~6 were half length.


Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 27, 2010 - 01:20pm PT
The route up the red line is ~ 24 pitches on the FA. ~6 were half length.

Good rock?
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 27, 2010 - 04:25pm PT
Ghost - The rock isn't granite and is brittle in places but some pictures I've seen make the middle section look pretty good. The buttress to the left is runoured to have worse rock.

We gotta get out climbing soon..Banks sometime?
MH2

climber
Jan 28, 2010 - 03:34am PT
Norwegian Buttress


I remember a time when I think Todd Skinner or another referred to City Park free as, "the hardest climb in Washington State." A local climber begged to differ: "Actually, the hardest climb in Washington is across the road."
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 28, 2010 - 10:10am PT
North or South?
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 28, 2010 - 10:16am PT

Darryl,

Are you referring to Doorish's route? You wouldn't happen to have a little more detail about it, would you?? I was up at Lake Serene in the last few years and saw fixed ropes in several places....
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 29, 2010 - 09:28am PT
Don - It turns out my memory isn't so good. Doorish's routes to the top of the Butt is a bit shorter than 24 pitches - although it does continue past there. Here's a topo. It's my recasting of a topo he gave me many years ago. I would have scanned that but it's on a very large sheet of paper. Blair Williams put up a significantly harder variation to the top of the Butt around 5 years ago. It starts to the right. Hopefully he'll send me a topo for the new guide. (I lost his email address so if anyone has it please send me an email.) I heard some guys were trying to free Pete's line but I have no first hand knowledge. I remember seeing some photos right after Doorish's ascent and the pitches (I think) around 11 & 12 look like they'd be great free climbing.



Meanwhile just a few miles to the East....
The perspective is weird in this photo but Mt. Baring is quite close to Index and has several long routes (aid routes to 5.12 ~12 pitches) up the obvious steep face. Now that it's in a offical wilderness area and roto hammers have been banned, I am sure devlopment will slow down. The only topo I have is one that Dorrish sent me of an aid route.

http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fpickett&CISOPTR=607&DMSCALE=100&DMWIDTH=802&DMHEIGHT=638.04947916667&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=1&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=%2520baring&DMTHUMB=0&REC=1&DMROTATE=0&x=231&y=309
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 29, 2010 - 11:04am PT
A history of all the attempts on the buttresses would be
entertaining. I sewed a copy of a Forrest hammock for Rick
Ridgeway who went up there with I-forget-who (Clark Gerhart?).
Then Whitelaw and I got a ways up and then sat in the rain for two days.
Then there must be at least a dozen others.

I thought Carson and Anderson got about 1/3 up it.
Whoever it was told me the whole thing sounded hollow
like a big gong.
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 29, 2010 - 11:59am PT
I know there have been several false starts of ~ 5 pitches. My story is pretty boring - I hiked up and then hiked back down.

From what I've been the S Buttress has worse rock. I am pretty sure Dan Lapeska told me he was trying it and after a climbing a couple pitches he was back at the base contemplating the bad rock when a rock came flying down and slammed into his shoulder. That ended his attempt on the South Butt. (I might be wrong about it being Dan the story is 20 years old) Ever since then I've decided my personal goal should be finding the 90' Wall of Washington.

Some of the routes on Baring on the other hand have recieved rave reviews.
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 29, 2010 - 12:15pm PT
Thanks Darryl... (the real 90' wall is not that far from my house)

What year were you up there, Mr Reilly??

Dave Anderson, Don Brooks, Dave Davis, and I made a semi-serious attempt in 1974. There was old rotten gear a few pitches up. We spent a miserable night in hammocks four or five hundred feet up after which nobody was willing to lead the pitch through the overhanging loose blocks (beyond the 75 or so feet we carefully tread). Go figure.

I always wondererd if Pete's route took the line that we were planning on.

As for Bearing: That’s one big hunk of stone up there….. Pete asked me if I wanted to go up there with him on the first ascent. I quickly agreed. He said that he had all the gear we’d need already at the base. I told him that I’d just bring my personal stuff and my portaledge. He said that he already had hammocks and I wouldn’t need my portaledge. I’d spent too many crappy nights in hammocks and said I’d rather take my portaledge. We went back and forth like that for a minute. I realized that he wasn’t going to give on the issue and quietly declined on the trip. I heard that he ended up soloing the route spending nine days or so on it. He ripped out his hammock on the first night. Rather then descend, he continued and spent the rest of the climb sleeping in slings. Both his legs went numb after he got down from a pinched nerve or something.

I’ve known very few people with as much quiet drive and determination.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 29, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
Don,
OK, I got one out of four. Wow, yous guys were
a strong team. Just not suicidal enough, I guess.
So who got higher than y'all?

I was a couple or three years after you.

I'm pretty sure Ridgeway went up there in 74 but
it might have been 75. I don't think he used the hammock.

bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Jan 29, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
Doorish must have had mad energy! I tried to get to the tower and wanted to do his aid route. Umm... never have made it to the base. It says follow a goat trail at one point! I carried a pack of gear the 2nd time I went to find the goat trail to base... lost motivation and ended up trundling a big boulder that was just barely perched above a small cliff. One of the small cliffs I climbed had the foot holds popping off and leaving my feet skating and hoping my hand holds were more solid than my foot ones... Anyone get to base of tower from the creek? The ways I tried made halfdome slabs seem so chill.
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 29, 2010 - 02:58pm PT
Here's photo linked from the WTA site. (Is that kosher?) There are routes up the main face but as far I know most of the new routes and Pete's solo route are up the smaller butress on the right. This photo really shows how messed up the approach is. The top of the peak is ~3,700' above the lake where ths picture was taken. The peak has a been a BASE jumping location in recent years.

Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 29, 2010 - 03:09pm PT
Back to Index.....funds are still being raise to purchase the Lower Wall and preseverve it for climbers. Check out this fund raising page for more details! http://www.washingtonclimbers.org/IndexFund/

All funds I receive from the sale of the current guide go directly to the Index Fund. If you're out of the area and think you might want to visit this fine cliff, I’d be happy to send you a copy in exchange for a check made out to the Index Fund. (Retail price $18.50 - no tax, free shipping in the US)
ryanb

climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 29, 2010 - 07:51pm PT
Friends who have made recent attempts on bering/dolomite tower attempted to rap in, though on the first attempt they were unable to find the correct rap route due to some possible basejumper rigging.

Rapping in and not leaving fixed ropes would be pretty committing...
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 30, 2010 - 12:15am PT
Here’s a shot of the Norwegian Buttress taken in 1970 or so. I still wish I knew where Pete’s route went.



Here's as far as we made it on our ill-fated attempt in 1974. We had an ugly hammock-fest at the circled area.


Did the Town Crier in 1971 with Dick Emerson. Dick was an amazing person. He'd been on the 1963 Everest expedition and was on the first ascent of the north face of the Grand Teton. We met Al Givler and Dave Dailey on top in the dark and had a mini-epic getting down. We stopped at the ever-present Zekes on our way back to Seattle.



This is the first pitch of the Green Drag-on in 1972 on an early attempt. There wasn't a soul anywhere-upper or lower wall. I don't think we ever saw anyone else during any of our journeys up there.



This is the second or third pitch (I can’t remember which) of the Green Drag-on in 1972:



The second pitch of the Town Crier used to have a beautiful 30 foot 2” crack behind a pillar. We showed up one spring to find total destruction at the base. The pillar we’d been pounding pitons behind had come off. This gave all of us reason to pause.



This is looking over at “Howdy Ledge” at the top of the second pitch of the Town Crier Route. You can see the scar where the pillar had come away……



Here’s Donn Heller on the last pitch of the Green Drag-on on the first ascent:
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:34am PT
There wasn't a soul anywhere-upper or lower wall. I don't think we ever saw anyone else during any of our journeys up there.

What's really weird about Index is that although the Lower Wall and the Davis-Holland area of the Upper Wall are now almost always so crowded that virtually every route has a line-up, most of the Upper Wall areas, and often many of the little sub-crags, are still empty.

Example: Darryl climbed a three-pitch gem on the Upper Wall five or six years ago. Beautiful climbing, with one of the longest pitches at Index, good pro, a summit top-out, and... Drum Roll... NOT HARD!!!!

[explanation] For those of you not familiar with Index, its biggest drawback (aside from being wet in winter) is the almost complete lack of moderate routes. [end explanation]

So, for there to be a new 3-pitch 10a trad gem about 5 minutes from the popular Davis-Holland area, should have drawn hordes. HORDES.

Not at Index.

Mari & I got on it last summer, five years after the first ascent -- five years -- and as far as I can tell we were maybe the fourth or fifth party to climb it. We recommended it to a friend, and he came back saying "Best moderate route at Index."

WTF? I've only lived in Seattle for eight years, so I don't have a real sense of the climbing history of the area, but I am completely baffled by this. Index is an incredible climbing venue. Oh, sure, it's not Yosemite, or Squamish, but it is the real deal, and a lot of hard climbers have cut their teeth there. So can any of you Index veterans explain to me why hardly anybody who climbs there is willing to do anything but climb the same thirty routes over and over and over again? Squamish has ten times as many established routes, including plenty of moderates, and yet despite the fact that twice as many climbers live within an hour of Index as live within two hours of Squamish, the urge to get out and put up new routes seems far stronger at Squamish.

Or just look a couple of miles to the west. Zeke's Wall looms so obviously above the highway that every climber who has ever driven from Seattle to Index has seen it. Access was not (by local standards) difficult, the rock is as good as any granite in the world, the climbing potential is staggering, and...

And nothing.

Until about four years ago Marty Gunderson had the place to himself. Since then, it's been invaded by a horde of (are you sitting down) six more people.

I really don't understand. The climbers that are lined up and waiting their turn on the routes at Index are not gumbies. Index does not suffer gumbies. The climbs there are trad, hard for their grade, and often committing. The people in the line-ups are good climbers.

So why the f*#k are they standing in line to climb Godzilla or Japanese Garden for the nineteenth time?

D
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:44am PT
The North Norwegian is a frickin' PROUD route! Thanks for the pic!

I hear that Index Peak is all sorts of BW5.

From alpenglow.org:

Difficulty Ratings

These apply to the "free" difficulties (no aid used) and range from BW1 to BW5, where BW stands for "bushwhack." Difficulty ratings apply to those areas of worst brush that can't be avoided.

BW1 Light brush. Travel mostly unimpeded, only occasional use of hands required (e.g. mature open forest).

BW2 Moderate brush. Occasional heavy patches. Pace slowed, frequent use of hands required.

BW3 Heavy brush. Hands needed constantly. Some loss of blood may occur due to scratches and cuts. Travel noticably hindered. Use of four-letter words at times.

BW4 Severe brush. Pace less than one mile per hour. Leather gloves and heavy clothing required to avoid loss of blood. Much profanity and mental anguish. Thick stands of brush requiring circumnavigation are encountered.

BW5 Extreme brush. Multiple hours needed to travel one mile. Full body armor desirable. Wounds to extremities likely, eye protection needed. Footing difficult due to lack of visibility. Loss of temper inevitable.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:47am PT
BW6: Slide alder so dense that your feet haven't touched the ground in the last hour (during which you've traveled about 500 meters)
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:56am PT
Sir Don,
You're crankin' the Way Back Machine hard!
Forgot Dick Emerson; a down-to-earth guy.
So was Tom Hornbein. No discernible ego despite all
his huge accomplishments. Dude was a midget but what
a power house!

Love the shot of Heller, I'd recognize those feet anywhere, lol.
Miss him.

Doorish? I felt really good once when he told me "Nice lead."
That was genuine effusiveness for him.

Never ever saw a soul there at Upper or Lower.
First trip to Lower was a blazing hot day of 85?
Numb Nuts thinks he's stylin' in his painter pants, sleeveless
T-shirt, and Robbins boots. Might want to have re-considered
doing an early ascent of Aries Chimney. It still had a lot of
lichen on it that somehow got transfered to every square inch of my
bared back. Considered going to the burn unit for a debridement.

City Park
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Jan 30, 2010 - 02:08am PT
BW6 addendum: loss of dignity, as well as temper.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 30, 2010 - 02:18am PT
The Beckey Route on N Pk of Index is, in summer, only
suitable for simians. In Uncle Fred's first guidebook
he advises at one point to "imitate a gorilla going through
the brush". That could apply to more than the one section.
There are two nice pitches up there.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 30, 2010 - 02:20am PT
Don - these are some amazing shots. You must have quite a collection from the Valley and Tmds too from back in the day.
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 30, 2010 - 09:33am PT
I do indeed have tons of pictures from BITD. Most people didn't bother carrying a camera or taking pictures if they did. Don Brooks and Bruce Albert were two people always taking pictures and I'd love to see what they're holding.... It's very cool to be able to share pictures in a forum like this otherwise all the hundreds of pictures I (we) have will sit on a shelf in a closet unseen forever. It's like a gigantic slide show with a potentially unlimited audience.

This one's for you, Mr Reilly: My good friend Donn Heller-I'll see you on the other side soon enough, brother......next time, keep your fekkin' crampons on...
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 30, 2010 - 11:27am PT
Awesome photos Mastadon. Keep em coming please!
Ghost, I think part of the problem with Index exploration is that there really hasn't been a guide to the whole area that is done in laymans style. Yes, Clint Cummins guide is great, but its a minamalists guide, with no photos or much descriptions, and the prior guides are dated or not all inclusive. Plus they are all a little dated now. There are tons of crags at Index and surrounding areas, and allot gets done but no one really knows about it. and if the climbs at Index don't get done regularly, generally they go back to the moss and dirt. Couple that with the fact that most of the climbing at Index is quite hard, even the moderates, and you end up with most people just sticking with the known variables. I think a full color, full info. guide to Index, and surrounding crags is what is needed to bring Index into this century, realizing that some climbers would like to keep it all secrective and stuff. For what its worth, I've been climbing at Index since 1977.
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 30, 2010 - 12:26pm PT
The Index mystery is truly a mystery. People have been sticking to the same few routes for many years. By "many years" I mean at least as long as I have been around. (late 70s)

The route Ghost mentions was posted on CC.com and a couple of other sites (Mounties, UW climbing club) and yet it is infrequently climbed. I am not sure it is a good as Ghost suggests.

Studly suggests a marketing campaign. I am sure a marketing campaign would work but requires something to market and there lies the mystery.

To reuse Ghost's example: Zeke's has been visible for decades over US2 and yet very few climbers ever made the short hike to check it out. The mystery is how can a 500'+ formation close to a major highway be virtually unexplored for so many years? (1 hour drive from Seattle and at most a 90' approach. In recent years it’s been closer to 20’) Don, did you guys ever check it out?

By the way a group is working on a new guide with the intent that all profits will fund ongoing maintenance issues in the area. (ie toilet pumping, anchor replacement…..)
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:24pm PT
Maybe it's the 5th force, Darryl?

You know, the deviations in Newtonian gravity can be a strong deterrent when it comes to granite climbing...
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Jan 30, 2010 - 01:30pm PT
Zeke's wall? Never heard of it and can't even picture where it is. We didn't really branch out a lot as the Town Walls had so many peaches to be plucked.

Here’s few more shots of Index in the 70’s….

Dave Anderson and I tried to free Japanese Garden in the summer of 1975. We both took a swing at it but neither of us was willing to commit with only hexes for protection in the wide section. Once again, there wasn’t a soul to be seen or heard. These shots are of Dave Anderson-another good friend gone......




Here’s a young Rich Carlstad (with hair) following that overhanging 5.9 hand crack that leads to the slabs on the left side of the lower wall (I can’t remember the name) in 1976.



My young friend Lenny Peoples in 1977. RIP brother….



Breakfast of Champions in 1976. I had to rappel the crack to clean out all the loose rocks when Dave Anderson and I first climbed it in ’73 or ’74. It was one of those plums that we couldn’t believe nobody had climbed. The clock was ticking….
Hardly Visible

Social climber
Llatikcuf WA
Jan 30, 2010 - 06:26pm PT
Mastadon your stuff is great keep it coming; it would be nice to see this thread get hundreds of posts. Index is my closest really good crag and though I’ve been climbing there for close to 15 years I’ve barely scratched the surface and tend to climb the same few climbs repeatedly for a number of reasons. The primary reason up until fall of 08 would in all honesty be laziness coupled with the fact that many of the things in the lower wall area I’d be interested in seemed to have been reclaimed by nature. There does seem to be a recent upswing in scrubbing activity on the lower wall so things are improving. If I lived closer I would do a lot more retro cleaning than I have done and would certainly be unearthing new stuff since the potential appears to be incredible.

Nowadays having busted up my feet a short approach is a necessity so I’ve probably missed my opportunity for any upper town wall stuff unless I hooked up with some youngster willing to carry nearly everything up the trail and down. If the approach to Zeke’s is only 20 minutes as some are saying I’d be willing to help you out on one of your cleaning forays Ghost, so feel free to drop me a line sometime when you are heading out that way.

One thing that I notice in the old photos is how much certain trees have grown since then. For instance that shot of Breakfast of Champions would be unattainable today since that fir tree below the climber now nearly reaches the top of the climb and can even be stemmed off of if you can’t crank the crux on rock alone. The picture of Rich Carlstad on Libra crack would also a lot more tree limbs and bushes in it too.

Though not of historical interest I’ll throw in these photos to keep this moving in the right direction.




Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 30, 2010 - 06:51pm PT
It's true the 1993 guide was minimalist.
My goal was really minimal cost, so everybody could get it easily;
copying of the pages was encouraged, and it was in 8.5 x 11 format....

Darryl's subsequent guide definitely had a nicer cover (as well as quality on the pages, too)!


I don't think color on each page would really help.
We already have color websites now, so people can see all about the climbing.

Angele Sjong's great "Index Club" article is online:
http://www.climbing.com/exclusive/features/index_279/

and Darryl's site has all the latest route info (I would link, but last I heard it can only handle low traffic - still true?)

The reason things grow back is the same as always - the weather.
No matter how good the rock is, if it's raining or in midsummer heat, the conditions aren't right.
So it can't be a "destination area", because if you book a flight in advance, there is a good chance it will not be climbable.
It is a great area if you live in the vicinity and can simply go out when the conditions are good.

Don,

Here's a map which shows where Zeke's Wall is:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/index/roadmap.gif
(copy and paste the full URL; you can't just click on it, due to a ST glitch with ~ ).
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/washington/zekes_wall/106549022
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 30, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
It's fine to link Clint. In fact it's been linked here a few times: www.rcnw.net

Squamish has pretty much the same weather and is a "destination" area so I am not so sure that the weather is the reason. I would guess that a trip to Index in August has a better chance of climbable weather than a December trip to J-Tree. Index is just a small little area. Sure the climbing can kick ass but it's a far cry from Meadows.

Here's a pretty green route that was put up in the rain....

The climber is at the top of a lieback and thinking about the short slab leading to the roof above.

Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 30, 2010 - 11:44pm PT
Ghost, I think part of the problem with Index exploration is that there really hasn't been a guide to the whole area that is done in laymans style.

Nope, that's not it. Darryl published a good guide a few years ago, and, printed guidebooks aside, this is the internet age. Anybody who is interested can find out as much as s/he wants with a few mouse clicks and a couple of emails.

Couple that with the fact that most of the climbing at Index is quite hard, even the moderates, and you end up with most people just sticking with the known variables

It's true that a lot of the climbing at Index is ferociously hard and committing, but anywhere else that would just drive people to find new, less difficult routes. Why don't they do that at Index? Why climb the same ten moderates five times every year and then go to Squamish or Smith? Why not scrub out and climb something new? That's what people do everywhere else.

Squamish has pretty much the same weather and is a "destination" area so I am not so sure that the weather is the reason

That's completely true. Weather doesn't stop exploration at Squamish...

Maybe Erik has the answer. Maybe it's the 5th force. Maybe the deviations in Newtonian gravity are so extreme at Index that 99% of the climbers who enter the area suffer some kind of mind melt.

As to Zeke's Wall, that's a subject for a separate post. But I really can't understand how or why Index now casts a "Do Not Do Any New Routes" spell on people.

D

Edit: The emphasis on the above sentence is on "now." There has been plenty of new route development at Index in the past, but not only does it seem to have died out now, plenty of perfectly good climbs are going back to the jungle. A couple of years ago Mari and I were up at a crag called Private Idaho with Steve & Mimi & Off White. One of us -- I think Mari -- remembered some climbs on a crag another two minutes up the trail, but when we went to check them out, we found a rock covered in a carpet of moss so thick that only the very tips of the bolt hangers were sticking through. Less than ten years earlier, it had been scrubbed clean.
argus

Trad climber
Jan 31, 2010 - 12:22am PT
Ghost, FYI a bunch of that stuff in the Private Idaho area has been cleaned in the last couple of years. Index Air Force, Them, Peanuts to Serve You, Magic Fern, Wet Dream, Eraserhead, Imagine Your Best Student Here, and End Run are all clean. Also, there are a couple of new high quality routes west of Rattletale on the Red Wall that deserve to be climbed.

Also, the stuff up on Shady Lane is clean, although the moss seems to be winning that battle since not enough people climb up there.

Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Jan 31, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Here's a link to a revised Private Idaho topo. link Those overgrown slab routes have been cleaned off at least a couple of times since they were first climbed. Back in the mid-80s you could actually see that cliff from town in winter. Private Idaho was visible all year - although some climbing related logging helped with that. A year round canopy really encourages moss growth.
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:58pm PT
Index is one of the best crags in America.
Jeremy Park

Trad climber
seattle, wa
Mar 19, 2010 - 05:18pm PT
Hey everyone,

If you haven't donated to Index or have and are looking for another opportunity here's your chance. The WCC is offering gifts for donations of 50 to 300 dollars now through Dec. Check out the link below for details.

http://www.washingtonclimbers.org/IndexFund/gifts.htm
Slabby D

Trad climber
B'ham WA
Mar 19, 2010 - 06:42pm PT
What's really weird about Index is that although the Lower Wall and the Davis-Holland area of the Upper Wall are now almost always so crowded that virtually every route has a line-up, most of the Upper Wall areas, and often many of the little sub-crags, are still empty.

Last Sunday (3/14) the Upper Town Wall was generally dry, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was almost (but not quite) t-shirt weather. I didn't see a single other climber the entire day. Not one. Left me feeling kind of lonely.

Rarely have I seen more than one other party up there even in the best of conditions (including on the DH). Strange, so much rock...
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Mar 20, 2010 - 11:35pm PT
Strange, so much rock...

Strange indeed. Early in the year, though, so a lot of folks probably assumed that even though the weather was good the cliffs would need another few days to dry. Just be happy that you had such a wonderful place to yourself.

But the DH does get lineups in the summmer. And a few climbers have realized what a gem Lamplighter/Heaven's Gate is. Other than that, though, it's mostly empty.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 6, 2010 - 02:02am PT
One of many Norwegian Buttress attempts.

Dave "The Drill Sargeant" Whitelaw with his little red bag.
(OK, one of his little red bags) [date: note the 1st gen Friend]

Caution: Man at work

edit:
Humorous Trivia Note:
About '75 or '76 I sewed a copy of my Forrest single-point
shoulder-crusher for Rick Ridgeway. He and Clark Gerhart were
going up there but somehow I don't think the hammock ever got used.





joepuryear

climber
Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Apr 6, 2010 - 09:33am PT
Made my contribution to the NNB failed attempt list a few years ago. Stoney Richards was up leading on pitch 6 and placed a micronut next to a large block. The microwave-sized block came down and landed right next to me on the stacked rope and cut the lead line clean in half. Stoney took a good fall but was okay. We bailed and then it poured rain that night. Fun times!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Mar 27, 2015 - 08:59pm PT
Bump
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 27, 2015 - 10:56pm PT
Mt Index has it all: almost died of thirst on it, almost drowned on it,
and had a partner get frostbit on it. What more could one want?
drapnea

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Mar 27, 2015 - 11:22pm PT
Drove by Index yesterday. Looked pretty dry from Highway 2. Snow still up high and water in the streams/rivers were flowing fast, but that wall looked like it needed some of my attention.
bixquite

Social climber
humboldt nation
Mar 28, 2015 - 08:13am PT
I think of the mountains as teachers and Index is a high end zen monk with the chops
to get any climber to clear their mind and become a student of its teachings. The more you attend
class the more you'll grow from the professor.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 16, 2016 - 08:32pm PT
Since there have been some old-time Index climbers on this thread, I thought I should throw this one up today: Remember Bush House? The Hotel?

It had been falling into disrepair for as long as I've been hanging out at Index, and finally closed down for good about 15 years ago. And after that, the disrepair accelerated and it soon looked like it was about to cave in on itself and rot away.

But check this out:

The front is almost fully renovated, and they're working on the back end. Word is that it will open for business as a restaurant/lodge sometime next year.


donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 16, 2016 - 08:37pm PT
By far the best rock climbing in the Pacific Northeest.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 16, 2016 - 10:15pm PT
Will the new Bush House carry the torch like the old one with rooms by the hour?
What, you thought the name was more pedestrian, or even presidential?
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Jul 17, 2016 - 07:23am PT
Forgot all about this thread. I'm glad to see the Bush House get resurrected.

I just love Index and the surrounding area. If I didn't think my wife would kick me to the curb, I'd buy a house in the area and spend summers up there.

I was there a few years ago and wandered to the base of the lower wall with shoes and a harness. There were a bunch of coffee driven young Seattle yuppies buzzing around with top-ropes on at least a dozen routes, one of which was Godzilla. They didn't pay any attention to me, they were too busy rushing around ticking off everything with manic intensity. I quietly asked one of them if they would give me a rope on Godzilla. She gave me a doubtful look and asked, "Have you ever done this before?" as in "Do you have any idea what you're getting in to, old man?". I responded, "Yes. It's been a while though. The last time I did this I used pitons". I could tell she had her doubts but belayed me anyway and I somehow managed to get up it. What a cool route.

I talked to Pete Doorish a few years ago and got a detailed drawing of his route on the Norwegian Buttress. His route is completely different than the one we tried. You never know. I might try to get up there and finish the route we started in 1974. All the new aid climbing do-dads have dramatically changed the face of big wall climbing. Don Brooks even expressed interest in going. Wouldn't that be a kick. Maybe we could even talk Dave Davis into going. He always loved adventure.

Don Brooks and Rich Carlstad on El Cap two summers ago. Old guys having fun!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 17, 2016 - 09:24am PT
Great news about the Bush hotel revival.

I never understood why the town of Index became such a dead zone. The locals decided that they wouldn't tolerate any gay customers and the whole scene dried right up.

Don- You should have asked Missy for her personal best list but the pitons remark likely did the job.

Godzilla to Slow Children is my favorite lower wall combo.

Best crag in WA perhaps but Index doesn't compare with Squamish at all.
the goat

climber
north central WA
Jul 17, 2016 - 11:44am PT
By far the best rock climbing in the Pacific Northeest.

Obviously, you've never been to Peshastin!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 17, 2016 - 12:00pm PT
Obviously, you've never been to Peshastin!

I think he meant some place other than a venue without free
asparagus and apples.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 17, 2016 - 01:22pm PT
Steve...Squamish isn't in the Pacific Northwest. It's in Canada which for them would be the Pacific Southwest.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 17, 2016 - 04:46pm PT
Steve...Squamish isn't in the Pacific Northwest. It's in Canada which for them would be the Pacific Southwest.

Just back from quaffing a few with Steve after a long bike ride. I had to explain the same thing to him...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 17, 2016 - 06:34pm PT
I stagger corrected...
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 17, 2016 - 09:14pm PT
Mastadon. I do remember climbing Godzilla with you back in the eighties sometime. Clearly that once lucid memory of yours is fading or I forgot that we brought some pins.
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Jul 17, 2016 - 09:48pm PT
Dave, I was speaking metaphorically to that young woman. It was for effect. When did you become such a nit-picky little bi#ch?? Actually, I have no memory whatsoever of you and i doing that..... Actually, I'm still trying to figure out who you are. Actually, oh never mind. I have CRS (can't remember s#it) and a bad case of CDSA (can't do s#it anymore).
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 17, 2016 - 10:32pm PT
I bet you still remember how to correct understeer in yer little hot rod!
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 18, 2016 - 06:10pm PT
Don, why don't you come up for a visit and we can give it a whirl. I have some pitons and we can record it on our phones so we will never forget. That is if I can remember where my phone is.....
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2016 - 07:04pm PT
I remember leading it on stoppers and hexes in 1976, and I know Don did it before that, since his name was already in the guidebook!
171. Godzilla FA: Don Harder, Donn Heller, 5/72
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Jul 18, 2016 - 08:40pm PT
Clint-you are the absolute master of information and trivia. I don't know what we would do without you.

Dave-we would have to do move by move photos, video and descriptions and then tweet it for all to see. If you don't know how to tweet, ask your boy. If you don't know what tweeting is, there's no hope.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 18, 2016 - 11:10pm PT
Clint wrote a fine guide to Index brother so he knows the details very well.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 19, 2016 - 07:11am PT
I agree that Godzilla to Slow Children is an excellent outing. Two four star pitches with an okay connecting one.
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 26, 2016 - 12:56pm PT
Very entertaining forum here...

Here’s few more shots of Index in the 70’s….

Dave Anderson and I tried to free Japanese Garden in the summer of 1975. We both took a swing at it but neither of us was willing to commit with only hexes for protection in the wide section. Once again, there wasn’t a soul to be seen or heard. These shots are of Dave Anderson-another good friend gone......

I'm curious about the FFA of pitch one of Japanese Gardens. I recall it, or most of it, being free by the early 80s with the name "Through thick and thin". Does anyone here recall anything about this?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 26, 2016 - 01:58pm PT
Jon,
 1976 Carlstad and Brooks: calls it Japanese Tea Garden and shows a 5.9 wide flake var to the left.
 1976 Beckey: calls it Japanese Gardens. "Most of the climb is now free and should not be nailed". My penciled notes (1976 or 1977) say it's free to the bolt at 5.10.
 1982 Brooks and Whitelaw: Through Thick and Thin 5.11+. Goes up the 5.9 wide flake var past 3 bolts, with 5.11+ after 3rd bolt. No FA info in book.

Later guides list it as Japanese Gardens 5.11c, with you and Terry Lien doing the complete FFA of all the pitches.
So maybe ask Don Brooks?
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 26, 2016 - 07:28pm PT
Thanks Clint.

That must have been where I saw it, in the Brooks-Whitelaw book. In that case, I might have learned of it well after Terry and I did the route, as I didn't bother getting the B-W guidebook until much later. When I recently asked Terry about it, it was the first he'd heard of Through Thick & Thin.

Similarly, I recall scoping out Rattletale from town, and going up there with Jon Carpenter & Russell Erickson in the early 80s. We did two pitches, thinking we were cruising up a relatively clean FA, even coming up with our own name for it, and then when I got to the top of P3 I noticed the slings...

BTW, do you have contact info for Don Brooks?

Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Aug 26, 2016 - 10:20pm PT
any bouldering up there? is that near the illegal whorehauser land near mineral? i need to get on a 5.7 slab before the weather,
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 27, 2016 - 01:15am PT
Jon,
I don't have contact info for Don Brooks, but on the previous page in this thread, Don Harder (aka mastadon) has a photo of Don Brooks on El Cap from only 2 years ago, so try him!
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1007138&msg=2845553#msg2845553
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 27, 2016 - 07:53am PT
any bouldering up there? is that near the illegal whorehauser land near mineral? i need to get on a 5.7 slab before the weather,

They tell me there is lots up here. I haven't been able to check since arriving due to a knee injury.

And thanks again, Clint.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 27, 2016 - 11:50am PT
If you can't reach Mastadon PM me and I can put you in touch with Don.
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 10, 2016 - 11:34am PT
If you can't reach Mastadon PM me and I can put you in touch with Don.

Thanks a lot for the offer.

But I cannot seem to find the message system on this site. Where do I find it?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 10, 2016 - 11:50am PT
But I cannot seem to find the message system on this site. Where do I find it?

Click on a poster's avatar, top left, beside the post. That'll pop up a profile, in which the bottom line says "Member-to-Member Messsages" There is a line following, which usually says "Yes, you can send me a member-to-member email." If so, then look at the top right, where there will be a button that says "Send Email to Jon Nelson"

But be aware that half the time the message either somehow doesn't go through, or the person set up his/her account years ago, using an email address that s/he no longer remembers having, let alone ever checks.

And btw, thanks for the saw.
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Sep 10, 2016 - 03:17pm PT
Go do Centerfold and Dark Crystal. Both xclnt climbs in my opinion .
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 10, 2016 - 08:56pm PT
Click on a poster's avatar, top left, beside the post. That'll pop up a profile, in which the bottom line says "Member-to-Member Messsages" There is a line following, which usually says "Yes, you can send me a member-to-member email." If so, then look at the top right, where there will be a button that says "Send Email to Jon Nelson"

But be aware that half the time the message either somehow doesn't go through, or the person set up his/her account years ago, using an email address that s/he no longer remembers having, let alone ever checks.

And btw, thanks for the saw.

Thanks a lot Ghost!

Did I give you one of those Japanese cleaning tools?

I heard that they have them now at the Daiso store in Crossroads Mall, Bellevue. $1.50, I think.
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Sep 10, 2016 - 10:17pm PT

Still need to get in touch with that slippery Mastadon fellow?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 11, 2016 - 07:28am PT
Did I give you one of those Japanese cleaning tools?

Yes - via Eric. And it was put to good use.

On another subject, yesterday you said: "I cannot seem to find the message system on this site. Where do I find it?""

Today it's my turn: "I cannot seem to find Coal Mountain. Where do I find it?"

We spent hours and hours in that maze of logging roads. Got some nice views, but never got near anything resembling anything in the Cumberland Crags descriptions.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 11, 2016 - 09:26am PT
Ghost, don't get me started on logging roads. BITD, before gps and Google Earth, it was the
PacNW outdoors version of 'Waiting For Godot', with the same tree.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 11, 2016 - 10:07am PT
And just like Godot, that clear view of your objective simply never arrives...
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 11, 2016 - 05:25pm PT
Still need to get in touch with that slippery Mastadon fellow?

Hi Don, thanks.
Do you know who first freed P1 of Japanese Gardens?

I saw you post upthread about your attempt in the 70s, and all I know is that someone named it "Through Thick and Thin" in the 1982 guidebook.


Today it's my turn: "I cannot seem to find Coal Mountain. Where do I find it?"

We spent hours and hours in that maze of logging roads. Got some nice views, but never got near anything resembling anything in the Cumberland Crags descriptions.


Never been there. But before my knee took a turn for the worse this summer, I tried contacting one of developers in the hopes of getting up there. Never heard back. Perhaps an old Kloke guide would help?

And just like Godot, that clear view of your objective simply never arrives...

Oh man, so many times Russell E- and I would spot some promising crag on the distant hillside, only to find upon arrival at the base a vastly shrunken, broken-up choss heap. Still, the chase was always fun.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 11, 2016 - 06:54pm PT
Never been there.

Well, sh#t howdy. There's a write-up about it on Mountain Project (bunch of crags east of Mt. Vernon) with your name on it.

Hang on...

Ah. Okay, you're the moderator of that part of the forum, not the climber.

So. Anyone? Cumberland Crags? Coal Mt.? Sounds pretty good, but damn... Guarded by a thousand miles of logging roads with junctions every mile. A million ways to go wrong.
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Sep 11, 2016 - 06:57pm PT
Jon Nelson,

No, I'm not sure who first did that free. I know that Peter Croft did some hard free climbing in that area of the wall, and before him, Mark Moore, but I don't know conclusively who done-did it.. Maybe Pat Timson? He did a lot of that stuff and was never one to talk about it. Sorry.....
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 11, 2016 - 08:23pm PT
I know that Peter Croft did some hard free climbing in that area of the wall, and before him, Mark Moore, but I don't know conclusively who done-did it.. Maybe Pat Timson? He did a lot of that stuff and was never one to talk about it.

Thanks Don.

Well, a lot of possibilities. When I heard the route name, I thought of Dan Lepeska (Originator of "On the Verge"). Greg Olsen then told me he thought it might be Dave Anderson. But Mark, Peter, and Pat sound likely too.

Don Brooks ought to know since it was in his guidebook.


Ghost - Sorry to hear about the trouble with Cumberland description. I'll send a message to the guy who posted the main page.


mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Sep 11, 2016 - 08:33pm PT

I just sent you Don Brooks' email.
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Sep 13, 2016 - 09:23am PT
Jon - Are you living full time in Bellingham now?

If I remember correctly when Jeff and I met with Don while researching the guidebook we made back in the 80's it hadn't really been led free but had been top roped in some fashion. I think it was the same story for Shirley too. What was DOn reply - consistent with my memory?

By the way last time I saw Don it was at E38 about 5 years ago after work. At least it looked like Don. We were racing up the trail to climb before the sun went down so we didnt slow down when we passed.
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 13, 2016 - 03:44pm PT
Hi Don ---

Thanks, but I haven't gotten a PM or email yet. I've also tried sending two PMs from Supertopo without success. Maybe the system has completely stopped working. My gmail address is jontne. (And it does seem to be correctly entered on my account here and have the correct setting. Anyone else get it to work?)

Darryl,

I'm never 100% anywhere... Mostly Bham though.

Interesting story. So maybe Terry did get the first lead of pitch 1 after all. He'd be happy to hear that.

And I forgot about Shirley. Was that previously called 'Buried Treasure' or was it 'Freedom Fighter'?

mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Sep 13, 2016 - 03:50pm PT

Index in the 70's wasn't the destination climbing area it is today. There were probably only a few people in the Seattle area capable of leading Japanese Gardens free at that time and that list gets even shorter when you take cams and big cams out of the equation. Not many would have led that with the minimal protection that tube chocks and big hexes provided.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Sep 13, 2016 - 03:53pm PT
what's the best time of the year to die on Rainier?
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 14, 2016 - 09:12pm PT
I don't know if the rest of you noticed it, but Honnold's back breaking accident a few months ago happened on Godzilla. He was lowered off a rope that was too short. Actually I know Ghost noticed it 'cause he commented in that thread. I know accidents happen everywhere, but it weirds me out and of course makes me sad when famous, awesome and inspirational climbers come to the cascades and get stove up or worse. I'm thinking of Craig Leubben, too.

Speaking of Ghost, he's also commented on the zoo that Lower Town Wall and even Inner Wall have become, even on week days. I noticed it a couple months ago as a swarm of youngsters sieged the first pitch of Even Steven and Corner Flash, tying them up for hours. Fore heavens sake, even I can climbing those. Really weird crowd from my old fart's perspective, too.

OK, youngsters, as in they were under 50. ;-)
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 15, 2016 - 05:33pm PT
I don't know if the rest of you noticed it, but Honnold's back breaking accident a few months ago happened on Godzilla. He was lowered off a rope that was too short. Actually I know Ghost noticed it 'cause he commented in that thread. I know accidents happen everywhere, but it weirds me out and of course makes me sad when famous, awesome and inspirational climbers come to the cascades and get stove up or worse. I'm thinking of Craig Leubben, too.

Speaking of Ghost, he's also commented on the zoo that Lower Town Wall and even Inner Wall have become, even on week days.

I'd heard the sad case of Honnold, but not of Leubben. I see the latter happened in 2009, and I wasn't paying much attention to the NW climbing scene then. Sad to hear about Craig too.

About the LTW crowding, I haven't noticed as I've long avoided the crag. Everything there is too hard for me now. So, on those rare days I get out, I head for Lookout Point or the UTW. But a few years back, Eric and I went up to do a route on the UTW, and there were parties on 4 other routes, some routes with multiple parties. Never seen so many up there.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 15, 2016 - 08:16pm PT
About the LTW crowding...

To some extent, it's a function of laziness. Much easier to put one's mind on remote control and go to Index than to put out the mental and physical effort to get on some new rock.

And there's plenty of new rock. Index offers some of the best pure rock climbing in the US, but just 4 km west is Zeke's Wall, where the climbing is even better. But no one will make the effort to do anything other than climb the same ten routes at Index for the fiftieth time.

Go somewhere else? Ooohhhh. No way. LIke, there isn't even a guidebook.

Okay, the Leavenworth area does draw some interest. But that seems like the limit of most Seattle climbers' willingness to try anything new.

When we first hiked up to Zeke's we were completely blown away by both the potential, and by the fact that it was still potential. The wall is in plain view from the highway, and the approach is about the same as the hike to the Upper Town Wall, but other than Marty Gunderson, no one was climbing there. We joined in, as did a couple of others, but that brought the grand total of climbers exploring the wall to six. And this is a wall that offers everything the Upper Town Wall offers, and then even more.

A bunch of ORV as#@&%es forced the DNR to close the access road a few years ago, but that really only added another 45 minutes of logging road hiking to the approach.

And that's just one crag.

So why do climbers here choose to spend their weekends waiting in line to repeat the same few routes at Index?

I suppose I should do a TR about Zeke's. I'll try to do that in late October when I've got a bit more time. Until then, the best I can do is post a couple of pictures (yeah, I know, I posted one of them before) and hope it will encourage someone to turn off the remote, and do something different.


Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 16, 2016 - 09:38pm PT
I suppose I should do a TR about Zeke's. I'll try to do that in late October when I've got a bit more time. Until then, the best I can do is post a couple of pictures (yeah, I know, I posted one of them before) and hope it will encourage someone to turn off the remote, and do something different.

Thanks for the Zeke's Wall pictures. I look forward to the TR.

Once this knee of mine gets fully healed, I want to check out the wall above Zekes, seeking more of an alpine-like exploration adventure.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 16, 2016 - 11:52pm PT
Have any of you headed up to the cliffs west of Steven's Pass down Tye road, or alternately from the western terminus of Skyline Ridge? I was keeping them quite for a while, but I think they are unlikely to be developed by me ;-) . I walked up in that area a couple times and they actually were reasonable in both approach and apparent difficulty. I never climbed there, though.

This is what I'm talking about, where the star is,


But from the western terminus of Skyline Ridge:

Some close up rock:

This is from the other side of the creek and isn't quite as good as it looks but is a much easier approach:

I'm leaving out a gory photo of -not-me- the consequences of judging the descent incorrectly. It kind of took the wind out of my sails, although no permanent damage was done physically just emotionally.


Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Sep 17, 2016 - 01:13am PT
raining already, back to warehouse gym,
Jon Nelson

Boulder climber
Bellingham, WA
Sep 20, 2016 - 11:37am PT
Have any of you headed up to the cliffs west of Steven's Pass down Tye road, or alternately from the western terminus of Skyline Ridge? I was keeping them quite for a while, but I think they are unlikely to be developed by me ;-) . I walked up in that area a couple times and they actually were reasonable in both approach and apparent difficulty. I never climbed there, though.

So much nice rock to explore in WA. Thanks for the pics.
That area looks like the place Darryl points out on the drive over the pass.

I'm leaving out a gory photo of -not-me- the consequences of judging the descent incorrectly. It kind of took the wind out of my sails, although no permanent damage was done physically just emotionally.


Sorry to hear about it, but glad you spared us. There have been a few gory finger pics posted on Mt. Project recently, all without warning. Though effective for reminding me to be careful, it's not what I like to see...

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