THE POWER OF THE CHOSS COMPELS YOU...

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Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Don the above photo is of volcanic tuff similar to Smith Rock. The first time I did a trad route there I almost freaked cause it looked like mud.....
Well it is just PETRIFIED mud!

Then there is the basalt choss in the Columbia River Gorge. Here is another shot of Plaidman's Fally
Credit: Plaidman

Credit: Plaidman
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 1, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
Lots of cool FA's there, man. Serious bidness.
I'm game. Oh there's choss. Oh yes.
Bring yer armor, too.

Call me (BK Bland) in boise & leave a message or pm
skullyambroATgmailDOTcom, dig it.
It's just a couple hours from my secret world headquarters. Leslie is.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
O.K. Captain...or Skully let's make a play date.

I have got to get out.

Plaid
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
Plaidman, get help while you still can!
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
I am beyond help. Feeling good...... hold on ....let me feel myself.

Yep! Feel good!

Plaid
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
HaHaHaHa! OK, that's all that matters! :-)
Ya know, the last time I drove by Beacon Rock there was this volcanoe
spewing crap over 6 states. That was an epic drive. I got two speeding
tickets that day - fooking tools had no sense of reality.

Trivia note: I've a FA on the erstwhile Mt St Helens that will never be repeated!
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Ya know I took some of that ash back to Colorado with me after Mt. St. Helens blew up and sold it for money......fools. They didn't know that they were shoveling it up with front end loaders in places like Yakima and Spokane WA.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
I coulda given you some from my air filter!
Did ya sell it as virgin or blown once?
MisterE

Social climber
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
We people need help!


And by that, I mean a belayer that will put up with more than most...

not the couch-kind.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
It sounds like maybe a couple monkeys can go get scared in the weirdest places.
Woot! We may need more beer. or appropriate malt liquors.
And band aids. Lotsa those.

Mungie, Post Falls is like 600 miles away. That's the long way. It's the only way, too. :-(
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 1, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
I'll be in CDA in couple weeks. Mostly visiting fam, but if either of you guys are up that way, I can sneak over to Post Falls for half a day. Need to know whether to bring shoes and stuff, so ping on FB or here.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
It took me reading this whole list to finally figure out you would be in Coeur d'Alene Idaho

Here is the list: web link at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDA

CDA or Cda may refer to:
[edit]Associations

Club de Deportes Antofagasta, is a Chilean football club based in the city of Antofagasta.
Chinese Daoist Association
[edit]Industry organisations
Canadian Dental Association, an association of dentists in Canada
Canadian Dinghy Association
College Democrats of America, the national organization that oversees the direction and day-to-day management of 1300 College Democrats chapters around the country
[edit]Political parties and lobbying groups
Christian Democratic Alliance (South Africa), political party
Christian Democratic Appeal, a political party of the Netherlands
Conservative Democratic Alliance, a United Kingdom pressure group
[edit]Companies

Caran d'Ache (company), a famous Swiss fine arts products company.
[edit]Computing

".cda", a filename extension for a Compact Disc Audio track
Cellular Digital Accessory, a means to identify the software version of a mobile phone
Clinical Document Architecture, an HL7 authored health care documentation standard
Compress Da Audio, one of the earliest MP3 warez groups
Red Book (audio CD standard), Compact Disc Audio, the standard format for a CD
[edit]Education

Central Delta Academy, a private school in Mississippi
Certified Dental Assistant, A dental assistant that is certified in the United States.
Coram Deo Academy, a small private Christian school in Flower Mound, Texas
Child Development Academy, Daycare for Marshall University in Huntington, WV.
[edit]Government agencies

Capital Development Authority, Islamabad, Pakistan
Combined Development Agency, a uranium purchasing authority run by the US and UK government from 1948
[edit]In fiction

Child Detection Agency, a fictional agency in the animated world of Pixar's Monsters, Inc.
[edit]Laws

Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37)
Communications Decency Act, a US law found partially unconstitutional
Confidential disclosure agreement
Criminal defense attorney
Child Development Associate, the CDA Credential awarded to those in the Early Care & Education by The Council for Professional Recognition to work with Infants, Toddlers, or Preschoolers
[edit]Science

Cda, the abbreviation for the orchid genus Cochlioda
Clean Dry Air, air that has been filtered and dehumidified to remove particulates and moisture so that it can be safely used in pneumatic devices or systems
Continuous Descent Approach is an aircraft approach method designed to reduce fuel burn and noise
The Cosmic Dust Analyser in the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft
[edit]Chemistry
Chiral derivatizing agent, a type of chemical designed to react with enantiomers to indicate the enantiopurity
Completely denatured alcohol, the most heavily denatured alcohol
Controlled Droplet Application: a concept in pesticide application
[edit]Medicine
Chlorproguanil hydrochloride-dapsone-artesunate, an antimalarial drug that entered Phase III clinical trials in 2006
Clinical Document Architecture, part of the Health Level 7 standard
Congenital Developmental Abnormality/Abnormalities
Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia, a rare hematologic blood condition
Cytidine deaminase, an enzyme
[edit]Other

Coeur d'Alene (disambiguation), multiple meanings
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
That's a long road away, man. Choss can be found Much closer to home, though invites are always a good groove. 'Gracias.
Leslie Gulch calls you, man. Plaidman. That place needs some color.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
When we going? send email at scott.k.peterson@gmail.com

We will work out the details. I really need a road trip.

Plaid
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Mar 2, 2013 - 07:56am PT
I'm thinking DaBrim needs to come out with an armored option for deflecting rocks off the belayer.


@Don:

That red screw is what you're going to use for gear? Cool this is a whole area of climbing I don't know much about...


That's a whole area of climbing you should be happy you don't know anything about. Poles drive those screws into frozen clumps of grass growing out of cliffs for protection... of course the real adventure starts once the cliff thaws out. We'll let Plaidman get back to us on that experiment.

...In fact its hard to imagine climbing harder than 5.8 on holds that might break under body weight.


Er.. there's a whole guidebook dedicated to them.

Credit: justthemaid



kpinwalla2

Social climber
WA
Mar 2, 2013 - 08:47am PT
Plaidman's Fally looks awesome - the work of a true chossmeister! Here's some more great Columbia Valley Basalt choss - but these are dikes, not flows, so the small irregular columns are oriented horizontally, not vertically. The dikes are somewhat more resistant to weathering than the flows they intrude, so after millions of years of erosion, they end up sticking out of the mountainside like huge fins. To bolt them, we use a 12 ft. long bit and drill all they way through the fin and place a 12" diameter washer and nut on that side so it won't pull through the choss ;-).
The Black Tooth
The Black Tooth
Credit: kpinwalla2
Credit: kpinwalla2
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 2, 2013 - 09:35am PT
To bolt them, we use a 12 ft. long bit and drill all they way through the fin and place a 12" diameter washer and nut on that side so it won't pull through the choss ;-).
That is sick!!!!!

When can I meet you to get on that stuff!

Plaid
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Mar 2, 2013 - 09:40am PT
Nobody asked for the back story on Plaidman's Fally.
So here it is anyway.....

I started to hike up to the saddle on St. Peterís Dome on Oct. 12th 2012. The previous time I hiked in this area I ended up on the wrong side of the ravine and was unable to cross over to the east side. I knew this was an obstacle that I needed to avoid. I had my ice ax and a load of gear to stash up on top today. My pack was heavy with pitons and other necessary items that would be needed for the climb.

I ambled my way through the knee deep ferns and other brush. It was now fall so the leaves had started to drop off the trees and the thinning forest was easier to navigate. One of the difficult things in navigation here in the western gorge is the thickness of the undergrowth and the overgrowth; simply just all things growing. This area of the Columbia river Gorge gets any where from 90 to 120 of inches of rain per year and is a temperate rain forest.

I havenít seen my feet in over an hour and I am worried about feral anacondas. There arenít any here but there are frogs in abundance and snakes. Mostly garter snakes, which I have seen a few. But there are other varieties that I was unaware of. Rattlesnakes I knew were in the eastern Gorge. What we call a bull snake is more properly called a gopher snake. Here in the rain forest we donít have to worry about them. There are scorpions though. I have only seen one dead scorpion, on a ledge at Beacon Rock while climbing, but they are here and hide mostly under the rocks and moss.

I had a general idea of where to go, but the forest would obscure the view of the dome and the perspective would change as I moved up. There are several buttresses and the cliff faces would blend together. I wondered if I was going the right way. Moving up the right side of the ravine I got as high as I could above the alder grove that covered the slide that had happened 10 years ago. The alder is thick and I was trying to find the thinnest section to get from one side to the other. I pushed my way through the tangled mass of alder growth and found the deep ravine that needed to be crossed. The bank was 30 feet tall, under cut by the course of the steam and way too steep to get down. Turning left I moved 300 feet downhill and found an acceptable crossing. After making the crossing of the stream I moved up the opposite bank.

The hiking wasnít too steep here and the forest was thick again with moss and old growth fir. I moved toward the dome and found the talus slope. This slope of discarded rock that has sloughed off the dome was loose but not overly to cause much concern. Moving as quickly as I could I moved up through the talus and gained the saddle and dumped my pack of supplies. I found a niche near the base of Little St. Peterís Dome. This feature is a spire on the saddle that I had hoped to climb. After placing moss and leaves and sticks to mask my deposit of gear I turned to return from whence I came. I was fastly running out of daylight. I would return tomorrow with the crew to start the assault on St. Peterís Dome.

I had my wife, The Adventure Queen, and my climbing partner, Rick McDonald, †the next day. We were loaded down with water and the rest of the supplies, which consisted of ropes and bivy gear. We planned on spending the night and starting the climb the next day. We moved fairly quickly and as we proceeded I fixed ropes on the steeper sections. I had given Ronda and Rick rope ascenders to assist with the trudge up the approach. Upon arriving at the top of the talus slope we set up camp at the south end of the saddle and slept well in our moss covered sleeping area.

We awoke to fog and had some trouble deciding where to start up to get into Furrers Cave. I finally decided to start up and was pleasantly surprised to see that I picked the right spot. I couldnít believe that the old timers used to solo unroped up to the cave. I found it a bit unnerving not knowing what was loose and what would hold. I mixed up the climbing with a little aid and some free climbing. When I got to the cave I built and anchor and fixed the rope for Rick to ascend.

We realized that the bolted anchor would probably need to be replaced, so had the correct gear to replace it. What we found were two old rusty bolts. One was ľ inch with a home made hanger on it and the other bolt wasnít much better. It was a ⅜ inch bolt with the same kind of home made steel hanger. It didnít give us much confidence. The hardware we ended up replacing the bolts was Ĺ inch by 4 Ĺ inch stainless bolts with stainless steel hangers. It took us about 4 hours to hand drill these bolts. But now we could climb with confidence knowing the belay was in good rock with quality gear.

Rick and Ronda had to leave because they were working the next day. I stayed and slept at the bivy on the saddle, woke up the next day and tried to solo aid up the first pitch. I only made it up to the first fixed piton before I realized that I was not willing to go much higher alone. Intimidated and unhappy about the lack of progress I left to come back with my partner and try again next weekend.

Rick and I started up on Friday evening the next week, slept at the saddle bivy and made it up to our high point from the weekend before the next morning. I was ready now to tackle the 96 foot band. I planned on replacing a bolt and hanger that I could see above my high point. It was another of those terrible rusty ľ inch bolts. We had a secret weapon this trip though. A power drill. We had had enough of hand drilling. So upon getting to the accursed rusty blob I found a good spot a bit above it and put in a good Ĺ inch by 4 Ĺ inch bolt with a shiny stainless steel hanger. This one would hold a fall and keep me from hitting the ledge below.

I proceeded to nail pitons one after another. The route I was following had been climbed several times now by previous parties. There was little loose rock but the nailing was tricky. Mostly A2 I thought. I used mostly bird beaks, peckers, and another secret weapon, Toucan pitons. The Toucan pitons were the right tool. These pitons have long beaks and are down angled so they lodge deep into the cracks. They were the most solid piece of gear on the pitch.

I finally made it up about 80 feet when I came to an anchor that was just below the grassy ledge at the top of the 96 foot band. I saw that these bolts needed to be replace also so I put in two of †Ĺ inch by 4 Ĺ hardware that I had been using and fixed the rope to this anchor and retreated into the cave with Rick. I had taken me hours to do the pitch and I cleaned all the gear on rappel. We hunkered down for a nights rest to get going again in the morning.

We got up early and jugged the ropes to my high point. I had a lead up to the grassy ledge of about 16 feet. This was about 5.8 free climbing in a weird chimney kind of thing then after getting to the ledge the wall was rotten so I was unable to get any gear in until I traversed to the left. I got to a nice slab of rock and built a bomb proof anchor with pitons and nuts, brought up Rick and got ready for the next pitch.

I traversed left further along the ledge till I got to a bent piton and looked up. It was not really the feature I was looking for as the guide said this was a 5.8 chimney. It didnít look like a chimney to me but I was not willing to go any further to the left as the ledge ended and I could not see around the corner. So up I decided was the best choice. I started nailing a pencil thin crack with #1 bird beak pitons. When the crack was just about ended I had no choice but nail it one more time just above the last placement. To the left were hanging plates of chandelier looking like rock, just ready to come raining down upon me. There were no cracks to the right. So I nailed another piton above my last placement. I had a bad feeling about it, and low and behold I was right. As I pounded one more time the crack I was nailing expanded and the piton that my aiders were hung on, that I was standing in exploded and I was instantly airborne falling backwards through the air. I ended up, well not really up but upside down, hanging by one of the small #1 birds beak pitons.

Normally if I am not hurt, falling just makes me mad. So I checked myself out and let Rick know I was fine and got backup to my high point. Out came the hooks and I found small features to hook my way up and right then traversing left until I could get in a solid piece of gear. It was a Long Dong Lost Arrow piton and I was never so grateful to get that one in. I had a few free moves to make. Made a mistake by not un-clipping the last piece of gear I was aiding on, so in the middle of a free move I was stuck. I untangled the mess I had made without falling again and got to a stance just below the grassy slope above. Here I knew that the hardest move would be pulling myself up on this steep slope of moss, dirt and loose rock. I had another trick in my bag. Before I left the grassy ledge at the bent piton I had tied my moss ax to a tag line. This was my ace in the hole. I quickly brought up the tool and with it in my hand sunk it deep into the loamy moss covered incline. Up I went and practically ran up to the tree nearly 25 feet above me kicking steps as I proceeded.

Fixing the rope for Rick after attaching myself to the tree, I yelled ďOFF BELAYĒ. Now Rick followed up as the last rays of the sun disappeared from the sky. It hadnít seemed like it took that long but aid climbing can be tricky when it comes to time. It seems that time is standing still for the climber and is really racing by at screaming speed. As I sat there I thought that the name of the pitch I just had led should be called Plaidmanís Fally. Folly because I was off route and I fell while leading the pitch. So the spelling should be FALLY. I love playing with words.

We set up our bivy after Rick arrived at the tree. I had yelled down to him to leave the gear and we would clean it later. He said he was fine cleaning in the dark by headlamp. ďBesidesĒ he said ďWhat are we going to do with all the time we have on our hands.Ē I had hauled up our bivy gear and food. Now all we needed was a flat place to sleep. We dug out ledges with the moss ax and lined them with moss. After eating we settled down to sleep. He gave me his down vest and I gave him my wool socks. I didnít want my belayer to get cold feet.

I slept fairly well but Rick said he didnít sleep much. The sleep he did get was filled with sounds of me banging pitons. When he wasnít sleeping he was counting the 17 trains that blew their whistle at the railroad crossing nearly a mile away below us. The cliffs above and around St. Peterís Dome act as a natural amphitheater. I think it was really an eerie wild sound and filled the night.

We got up early and got started again. The slope above was peppered with loose blocks and moss covered ledges. There was nothing solid to place any protection. So this was a 200 foot runout scary loose lead. This was some of the loosest rock I had ever seen. I called it alpine choss at sub-alpine elevation.

I was unable to make it to the summit so I built an anchor on a tree and brought Rick up and let him get the last 50 foot lead to the summit. After he got there he brought me up. I was elated to gain this summit and to do it with my best friend was a real bonus. We signed the summit register and proceeded to rappel. This climb was the first objective in my 100 Days, 100 Miles, 100 Climbs project. I figured that I would get the hardest one out of the way and the others would be a cakewalk. I was almost right.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Mar 2, 2013 - 09:47am PT
Kpin.. So that's what they use this for?:

Credit: justthemaid

Edit to add: Figured you'd post up about the Fally when you were darn well ready.. Great story.

PS: TRAPPED! I've got some major feline paralysis going on here. The Mewster normally hates everyone so I'm loath to disturb any lap-time bone she throws me.

PPS: I love that you have a "moss axe"

PPPS: What is fog? ;)

PPPSS: 100 days, 100 miles, 100 climbs sounds fun!

kpinwalla2

Social climber
WA
Mar 2, 2013 - 10:49am PT
Thanks for the trip report Plaidman! That's the real deal. Here's a shot of Cordwood Tower at The Dikes, so named because the columns are stacked like a wood pile - and fall apart almost as easily.
Credit: kpinwalla2
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