The Climbing Club

Zig-Zaggin' at Mt Erie
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Author:  Heather Whitney [ Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Zig-Zaggin' at Mt Erie

This will be a quick trip report since I didn't take (gasp!) as many pictures as I usually do. My friend Kelsey (another UW alumni) and I headed up to Mt Erie for a casual Sunday afternoon of climbing. Although we encountered some drizzles on the drive up, the rain-shadow effect left Erie nice and dry.

Our objective was the moderate 3-pitch trad classic 5.7 Zig Zag on the Snag Buttress, and we knew we had the crags to ourselves since we were the only car in the pull-out. As we reached the base of Snag Buttress, the clouds cleared to the west, and we were drenched in sunshine while munching our lunches and gearing up.

I led up the first pitch, which is straightforward until you reach a ledge at the top of the first main corner. From there the route climbs up a very hollow-sounding flake (I don't recommend placing a cam behind it). There is a slot above the flake that might take a .4 cam, but unfortunately I had already placed my only .4 earlier. I was stuck to suck it up and climb up unprotected above the ledge. A fall would have been bad as it would have dropped me on the ledge below. Fortunately, the poorly-protected crux of the first pitch is short and the anchor chains are just above.

Kelsey led the second pitch, veering straight up and traversing under the large obvious overhang. She bypassed the Snag, eventually reaching a ledge below the layback section where she set up an anchor and belayed me up. I finished up the route by leading the layback (good gear protection thru the layback) up to some more snags and bolt anchors.

We finished up the day by climbing the fun 5.10a sport route On Eagle's Wings to the top of Snag Buttress and then top-roping Clip My Wings (5.10+), a sport route between On Eagle's Wings and Springboard. We combined rope power with the only other party that joined us on Snag Buttress to make 4 quick rappels back to the ground.

The base of Zig Zag:

Looking up the first pitch of Zig Zag:

Kelsey belays me up the second pitch:

Looking down towards Kelsey while leading On Eagle's Wings:

Author:  Nathan Johnson [ Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zig-Zaggin' at Mt Erie

run it out!

Author:  Carolina [ Tue May 01, 2012 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Zig-Zaggin' at Mt Erie

Nice job! I remember that cruxy finish to the first pitch. Not hard, but the hollow flake + ledge combo was somewhat unnerving. I want to go back and finish the 3rd pitch - we got distracted by some fun sport climbing to the right of the snag when I went up.

Author:  Aubrey Goldsmith [ Tue May 01, 2012 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zig-Zaggin' at Mt Erie

Sounds like fun! I attempted this route a few weeks back, only to be rained off after the first pitch - definitely need to go back and finish it sometime! I agree, the top move was sketchy, but I do remember placing a .4 right in that area, maybe it's the spot you were thinking..

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