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The Climbing Club • View topic - Mazama! A tasty Prime Rib and Inspiring Methow Route

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Location: Seattle
Aubrey and I lucked out on some fantastic weather for some multi pitch sport climbing in Mazama on Fri/Sat (May 11/12). Not only did the weather cooperate, but the North Cascades Highway opened a few hours before our departure from Seattle on Thursday. Perfect timing! Some highlights below:

Day 1– Prime Rib
Climb Time (not including approach): 5.5 hrs
Rappel time: 2.5 hrs
Car to Car: 9 hrs

The cool misty air coming off Goat Creek had us shivering in the shade at the start. Two climbing guides on their day-off simul-climbed past us while we took an impromptu lunch break at the base of Pitch 7 to let them pass. Prior to starting pitch 9, we also let a shirtless and helmet-less free-soloist pass us. He was wearing a harness with an 8mm rope tied to his back for the rappel descent. Thank you for not falling! I led the “airy” traverse (Pitch 9), which I honestly did not even notice as “airy” until I reached the anchors to set up a belay for Aubrey and looked down. Foot and handholds were bomber. Pure fun! Pitch 11 was fun and exposed -- Don't miss it!

Overall, a really enjoyable route. As other UW climbers have said before, I would highly recommend it for beginning/intermediate climbers ready to practice their multi-pitch and rappel skills. I think we could shave off an hour or two off a repeat climb simply due to familiarity with the route now. We probably wasted an hour or two a) finding the best way to the base of the route; and 2) figuring out the actual climbing route. Fortunately, the topo in the Mazama Rock book by Brian Burdo is really good – make a photo copy and bring it with you before you leave the ground.

Day 2 – Methow Inspiration Route (MIR) + bonus climbing at Prospector Crag
MIR Climb Time (approach hike excluded): 3.25 hrs
MIR rappel time: 1 hr (average of 10 min/rappel – yeah!)
MIR Car to Car: 6 hrs (including approach and lunch at top)

Pitch 1 was still in the shade when I started, which made the rock feel rather slimy. Felt a little runout between first few bolts. Aubrey bravely led the roof on pitch 4, which I felt was the scariest lead move on the entire MIR due to the ledge beneath! Pitch 5 was slab climbing and funky finger pockets/crimpers at its best. Definitely felt a bit run-out. Every bolt was happily clipped!

MIR was definitely more challenging than Prime Rib. The grades felt harder and the bolts were definitely more run-out (especially on the last pitch). It had some quality moves and a great lunch spot up top. Both Prime Rib and MIR are rather chossy at the belay/rap stations, so don’t forget your helmet! We only had time/energy for one 5.9 climb at Prospector Crag (Goody 2 Shoes), but the route was of high quality. If we had had another day, we would have happily returned to pick off some of the several other 5.9/5.10 sport routes.

Pictures

First two pitches of Prime Rib:
Image

Following pitch 2 on Prime Rib:
Image

Aubrey climbs Pitch 6:
Image

Looking up Pitch 10:
Image

Aubrey hangs out at the a cheval rap bolts at the top of Pitch 4 during one of the many rappels:
Image

Aubrey follows on Pitch 1 of MIR:
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I followed Pitch 2 of MIR:
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Aubrey belays me to top of Pitch 2 of MIR:
Image

Aubrey made fine work of the roof on Pitch 4 of MIR:
Image

Snowy North Cascades on return drive:
Image


Last edited by Heather Whitney on Mon May 14, 2012 8:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:14 pm 
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The Pub Czar
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Location: too far from a pint.

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good judgment comes from experience;
experience comes from bad judgment.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:50 am 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:39 pm
Posts: 1945
Location: Bashing Brush
Well done - two of my favorite Methow-area climbs!

I'm impressed that you guys climbed at Prospector on Sunday afternoon - I hear that it was cooking even down at Fun Rock. Definitely get back that way for the other 5.9s and 5.10s - some amazing routes at that crag.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:03 am 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Posts: 812
Those are great routes! Next time you're up there, have a look at Sisyphus. The crux is supposedly 11a (but can be made 10c by pulling on a draw, and really closely bolted, so you feel great the whole time). The rest is only up to 10b (most is easier than that), and is also closely bolted.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:18 pm 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 187
Location: Seattle
Polagye: I hear it was cooking everywhere in WA on Sunday!

Val: Yes, it was a tough decision between MIR and Sisyphus on Day 2. What I realize now is that MIR was established by someone other than Brian Burdo, hence why the grading and bolt spacing is different. If Burdo helped establish Sisyphus, then the close bolting would make sense.


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