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Best Scrambles in WA

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Washington and Oregon. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Pacific Northwest Climbing Partners section.
 

Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby LuminousAphid » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:10 pm

One that I have decided to try again this year, and probably earlier in the season than later, is Merchant Peak near Baring. I have failed twice before due to poor conditions that I didn't want to risk, but I think now that I have more experience with snow I might go when the snow is packed and the avy danger is very (very) low. Those might not both coincide this year, but I'm hoping they will. I might start trips up to barclay lake next week if I can get to the TH
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:20 pm

We descended the East Ridge and I recall a few exposed spots that the girlfriend in the group worried over, but was pretty reasonable.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby gimpilator » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:29 pm

There's no question that the best rock for scrambling is found on the west ridges of the North Twin and South Twin. Other than that, some of my personal favorites in order of best first include:

Tomyhoi, Washington (Olympics), Larrabee, White Chuck, Del Campo, Deception (Olympics), Fortress, Black, Red (I-90), Helena, Sauk
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby LuminousAphid » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:53 pm

Thanks again all of you who are throwing these out there. Although many were already in some sort of "to do" list in my head, it's great to hear some of the ones I haven't been thinking of. Specifically I think the North and South Twins, I have been looking into, and I might have to at least try to get out to this year. Although, it's always hard to say with the weather around here...

On the subject of weather, I need advice on rain gear. I almost was gonna make a separate topic on this, but didn't. I am thinking about trying out a poncho this year for times when rain is an issue but not wind, because I always get sweaty wearing an actual rain coat, even (sorta) fancy north face stuff that's supposed to be breathable. Any experience on this front? I assume it will be no good in wind, but if it's high humidity I think it might give my body heat and sweat somewhere to go, which a rain coat just doesn't
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 pm

LuminousAphid wrote:On the subject of weather, I need advice on rain gear.

-Softshell pants

-Some type of softshell jacket - I personally dislike stretch woven softshell jackets for climbing but find a lightly insulated windshirt (e.g. Marmot Driclime) to be a great choice. This will get you through surprisingly variable weather conditions, is highly breathable and sheds snow and light precipitation.

-Lightweight hardshell - Marmot Precip or similar. Doesn't have to cost $400. No waterproof jacket is going to be prefectly breatheable, but this jacket is for when it is really coming down and your softshell wets out.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby Mountainjeff » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:29 am

Excellent thread with great advice! There are also many excellent (and chossy...) scrambles in the Olympic Range:
- Mt Ellinor
-Mt Washington (any route)
-Mt Deception (bring a helmet. It is a first class choss-fest
-Mt Stone
-The Brothers
-Mt Angeles

The W Ridge of N Twin looks intriguing. It is going on my list for this season.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby LuminousAphid » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:04 pm

Mountainjeff wrote: -Mt Angeles

The W Ridge of N Twin looks intriguing. It is going on my list for this season.


I guess you could say this is my first "scramble" ever; I remember hiking here with my grandma years ago, and then basically forcing her to follow me to the summit through terrible scree and choss. I should do it again some year to see how my memories compare.

I have either the N or S Twin on my list for this year too, and I will let you know when I have any plans to actually do there.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby Mountainjeff » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:52 pm

I have only done Angeles in the winter. It was my very first winter climb and I had to skip the summit block because of excessive rime ice.

The S twin also looks like an interesting climb. That is one part of washington I have never visited.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby LuminousAphid » Sat May 26, 2012 4:45 am

Hey, I'm here to bring this topic back to life after a while, and also to say that I am back after unfortunately suffering some sort of back injury (which also led to anxiety issues... a lot of sitting around doesn't do well for my brain, apparently). I will be looking to get out soon as the weather and snow starts to clear, although I do have some bills for physical therapy that I need to get paid since I guess that it fixed my back. Feel free to PM me if you'd like when planning trips, I probably won't be able to go soon but at some point I need to get back out to the mountains for a while.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby Josh Lewis » Sat May 26, 2012 7:35 pm

For some reason Mount Index's Southwest route is in the 75 classic scrambles... I can tell you from experience it is not. In late season it's one of the worst routes I've ever done. :shock: Plus I hear it's pretty much illegal now. :wink:
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby TimmyC » Sat May 26, 2012 7:57 pm

Slightly OT, but...

ExcitableBoy wrote:-Lightweight hardshell - Marmot Precip or similar. Doesn't have to cost $400. No waterproof jacket is going to be prefectly breatheable, but this jacket is for when it is really coming down and your softshell wets out.


Another vote for the Precip. Two rainy weekends ago, a partner noted that everyone in our group of five was wearing -- or in the middle of putting on -- a Precip. They're light, they're cheap, and they work. It's just one of those pieces of gear that strikes the perfect balance between weight, function, and cost. And, if you are concerned about such things, they come in like a million colors and color combos.
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Re: Best Scrambles in WA

Postby Wastral » Sat May 26, 2012 10:41 pm

Depending on how confident you are, Sefrit, is an excellent early spring/winter ascent. Not quite a scramble though as you will need rope, rap chord. Its a couple pitches of 4th.

Its the main peak on the right as you go up to Hanagen pass.

I haven't done the NW glacier route though in winter it would be shorter.

Other scrambles of note in the winter time would be peaks in the Foss drainage. Index, Baring, Persis, Gunn. LOTS of elevation gain. 5-6000 vert on all of those.

All of the peaks mostly unnamed from mt. Daniel to Hwy 2 are all excellent scrambles. LOTS of lakes up there and meadows. Perfect area for learning route finding skills. Cathedral peak has a touch of class 4 on it and may not be your cup of tea.

Heck, 80% of the peaks in WA are scrambles. Depending on route more like 90%. Just pick one and go. You will learn to love THICK timber and abhore open areas. See sun, RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION! Unless you love inventing new curse words as you impale your stupid ass on devils club, salmon berry, gooseberry, slippery mud/moss/rock/tree, vinemaple thickets, slide alder thickets, mountain hemlock thickets and who knows what else.

=)

Enjoy!
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