A break in the clouds while...

A break in the clouds while on route to the first

pitch of Chair Peak's North Face, visible at the

foot of the dark rock in the middle of the photo,

winter '96.


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mpbro - Feb 3, 2002 7:31 pm - Hasn't voted

great shot

how steep is that slope? Looks around 60 degrees!

Joe Hanssen

Joe Hanssen - Feb 4, 2002 11:18 am - Hasn't voted

Re: great shot

The slope was about 55-60 degrees, but it was just a warm up to the 70 degree climb. Conditions were bad that day, we saw many large avalanches, and backed off of the climb part way up because we were in a garbage shoot for snow and ice. An avalanche came off the west face of Chair Peak and swept down the tracks we placed earlier in the morning on our approach. We found a water bottle and a few other items in the debree so we combed the area the best we could without beacons. We didn't find anyone half buryied, so we crossed our fingers and left. I found out later that year an aquaintance had been killed by an avalanche attempting a winter ascent on the same peak. I never found out if it was on the same weekend. To make things even more bizarre, while we were driving up Snoqualmie Pass to this climb, a coyote jumped out of nowhere with fangs showing and hit the side of the car while we were going at highway speed. After slamming on the brakes and a quick look back, the coyote was nowhere to be seen. These days I look for all the signs, whether or not is has to do with weather or snow conditions.

Story told, this picture remains one of my favorites, and I refer to it for inspiration.

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