Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New York State of Mind

Reports from Snoqualmie Pass had indicated that the area was in fantastic shape. Ice was formed up on routes that normally are dry. Given the three-day weekend I had just enough time to eschew my responsibilities for a few hours and try my hand at New York Gully.

This was actually my third attempt, the first two-never getting more than 10 min from the car.
1. The first attempt ended in Issaquah when my Andrew Stones Jones' car dropped its transmission and caught on fire. Thankfully we had full nalgenes and were able to avert total catastrophe.
2. The second attempt ended just minutes from the car in the face of a deep isothermic snowpack.
3. During the third attempt we had stable snow, favorable weather and GPS coordinates!

Chad following the first pitch. We climbed the first pitch in a long 110 m simul pitch to a distinct dead snag below the box gully.

Here I am leading the box gully. There were just enough tool slots and protection opportunities to make this feel pretty sane. It ended up being 65m to a solid belay stance.

Chad exiting the box gully to our third belay stance.

Chad leading dead verticle snice to the offwidth. We were able to free both the offwidth and the aid section above. In all reality it goes at akward 5.9 M4. A final simul traverse right brought us to the descent and literally 45 min to the car!

The routes on Snoqualmie Mountain are great but their proximity to Seattle has hyped them 10-fold. In all reality NYG is equivalent to I-Rock in length and quality. I want to get back for Pineapple Express but if I'm desperate and time is short I-Rock is a great option.