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UWJ White Slide: 2012 September 16

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  • UWJ White Slide: 2012 September 16


    PICTURES by Kevin & Nangaparbat

    Temp: 40-70F
    Partner: Nangaparbat
    Mileage: About 10

    I remember telling Neil last year as we reached the top of the White Slide, “I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon,” in reference to both other interests on other mountains and a very difficult traverse about halfway up. Some time over the winter, NP started talking about this little gem and I said the heck with it. Thus, we returned on September 16, 2012.

    Our approach took us up the trail to an intersecting slide (I forget the name, Beaver Basin maybe?) then down to the intersection with the new run from the Beaver Brook Slide. I was referencing a flawed mental image continued a bit farther with NP asking, “You sure this is correct?” every so often. I kept answering, “Absolutely!”…referring back to my flawed mental image. In the end I was absolutely wrong instead of right. It’s a good lesson…to re-evaluate one’s answer when asked a direct question more than once. After realizing my error, we trekked back up (and past) the drainage from the Sabre Tooth Slides, the approach I wanted to research this time. The drainage was hidden by a wall of blowdown.

    Once on the correct route, things went easily up the mossy shaded drainage. Eventually we hit some open slabs that precede the slides by about 1200 ground feet. I remembered seeing snowshoe tracks last winter while coming back from Gothics with NP. Alders and fir at the base of the Eastern Sabre grew on rugged steep ground. Sod holes sat in wait amongst the trees as well since we strayed a bit higher than the primary drainage. I told NP that we should return to the Eastern Sabre to play on its steep lower pitches. Once on an even contour with the Western Sabre, we bushwhacked west to the base of the White Slide, arriving around noon.

    Nangaparbat beginning the climb. Sabre Tooth Slides in background.

    The great white track was like seeing an old friend…a friend that nearly whipped your butt. NP put on a harness and rope to drag his pack up the most precipitous areas. Following the path of open rock to a large right-leaning dihedral, he went first as I enjoyed the partly occluded view of Giant just over the ridge. I was also contemplating that which he was on. I can’t say I was second-guessing my decision to return, but I WAS bracing myself for the treacherous maneuver. This section is mossy with small areas of rock showing through the carpet. Pure friction, under-cling holds and a decent crack for a hand jam a bit higher are all that stop a fall on this section. Exposure is maxed out as well.

    Above, we regrouped and I hopped up over the next dihedral. The length of my legs helped tremendously, but again the move required full commitment. I waited for NP, who chose a different route. I was comfortably perched higher up on the ever steepening, but knobby rock. It’s a nice area to both enjoy the scenery and flush the extra adrenalin from one’s system. The iron-rich rock, a light brown, is even evident on satellite images.

    Kevin nearing the top. Pic by NP.

    Some more steep friction climbing led to the crux. The steep slab is a bit concave, then changes to convex. This effectively places the steepest section first. Last year I skipped this section, choosing the slab to the right which is protected by a shelf of trees. Since I knew what was above (where I couldn’t see), I climbed it. Small holds and the wall of the adjacent dihedral helped both my hands and feet find purchase. NP ascended next; we were sitting atop looking at the base by about 2:30 p.m. and summit (after the bushwhack to the Range Trail) by about 3:00.

    As we put voice to our thoughts, I told him that if I’d tried this slide several years ago before I was ‘ready’, he’d likely have found me stuck mid-slide in a fetal position clinging to a ledge…lacking the experience/ability to climb and unable to descend.

    NP and I exited back to our respective cars on different routes, he to AMR and I to the Garden where he picked me up. On the way down I explored the base of the slide formerly known as “Skinny” and lazily enjoyed the Southside Trail along Johns Brook. Arriving at my car at about 7:00 p.m. tipped 10 hours for the traverse. FYI, there’s a 10” wasp nest about 10’ off the ground in the Garden parking lot on the left side.

    Thanks for a great day, NP.

    NP on a steep section near the top.
    Last edited by mudrat; 01-17-2013, 05:47 PM.
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

  • #2
    Those pics bring back memories. Especially the final dihedral!

    Fricking steep!


    • #3
      I was going to take the "r" out of "fricking" and add a vowel....


      • #4
        Neil: Yup, friggin steep is right. I wasn't as tired this time around since it wasn't the 3rd slide of the day. You and NP climbed around the 2nd ledge the same way. I think I climbed over it last time as well.

        Jim: I didn't know that word had an "i" in it too We've got to talk about your spelling.
        Last edited by mudrat; 09-21-2012, 06:37 AM.
        May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.


        • #5
          Wearing Pink glasses, wont make this route easier.....

          I was dreaming of climbing the "White Slide" on UWJ since I have read a TR from Mudrat && Neil who have climbed it in aug 2011.

          Last October, I went for my first try, with the intention of following the Beaver Meadows Brook, until I reach the Overhanging walls of rock, then the idea was to BW down && right to reach the base of the "White"

          Once I reached the Overhanging wall, I decided that I would not push my luck, and instead continue upward by BWacking && following rock steps to the top of UWJ.

          Last May, I followed the same path, but I have reached the base of the "White". The dirty dihedrals found at mid height, prove to be too much , I was wearing a heavy pack.
          When I return to my car, I promise myself to return and be better prepared.

          So last Sunday was my third try at the "White", I have carried with me a rope, to be used to pull my backpack and thus I will not have to wear it during the climb thougher sections.

          I have followed Mudrat up a new side slide leading into Beaver Meadows brook, && after some up && down we finally found the tributary that led to the base of the Sabertooth slide. After a little more effort we finally reach the base of the slide.

          I would say the climb is characterized by an easy section at its start until you reach the dihedrals at mid point.

          After that the route is a completely different affair, sustained, difficult, prudence and a solid head are mandatory requirements for those interested in this endeavour. I personally feel that compare to the "White" the "Eagle" is a "walk in the Park".

          I manage to finally climbed the "White", but I was belayed in 2 sections to insure my safety not Progress. This lead me to conclude that I am done with it.

          For those interested in doing it, think on a plan to help you get up safely up the "White".

          Thanks for Mudrat with whom I shared this beautiful day and Kudos to all who have climbed it.
          8000m 0/14


          • #6
            No wanting to run afoul of Neil, I'll just add enough to keep from being tossed down the white slide headfirst: pretty fi*cking steep!


            • #7
              Originally posted by NoTrace View Post
              No wanting to run afoul of Neil, I'll just add enough to keep from being tossed down the white slide headfirst: pretty fi*cking steep!
              Actually, Neil tought he would go down with this!!!!!!!
              8000m 0/14


              • #8
                Originally posted by nangaparbat View Post
                Actually, Neil tought he would go down with this!!!!!!!
                That was me practicing my photoshop skills with Neil as guinea pig...always a fun endeavor.
                May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.



                • #9
                  C'mon - that has to be real.