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New Slide in Hunters Pass. 08-28-2021

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  • New Slide in Hunters Pass. 08-28-2021

    New Slide in Hunter's Pass


    Claudia visited a new slide in Hunter's Pass on 8-28. I noticed it on 11-24-20 from Nippletop. Claudia saw this year from there too and thought it recent one. The condition of the rock supports that. When it actually slid, unknown.

    We arrived to it from Elk Lake after climbing up Hunters Pass trail and then striking out on a coutour after the trail turned toward Dix after 100-200 ft of climbing. Along the way we encountered a slab and climbed it part way up but took an early exit because of moss lichen.

    A short time later we arrived at the new slide. It's not too long but the nice clean rock was certainly fun to climb. At the bottom it's a gully much smaller than, but reminiscent of the Cruciflyer. Closed in at the start then opening wide.

    When we arrived we found we'd have to descend the slide to get to the base since the to each side are very tall cliffs. But once inside we found a ramp on one side of the gully to the bottom. From my GPS track I got a slide that's 785 ft. long and rises 445 ft. for about a 35o slope; or a 55% grade.

    After the exit we bushwhacked back to the Hunters Pass trail and returned to the lowlands in order to ascend the West Buttress Slide. Claudia has been wanting to go back there for a year or two. There hadn't been an opportunity until yesterday.

    The West Buttress is the most difficult we've ever climbed (8-8-15 on this forum). The reason is there are two hair-raising pitches. It was helpful is that rock is still in pretty good (but not perfect) condition. We wore our best rock climbing shoes. Bringing along more protection has been recommended (see Mudrat's website)

    The first pitch starts with a tall step, the bottom through middle climbing goes with confidence, then near the finish, with the most exposure, the steps get smaller. Fortunately there were good hand holds when most needed. And there's a good place to pause and calm yourself. It takes awhile to settle down after that climb.

    The second pitch is a steep ramp with a wall and good crack to climb on. Though beyond that there's still friction climbing and up there rock didn't look as clean as below. My recollection from 2015 is the upper section had good rough rock and went easier than the first pitch. Yesterday it didn't go with the same amount of confidence, more caution, actually. Once beyond that there's no more exposure.

    As in 2015 we went up over the ridge and descended down to the drainage below the South Fork slide. Since we had more time left in the day we climbed it and took the tallest finger that's closest to the summit. This is an old slide with mosses dotting the rock. Over the years a route with less moss has developed and the slope not too much. Nearing the upper reaches some granular lichen also mixes in dotting the rock and that takes away from the friction. After finishing it's about a 300ft vertical bushwhack to the trail.

    We finished the day tagging Dix summit and returned to Elk Lake via the Beckhorn Trail.

  • #2
    It's great to see you two are out an exploring. The rock looks like when we did the Buttress 9 years ago; so white! And it looks like a nice one to combine with the others on that face. Thanks for posting the details on it and the pics!
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.