Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Darrington

After two weeks in Squamish it was finally time to move on. Our next stop was about as far removed from the convenience and crowds as we could get, in the heart of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, outside the small town of Darrington, Washington. Camping and climbing for a few days the only other people we saw were two forest service employees who had backpacked in to count mountain goats.

Here is Kristal atop the first pitch of Silent Running 5.9+ on Three O'Clock Rock.


It was clear from hiking through the forest that some enormous trees had been logged here many years ago. There were countless stumps that were easily 15 feet in diameter. Here's Kristal in front of of a huge dead tree that escaped the logging.


We were also camped near an awesome river, which provided some great post climb swimming.
 

We had originally planned to climb Dreamer on Green Giant Buttress. Unfortunately it was directly east facing and despite being a pleasant 20ish degrees Celcius in the shade, it turned out to be near intolerable climbing in the sun. We set our sights on the more manageable west facing Blueberry Route III, 5.8+ on Exfoliation Dome.
 


With a pre-dawn start we figured we could climb most of the route before baking in the sun. Here is Kristal coming up the second last pitch, just as we were getting into the sun.


A view of the crazy overlaps of the upper washbowl.


And Kristal on the summit.


We were stoked to have completed the climb with only minimal sun exposure. Unfortunately we now had to make it down 11 rappels and 1500 feet of steep slab hiking while frying on the rock. Here is Kristal nearing the end of the rappels, with the steep granite 'sidewalk' below.


 And starting down the sidewalk, with the route we just climbed in the background on the left.


After 11 1/2 hours car to car the post-climb swim never felt so good!

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