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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mount Deception - Gilhooley Saddle, July 18



At most I might average a single Olympics trip a year. After all there's only so much choss that even I can take. Having climbed both Anderson and Deception within a few weeks of each other, one might ask what the hell has gotten in to me this summer. Have I lost my mind?

Whatever. I had it on relatively good authority that a trip to climb Mount Deception would be well worth the effort, no matter how loose or easy the climb for that matter. From outrageously scenic Royal Basin to the lofty summit (by Olympic standards) with its expansive views of surprisingly rugged peaks both near and far, Deception doesn't disappoint. But make no mistake; the peak certainly harbors some awful rock, although frankly I didn't find it any worse than that which I have encountered on so many peaks in that mountain range east of the Sound. Besides, being that it's the second tallest peak in the Olympic Mountains alone warrants visitation by any avid Seattle-based...er, um chossaholic in my opinion. It certainly also doesn't hurt that the climb is doable in a day from my bed in North Seattle. Bed-to-bed in less than 20 hours I like to say...ha ha! Had I not gotten hosed by the damn ferry wait once again I'd have made it home in time for a late dinner even!

Full report here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tower Mountain - West Gully, July 11



Having worn my last pair of mountaineering boots well past their prime, I found myself frantically searching for a new pair. REI's internet-only Garmont Tower GTX boot sale presented an offer I could not refuse; an offer made even better by putting my REI dividend towards the purchase. With the great price and better than expected fit, it seemed only fitting that the maiden voyage for these boots would be Tower Mountain itself.

As seen from many summits in the Washington Pass area, Tower Mountain presents itself as a slanting rock fin rising abruptly from the undulating terrain at the southern edge of the Pasayten Wilderness. Ever since I first laid eyes on the peak in 2002 from the top of Liberty Bell, Tower has held my imagination and curiosity. I however always seemed to have had greater climbing priorities; that is until now. My 'thing' these days seems to be day-trip scrambles from Seattle (lame I know, but at least I'm not claiming some FKT nonsense). Armed with the Swamp Creek approach beta and a good estimate on how much time the approach and climb should take, I managed to convince Eli into joining me on this seemingly masochistic enterprise.

Full report here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mount Anderson - East Ridge (West Peak), July 3-5



I credit long-time climbing partner Eric H. for initially drawing my attention to Mount Anderson, a large mountain massif hidden deep within the Olympic Mountains. To be honest, it seemed like an unremarkable, out-of-the-way pile representative of most of the peaks in the range. One could say that I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about Anderson. But, alas I promised Eric I'd climb it with him if he would accompany me on the West Arete of Mount Constance-a peak he had already visited two times prior.

In my ever-expanding quest to visit unclimbed (by me) peaks in unfamiliar (to me) pockets of our local mountain ranges, Anderson's increase in priority on my to-do list was virtually assured. By the summer of 2009 it was finally getting to be time to pull the trigger on the trip. Despite the unfortunate fact that Eric wouldn't be able to join us, Paul K's timely suggestion to climb the peak over the July 4th weekend was music to my ears.

Full report here.
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