Mount Garfield - South Route, August 2005 (By Paul Klenke)
The Hazardous Enigma. Well, not so much anymore. More on that later...
There are lots of "Garfield" named summits in the United States (five Garfield Mountains, seven Garfield Peaks, and four Mt. Garfields). No doubt all of these are named for our 20th President James A. Garfield, who held office for less than one year (1881) before succumbing to a gunshot wound from an assassination attempt. Sixteen peaks in his name is quite an homage. And perhaps the most astonishing peak among all of these is the one in Washington State. Garfield Mountain--more popularly known as Mt. Garfield--is an incredible wave of exposed volcanic rock amidst a sea of lesser, more timbered swells. Because of the extreme amount of exfoliation present on the mountain's complex flanks, it sets itself apart from its neighbors both in visual and in technical appeal. There have been many climbs done on the massif but probably only 5 percent of it has been explored. Just one look at it while climbing it is enough to tell you that. Hopefully, the photos presented here will show you.
Finally a syzygy of punishment-gluttoners came to pass: Sergio, Eric, and myself. And so it was that we would take on the peak on August 20, 2005. And in the end, for although the climbing was indeed technical and dangerous and we did hazard our rappelling position with rope-induced rock fall, I must say I was disappointed. Why was I disappointed? Read on to find out! (more...)
Click here to view photos.