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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostMon Apr 22, 2002 3:54 pm 
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Devils Thumb/Devils Peak USGS Silverton April 21, 2002

I would like to say that I really appreciate the Boealps club!  Read on to see why……

Sunday, Alton and I drove to the Deer Creek road past Silverton.  Lo and behold, there were 11 cars parked there!  Uh-oh!  Who could this be camping overnight?  I knew it wasn’t the Mountaineers who were in Leavenworth…..but I didn’t know who……

Alton I left the car at 6:30 and immediately I started to hate the road road walk.  Once in a while it would sprinkle rain, but for the most part and the remaining day a heavy mist surrounded us.  I do not like road walks and this was no exception, in addition I was extremely frustrated that other people might be on the climbs I was on, thereby possibly preventing me from climbing my goals for the day.  Anger at myself was setting in during the road walk.

We walked up the abandoned road and and through the forest arriving at the 15 or so tents following the footsteps from the group they had made the previous day.  This significantly cut off a lot of time and energy for Alton and I!  We arrived at the tents and I did some inquiring from some people who did not want to climb that day.  It appears the group was about a 40 person contingent of the Boealps beginning climbing class.  It also appeared from my questions that our best option was to climb Devil’s Thumb first.  The man who I asked said they failed on Devil’s Thumb the previous day, but a group did climb Devil’s Peak.

Off we went up to Devils Thumb following pretty solid footsteps.  We kept following them up the valley in the heavy fog and mist.  If it wasn’t for the Boealps, Alton and I would have been lost wallowing in the milky soup of clouds.  We finally caught up to this Boealps group at the top of the gully and just before the real scramble begins.  I couldn’t believe our luck!  Here we were following stairs almost to the top and we passed them at the best time.

Alton and scrambled up the remaining portion and followed the ridge over anticipating the use of rope where we had pro and pickets—but we never needed them.  We also couldn’t understand why the class from the day before didn’t summit….

Alton and I came down and said our goodbyes and thankyous to the Boealps group as they were preparing to head up.  Our next objective was Devil’s Peak going on a traverse between the two peaks.  We knew there was a larger group on Devil’s Peak and we were hoping they were down off the climb.  At first the traverse went well, and then it sucked.  We traversed near the crest of the ridge and we roped up fearing avalanche potential.  This was difficult in the wet wallowing soft snow.  The traverse took longer and was more difficult than I expected.  I do not recommend this traverse without the aid of snow.

We soon reached a lower angle slope and followed this up and to the left knowing that we would come across the tracks of previous Boealpers.  Lo and behold, we came across the Boealps tracks very soon!

We followed the tracks/stairs and finally met the 20+ contingent of climbers at the base of Devil’s Peak.  They were a friendly bunch and allowed us to use a mini snowcave/bench they built.  All they did was do the little class 4 rock section, the ramp over, and then rappel down.  They thought the climb to the top through the gully was “too icy”.  As soon as we started our climb, the last person came down from Devil’s Peak—I couldn’t believe our luck!

We did the little class 4 section and then the ramp—which I thought was totally cool, and then up the icy gully.  I was expecting this icy gully to be about 100 feet in length.  Instead it was about 15 feet and barely any ice.  I can’t understand why the class didn’t go to the top.  Summit was around 1:00 I believe.

We rappelled down from a tree at the end of the ramp and tromped on out doing some glissading.  We passed the whole group which was packing up their belongings at the camp and said our goodbyes and our “Thankyous” for the use of their trails.  Back to the car at 3:45.  Alton and I then drove almost to the summit of a 1460+ peak just east of Granite Falls for our third summit.  We didn’t actually go to the official summit because it looked to be about 100 yards away and blackberry bushes obstructed the progress.  It will be a minus in my book.

Alton and I might not have made it to both peaks without the aid of the Boealps club, we probably would still be out there trying to figure out where our peaks were at……

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Art is an adventure.
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