Forum Index > Trip Reports > Silvertip attempt, 6/23/09
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Jim Dockery
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3063 | TRs
Location: Lake Stevens
Jim Dockery
Member
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 2:01 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” Robert Browning

Just below the summit of Silvertip I reached up and grasped the last hand hold, a solid horn, but couldn't make myself do the move (thinking I might find out what heaven is for when trying to down climb it). I stood there on good foot holds above the void for a few minutes examining every edge and bulge imagining how I'd reverse it. The loose pebbles on top were disconcerting, so I brushed those near the edge out of the way. It looked like typical Becky 4th class - very doable, but super exposed, with no room for error. Fred had advised rappelling this pitch, but I'd left the rope at home figuring I'd back off if it looked sketchy, and now I did, one move from the end of the difficulties.
Looking up the last step
1 label
Looking up the last step
Summit step, Silvertip
1 label
Summit step, Silvertip
View across the valley to Gothic and Del Campo from the final rocks
9 labels
View across the valley to Gothic and Del Campo from the final rocks

I wasn't mad, or even frustrated, rather it was another funny lesson that might finally get through my thick skull. I can't seem to get my youthful rock climbing prowess (when soloing down easy 5th class - much less mere 4th - was standard practice) out of my old head, even though lack of recent practice and training leaves me far from those good ole days. I've also finally realized that I'm not special and that s@#$ happens to good folks every day. None of this adds up to the flowing confidence needed to solo exposed rock, so I carefully climbed back down to my ski poles, took a long look around, and descended.
View of Silvertip from Gothic Basin
2 labels
View of Silvertip from Gothic Basin
Looking E-S from Silvertip
12 labels
Looking E-S from Silvertip

I'd started just before 9 that morning at Barlow Pass riding my mt. bike up the road to Monte Cristo. Getting the bike down onto the big log that spans the river was tricky, similar to that last move, but without fatal consequences.
Log over Sauk
Log over Sauk

There are a few little trees down over the road, and a couple rough areas that washed out, but it was well worth bringing the bike for the ride down.

I'd never been up the trail to Poodle Dog Pass and was happily surprised to find it quite moderate for the first half, then a bit rocky and steeper, with snow at the end.

The route up from Silver Lake is obvious, climbing snow slopes to the south ridge which is followed to a shoulder where a long snow traverse is made over to the final rock wall. By the time I got climbing the snow was perfectly softened to provide good step kicking. Ski poles (I had one BD Whipit) worked perfectly (esp. with standing glisades descending), but you'd want an axe and crampons if it was hard.
Route up Silvertip
Route up Silvertip

When I reached the pass I turned for a last view of the peak and was happy to see a beautiful sundog.
Silvertip Sundog
Silvertip Sundog

The trail down flowed under my boots, then I switched to bike shoes at Monte Cristo and rolled down. Crossing the bridge just out of town I stopped to look at the river and became fascinated by the flowing patterns. After a few pictures I carried on and passed three hikers a ways down, the only other people I saw all day.

--------------
jimdockery.com
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Schroder
Member
Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 4949 | TRs
Location: on the beach
Schroder
Member
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 2:13 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif that's one of my favorite climbs, Jim, and I never tried to downclimb it. The adrenaline must have been pumping there.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3202 | TRs
Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 2:20 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
As a big fan of the Everett "Silvertips", this mountain has been way up high on my "to do" list for a while. However, the standard ("obvious") route has always freaked me out a little with that final section. I have a book that contains an alternate route for Silver Tip Peak, which is supposedly only Class III but a slightly longer approach from a different part of the peak. I might give that a try, during late Summer this year.

What kinds of gear did you take getting there at this time of year? How were the snow conditions?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
braincloud
Summit Seeker



Joined: 30 Jul 2008
Posts: 164 | TRs
Location: The crooked path
braincloud
Summit Seeker
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 2:45 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Jeebus, I remember doing this one in highschool many years ago. No gear, no ropes. Going up was easy, the down, a bit tricky. Just me and a friend sweating bullets with that nice exposed drop.

--------------
MyCrookedPath.com

The light at the end of my tunnel is a police car.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
the Zachster
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 4736 | TRs
Location: dog training
the Zachster
Member
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 3:20 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great report on an interesting little peak! I assume Silver Lake is totally frozen still?

--------------
"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
cartman
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Posts: 2621 | TRs
Location: Fremont
cartman
Member
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 3:33 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
"Age grants wisdom."  We belayed and rapped that one, and was glad I did.  I think the actual high point might be about 50' horizontal from that move.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
DIYSteve
mere tourist



Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 11523 | TRs
Location: here now
DIYSteve
mere tourist
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 3:41 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Lauds for exercizing good judgment, JD.   up.gif   When we did it in the mid-90's, we roped up for the final pitch and put in a piece or two, and then did a single rope rap to get off the summit block.  Along the way, we met Chris, a Polish national, who freed it.  He was ready to downclimb it, but we offered to set up a diaper sling so that he could rap.

It's a nice little climb.  I've always taken a rope for Beckey class 4.   Does that make me a chicken? chickenleg.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
BirdDog
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 1056 | TRs
Location: Seattle
BirdDog
Member
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 8:19 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Crankin' a 5.11a 2000' off the deck on a bomber cam is nothing compared to soloing a 4th class move at the top of a boulder strewn gulley. Good choice!

--------------
"There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country."
Teddy Roosevelt August 6, 1912
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Gsnorgathon
Mile-per-hour club



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Posts: 129 | TRs

Gsnorgathon
Mile-per-hour club
PostWed Jun 24, 2009 11:16 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks for that, Jim. It's really inspiring to hear stories of folks who almost get there and then think better of it. It's really inspiring. It sets a great example to remember! And the pics are absolutely gorgeous. When did you take the pic of Silvertip from Gothic basin?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 5787 | TRs
Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostFri Jun 26, 2009 6:16 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
i agree. the move itself is not that hard. i found myself not so enthusiastic about the pebbles, however.

079.JPG
079.JPG
080.JPG
080.JPG

082.JPG
082.JPG

--------------
man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Jim Dockery
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3063 | TRs
Location: Lake Stevens
Jim Dockery
Member
PostFri Jun 26, 2009 10:58 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Iron, I don't see a rope in those pics so I assume you guys free soloed up and down - good work. If so the helmet is a funny addition, don't think it would help much if you fell  wink.gif

--------------
jimdockery.com
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 5787 | TRs
Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostFri Jun 26, 2009 7:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Jim Dockery wrote:
Iron, I don't see a rope in those pics so I assume you guys free soloed up and down - good work. If so the helmet is a funny addition, don't think it would help much if you fell  wink.gif

112.JPG
112.JPG

nope, we rapped down...

--------------
man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Malachai Constant
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 13234 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
Member
PostFri Jun 26, 2009 7:41 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The Beckey Guides were notorious for sandbagging. In the early ones "moderate rock bring tennis shoes" meant over 5.6.

--------------
"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Silvertip attempt, 6/23/09
  Happy Birthday Scrooge, jennlin, LadyĆsa, Mike303, blendergasket, thename!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy