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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Big Snagtooth 8330'  7/9/11
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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:48 pm   
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After several weeks in a row going hiking/climbing without the kids, I made sure to set aside this weekend to do something with them in the mountains.  I've studied up on Big Snagtooth and knew I needed Jayden's Spiderman like qualities to help get me up to the top.  Ryan also joined us on this adventure.

We left our house early Saturday morning so we could arrive at the unofficial Silver Star TH on Highway 20 at a reasonable time.  We started down towards Early Winters creek by 8:30, we crossed the slippery log across the creek and soon had to leave the trail that headed to Silver Star.  I was hoping to find a climbers path towards the Willows creek drainage, but had absolutely no luck.  It looked liked we were in for a brush battle up the mountain.



We started heading up hill about 200 yards from Willows creek and pretty much stayed that same distance the entire way up the basin.  Luckily for us, the brush wasn't that thick and there were nice openings in the forest.  We passed through several little seasonal creeks and slowly gained elevation passing above the minor cliff bands closer to the creek. 



When we were below the correct basin beneath Snagtooth Ridge, we hit snow for the first time and started up the slopes.  This basin below the ridge is a nice little spot.  Larch trees and jagged peaks lined this basin.



Once we were in the basin, we put crampons on and headed up to the right to the low spot on Snagtooth's west ridge.  The final 100 feet seemed to take forever as the boys didn't like the loose scree that was above the snow slope.  Eventually, we were at the ridge and had only 800 feet more to do. 



We made our way up the ridge towards the col between Willow's Tooth and Big Snagtooth.  I had heard that from the col, there's actually a climbing route that goes up in the same spot that most parties rappel from near the top.  I thought this was a better idea than trying to find the hidden gully and possibly finding bullet hard ice that could be a problem for the boys. 

At the col, we put our harnesses and helmets on as I saw my possible path up the steep rocks to a safe area where I could belay the boys up.  We left our packs and I grabbed the rope and climbed up some exposed rocks approximately 20' to an area where I saw that people rappel from.  I anchored in and sent the rope down for the kids to clip in to.  One at a time I belayed them up and they were super excited to be a part of a little rope team.  We crossed over a few boulders to the area above the hidden gully and saw the final summit block ahead.  At the block, I lifted Jayden up to where he had some good grip on the big summit rock.  He easily made his way up and found some nice slings to attach the rope to, so I could climb my way up before belaying Ryan the remainder of the way.  Finally, after 7 hours, the 3 of us were at the top.



We enjoyed the great views of Silver Star and noticed a few parachuters high above.  We found the summit register by the pile of slings and signed in.  I saw a lot of familiar names in there but was surprised that there have been less than 20 parties in the register since it was placed in '05 by Fay Pullen.   We took a break before going back down.  I belayed the boys and rappeled right after them, they had some more fun doing this.  Once at our packs, I headed up Willow's Tooth, only 70' above them, while the kids ate a snack and loaded their climbing stuff back in their packs. 



We had fun glissading into the basin and then we out of the snow again to bush whack down to Early Winters Creek.  We were happy to find a better bark covered log to cross compared to the slippery one we crossed in the morning.  We reached my truck to an ice cold Coke in the cooler.  We drove back to Colonial Creek campground and luckily found a spot to camp as it was getting close to dark.  Set up camp, ate and went to bed. 



A very long day but great to spend it with some aspiring climbers, my sons Jayden and Ryan

7.5 miles
4500' elevation gain
11 hours

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Eric Eames
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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
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Location: The Kent of the East
Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:02 pm   
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Now that is pretty dang cool.   up.gif

We were on the other side of the drainage as you guys on Saturday to climb Silver Moon (E Silver Star).
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Magellan
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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:25 pm   
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Rock stars, all of you.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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alpinelakes
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Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:53 pm   
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Awesome trip. Awesome kids. Awesome parenting...

Very impressive. Early Winters is a really nice area...

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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: Wenatchee
Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:39 pm   
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up.gif Nice, cool kids !

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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silence
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Post Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:44 pm   
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pure awesomeness ..

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b00
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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 am   
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eric you and the kids are awesome!
when i looked back up at that rap route, i knew that had to be the best way to get to the top.  glad you did it as that you justified my suspicions.  how hard was the climbing?  mid-5th? 4th class?
did you guys use that shaky horn on the summit to anchor and rap from?
:>)
ps - i am quitting climbing!  when two kids do the same trip in three hours less than me, it is time to hang it up!
pps - well maybe i won't quit as you guys cheated and took the easy(best way up), while we probably wasted a few hours in that gully :>)
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raising3hikers
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:34 pm   
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b00 wrote:
when i looked back up at that rap route, i knew that had to be the best way to get to the top.  glad you did it as that you justified my suspicions.  how hard was the climbing?  mid-5th? 4th class?

I'm not a good judge on what class something is but if I had a guess, I would say low 5th for about 15-20 feet.  It was almost vertical with good holds from the blocky rocks.  From the bottom, it's hard to tell where the rappel route is but once I climbed up, I was only a few feet away from it.  I'm glad this way worked, sounds like it's easier than the other way if you don't mind some exposure.  From the summit, we didn't rappel from a shaky horn, there was a slab a little lower with a bunch of slings that were still in good shape.  We used that to rap off the summit block.

p.s.-saw your name in the register


Tom_Sjolseth-We looked over at Silver Moon but I guess I didn't get a picture of it.  Definitely looks like it's own peak from Snagtooth.  Also saw that you had a family trip up there with your dad a few years ago, that's pretty cool

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Eric Eames
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Sadie's Driver
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Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:56 pm   
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raising3hikers wrote:
A very long day but great to spend it with some aspiring climbers, my sons Jayden and Ryan

RTH - That is spectacular!  Good for you and good for them!   up.gif  agree.gif  What a great way to spend the weekend.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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iron
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Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:26 am   
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good stuff. your kids get quite the adventure with their guide/father. fond memories for sure!

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Bedivere
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:26 am   
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That looks like a fantastic trip!

How old are those boys?  Just curious (and looking for ammo to use on a friend of mine to get him to bring his boys on more adventurous trips).

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Matt
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:54 am   
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Congratulations to you and Jayden & Ryan.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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honey badger
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 pm   
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I was wondering about that westosh face route.  HAd looked at it while on the spire due west of it.  Just be glad you didn't go for the "hidden gulley".  A whole other story.  Little did we know that the gulley wasn't hidden at all and the one CCW from it was way wrong (unless you like that stuff).

Good going to all of you.  Are the kids dragging you up yet or still a few more years before they are waiting for you?
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iron
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:47 pm   
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fwb wrote:
Are the kids dragging you up yet or still a few more years before they are waiting for you?

it'll be a long time before anyone's dragging up r3h.

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alpine1
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Post Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:39 pm   
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I wonder if you might describe your ascent route referring to the picture taken from the Willows Tooth. Were there any cracks to place protection in and if so, approximately what size? Thanks.
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