26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

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E_$
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Custom Title: imminent whippage

26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

Post by E_$ » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:42 pm

Felt like the time of year to have a look at steep lines on Chair; turns out Drew had the same idea. Steep adventures have occurred only sporadically this season, and we were craving that elusive fourth axis in space -- the transiently tangible one that only emerges when in an exerted state on an exposed pitch. We had a few lines in mind, and agreed to let conditions steer us.

End result is shown on Drew's photo:

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The East Face appeared in fun climbing condition, and we wanted to become familiar with its nuances, so up we soloed. The first 100m or so proffered good ice and hard snow sticks, occasional shallow pow, but also some hollow and/or sugary BS over slab--minor inconveniences that added spice. All in all superb climbing.
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We joined the Northeast Buttress route right below its upper crux. Drew trenched a bit, then sent the crux in good style. We noted an opportunity to sling a tree/shrub to rap this if necessary.
On the final high stretch, some spooky hollow sounds from deep pow under a thick crust had us sticking close to the rib that separates the EF from the NEB. Exposed!
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We popped up on the summit ridge, and after a few spicy moves (after a short detour wherein DT discovered a cornice) traversing along the ridge, we relaxed on the true summit. Snoqualmie environs provided its signature entertaining mix of alternating pea soup and sun breaks.
SkiSickness selfie
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Here we had the conversation. Conditions were not exactly optimal to ski the aspect we ascended. We could bail a couple different ways, but decided we'd try the aspect step by step, retaining the option to climb back out. Drew negotiates some funk on the summit ridge:
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Me at the brink of the main descent rolling over toward the basin below. We would ultimately decide to ski the Northeast Buttress route, saving other lines for other days.
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I belayed Drew for some cutting and stomping on the suspect high slab, and it felt solid. So I pulled up the rope and we collected at the upper crux ice step. We were able to drop this bit without a rap, and enjoyed firm but edgeable turns down to the lower crux.
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We set up a rap to make the option available. Drew side-stepped down to check out the ski-ability of the drop, moved the ropes aside, and announced his intentions. I couldn't get in position to snap a pic of the Champ sending the sickness, but it was cool to witness him drop outta sight. First complete ski descent goes to the maestro.

I followed his course, got in position to huck, and assessed the unique aggregation of angles, ice and rock, pinner snow ribbons, and exposure that marked the 20+ feet of mandatory "straight" line to a required high-speed turn in funky snow below. A botched maneuver in the semi-flight or right after could spell a spill over the final cliffs. In the end, wasn't feeling it--a 95% chance I'd send in these conditions, but that 1 in 20 chance of injury just didn't pencil out for me. I'll be back when the conditions favor a piker.

Someone snapped some pics of us from the basin--see Drew's TR here.

More of my crappy pics here; first trial with a new camera, and I don't know how to properly use it yet:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ewehrly/20 ... directlink

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skykilo
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Re: 26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

Post by skykilo » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:51 pm

The crown jewel of Snoqualmie Pass: nice send, Drew!

teleross
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Re: 26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

Post by teleross » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:39 pm

funny, when I first read it I thought you wrote "pooped on the summit ridge", which was good for a laugh, alas on further review it was only "popped", good read nonetheless, and a nice ski by the way!

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skykilo
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Location: Santa Fe

Re: 26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

Post by skykilo » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:20 am

This thread needs a photo of Chair Peak with perspective.
Image

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DonJuanPakistan
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Custom Title: Trippin' travellin'.
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: 26 Apr 2014 Chair Peak EF & NEB

Post by DonJuanPakistan » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:19 pm

Stooooooooooooooooooked.

Ross misunderstood correctly - summit ridge pooping occurred.

Moar, plz.

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