American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Index Town Wall, Waterway Left Route

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1968

Index Town Wall, Waterway Left Route. On July 18, Les Davenport and I completed a route about midway between Beckey’s Town Crier Route (A.A.J., 1967, 15:2, p. 350) and Jim Madsen and Ron Burghner’s Golden Arch Route, so named because the route follows the underside of a large prominent arching dihedral in a section of rock colored with golden lichen on the right side of the main wall. Our route followed a series of open-books to the left of a waterway, frequently following knife- blade cracks that were invisible from below even with binoculars. The route finally crossed the waterway on a steep outward sloping ramp. Because of this crossing the route should be attempted only when the waterway is dry. Although the route uses mostly small pitons, knifeblades to stubby angles, a good selection of about 40 pitons including three 2-inch bongs plus an aluminum block is needed. Seven bolts (with hangers) were placed; three for aid and four for belay anchors. The following is a route description. Starting from the top of a 30-foot class-3 ramp just left of the waterway, we nailed over an overhang and then up a left slopping crack to a vertical crack which is invisible from below. This crack led to a narrow ledge, and the second lead followed this discontinuous ledge to the right. The third lead went up an open book with a bolt about 15 feet above the ledge to a small diamond-shaped overhang, then upwards to a second comfortable ledge. The fourth lead continued up the open book on the left to a bolt at about 50 feet. A 10-foot tension traverse left from this bolt, then a short layback led to a hanging belay in a dihedral. Higher the dihedral became a ramp which crossed the waterway and reached the base of an ideal chimney at the top of the Golden Arch Route. From there a class 4 lead reached the top of the wall. NCCS IV, F7, A3.

James A. Stoddard, University of Washington Climbing Club

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