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North America, United States, Washington, North Cascades, Mount Morrison, Don-Julie

Mount Morrison, Don-Julie. In the summer of 1994 I climbed the Hobbs/Slate route on the north buttress of Mount Morrison with Don Lamson. From this route it is possible to view the central pillar, which appeared to have more compact rock than the choss we were climbing. A winter ascent of the north buttress with Brian Biega reconfirmed this: the central pillar has some clean looking stone.

In September I returned with Jim Howie. We carried a light free climbing rack with pitons and a bolt kit. The route begins at the left-hand edge of a conspicuous red band of rock. The permanent snowfield at the base of the wall was peppered with recent rockfall, prompting us to solo about 20 meters of loose rock to the first belay under an imaginary roof. A very long rightward traversing pitch, right above the yawning moat of the snowfield, put us at the base of a four-pitch right-facing dihedral. Square-cut edges were everywhere and, besides a few stones lying on the ledges, the rock quality is superior to that of the Hobbs/Slate route. We encountered a backoff piton and a stopper at the first sling belay in the corner. Good protection with Friends and nuts and the odd piton enabled us to utilize excellent face holds to the right of the main corner. Sunshine and a ledge arrived simultaneously, providing an incredible lunch stop; we followed the upper pillar to the top, which looked easier than it was. The setting sun hurried us to the summit, but not without a terrific trundle on the 10th pitch, the only shattered pitch on this climb. We named the route Don-Julie after our friends Donald Lamson and Julie Romweber, who perished on nearby Red Slate Mountain in the spring.

Paul Teare, unaffiliated