North America, United States, Washington, The Kloochman, Traverse; Goose Egg Mountain; The Talon
The Kloochman, Traverse; Goose Egg Mountain; The Talon. The Kloochman is an enigmatic massif in the southern Washington Cascades. An old volcanic intrusion, the mile-long north-south- trending wedge has a main south summit, a prominent north summit, and three lower towers to the north. On May 9 Stoney Richards and I completed a traverse of the formation from the north (IV 5.9R/X, 26 pitches), climbing up and rappelling or downclimbing each tower, then descending from the south summit by the south ridge. While linking several old routes on the towers, we climbed 16 new pitches on Tower 1, Tower 3, and the north summit. Although the Kloochman is known for its extremely poor rock, many of the pitches had fair-to-good rock, although long runouts were the norm. The north summit provided the most enjoyable climbing and led to a spectacular knife-edge ridge, which took us to just below the main summit. One can un-rope and walk for over a quarter of a mile across the main summit area.
Also of note in the area is a new seven-pitch sport-and-trad odyssey, called Ride the Lightning, on the 800-foot south wall of Goose Egg Mountain. The small rock sliver named the Talon also has two new routes, the Direct South Face and the North Face, making four routes now to the summit of this elusive spire.
Joseph Puryear, AAC