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North America, United States, Washington, Cascades Summary

Cascades summary. It was another good snow year in the Cascades. After a stable period in February, cool and snowy conditions generally prevailed into spring. In late March, Jens Holsten and Dan Hilden climbed a new line on the northeast face of Colchuck Peak, the Hilden-Holsten (III, WI3 M6).

The Stuart Range saw the usual activity. On June 25 Jimbo Shokes and Sol Wertkin climbed a route on Colchuck Balanced Rock (Honey Badger, III 5.10- A2). On July 24 Jens Holsten and Adam Lawson climbed a new route on the northeast face of Dragontail Peak (Chasm Tail, IV 5.10 A1). On July 31 Holsten, Sole Werkin, and Mark Westman climbed a direct finish to an existing route on Mt. Stuart (Gorillas in the Mist Direct, IV 5.11-).

Near Darrington, over the course of several visits, Chris Greyell and Darryl Kralovic established Schizophrenic (III 5.11a) on Squire Creek Wall, while Brandon Workman and friends established the Squire (III 5.10c), also on Squire Creek Wall.

Late summer saw new routes on Dome Peak and Sloan Peak. Nate Far and partner called their September 2 line on the south face of Dome Peak Indian Summer (III 5.10). Brandon Workman and Rad Roberts climbed the west face of Sloan Peak (Diamond in the Rough, III 5.10).

The fall offered excellent conditions during periods of stable weather. Rolf Larson and Eric Wherley climbed a new route on the northeast face of Tower Mountain (Tower of Babel, III 5.10-), and new lines went up in the Cascade Pass area. On October 18 Kurt Hicks and Gaston climbed the East Face Couloir on Sahale Peak (III AI3+). On October 25 Hicks, Forest McBrian, and Dave Jordan climbed the Misunderstanding (IV AMR M4).Meanwhile, local and national climbers’ organizations have been working behind the scenes on a variety of issues. The Washington Climbers Coalition had teamed with the Access Fund and the American Alpine Club to raise money for purchasing the Lower Town Wall at Index in 2010. In 2011 these groups continued to work together and with other user groups, conservation groups, and land managers to maintain access.

Matt Perkins, AAC