Snoq. Pass 02-16-01
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Climbing is dangerous! Every year many climbers are broken, maimed, and killed. Don't be so foolish as to trust your life to what you see here. I'm not a guide and neither is this web site. If you don't know what you are doing or where you are going, please take a course or hire a guide!

Alpental Lift-served Ice Part III

February 16, 2001

<a couple pictures coming...>

Okay, maybe this is getting a little old, but the approach can't be beat, it's climable at night, and there are at least three distinct lines of varying difficulty.

I met Brett (aka "Smoker") at 3:00 PM in Issaquah. At four we were on the lift and by 4:15 I was wading up in deep, fresh powder to set our TR.

We chose the middle, easiest line and each took two laps. It was in the fattest condition I've seen it all year, almost ready to lead (for me to lead, that is). The hardest moves are right at the top, wild stemming moves between two pillars, with tree branches thrown in for added fun (WI5?), but the section could be well protected.

We had quite a crowd of onlookers this evening, including several very friendly and interested ski patrollers. Unfortunately there were a couple snowboarders who thought it was fun to spray the belayer. The last one received a string of expletives from me. And there was one overly helpful skier who just insisted (three times) that we needed to move our belay because we were "too far away, the angle is all wrong." 

I said "Thanks" (three times) and then suggested that he go stand underneath the pitch, in the path of the falling ice. Belaying an ice climber has different rules than belaying a rock climber folks.

But really, almost everyone that came by and stopped to talk was really nice and considerate.

Now, a personal request: This is a really special place for us to climb. If you go up there I ask that you please consider the following suggestions:

Though the area is technically in the National Forest, it is to our advantage to maintain a good relationship with the Alpental ski patrol and lift-ops. Please be considerate to them.
The obvious spot to belay is frequently skied, and is not readily visible from above. Please place your skis in X's above the belay to help prevent any unfortunate skier/belayer accidents.
Please don't use this spot to test your abilities to their limit. An injury and subsequent evacuation will certainly cause the "authorities" to rethink their current liberal attitude towards us.
Skiers and boarders don't know about falling ice. When you knock shit down yell, so that no one gets hit.
Have fun and try to be at least pleasant toward the people asking questions.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, February 23, 2005
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