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Ascent of Slippery Slab Tower on 2018-09-29

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 29, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Slippery Slab Tower
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6356 ft / 1937 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had planned on doing Golden Ears in BC, but got up late, and when the rains were scheduled to come in that evening, the rain was supposed to be heavier up there. So I decided to do something shorter and not as far north. Slippery Slab Tower turned out to be a good choice.

Left the car at 13:15. Made the approach in about 2.5 hours, then took a break to eat and put on my harness below the scramble portion in the gully. Scrambled up the gully and and made it to the belay spot at probably around 16:00.

The first 20 - 25 feet after the tree belay spot I had some trouble with. I ended up self-protecting with a cam or two (I had brought a yellow small TCU and a 0.75 BD), even though all I had was static slings. I regretted leaving my dynamic self-belay cord in the car. It probably took 30 minutes of puzzling through two or three spots and building up the courage to go for it. After the first 25 feet or so, the climbing eased up to class 4 and I continued on up without major problems.

I had read that the pitch was only about 50 feet, I had brought only my 35 meter rap line. This did not reach the bottom from the boulder with the rap slings, so I slung the tree 10 or 15 feet below that. Unfortunately the rope did not quite reach the bottom from here either and I had to downclimb the last 8 feet or so, as well as semi-downclimbing another 6 feet or so above that using the last bit of rope to slow me down. Surprisingly, I almost had an easier time (semi-)downclimbing this than I did climbing up. Maybe my nerves were more "in the climbing zone" by that time. All told, with the gear shenanigans, by the time I got back to my stashed gear at the base of the gully and repacked, it was about 17:30. Made it back to the car at about 20:00.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Rope, Ski Poles



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