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Magic Fern

5.10a, Trad, 90 ft,  Avg: 2.6 from 58 votes
FA: Cal Folsom, Don Brooks
Washington > Central-W Casca… > Skykomish Valley > Index > Lookout Point Area > Private Idaho

Description

A bouldery start leads to a right-traversing finger crack with good knobs for the feet. Continue up the wide left leaning pillar. From the top of the pillar, continue straight up (5.10) or out left (5.9).

Location

Approximatley 50' left of Battered Sandwich.

Protection

Gear to 3" with an optional 4" piece. Slung block at the top of the pillar with rap rings for anchor or continue to the top and rap off a a bolted anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Magic Fern (yellow) and Curious Poses (red)
[Hide Photo] Magic Fern (yellow) and Curious Poses (red)
The route follows the right leaning crack up to the wide crack on the right side of the pillar.
[Hide Photo] The route follows the right leaning crack up to the wide crack on the right side of the pillar.
I recommend crack gloves :/
[Hide Photo] I recommend crack gloves :/
Magic Fern goes right, Curious Poses goes left.
[Hide Photo] Magic Fern goes right, Curious Poses goes left.
Someday this block on Magic Fern will be there no longer....but for the moment climbers continue to use it as a great juggy handhold and footledge....
[Hide Photo] Someday this block on Magic Fern will be there no longer....but for the moment climbers continue to use it as a great juggy handhold and footledge....
Right option at top of Magic Fern.
[Hide Photo] Right option at top of Magic Fern.
Left option to finish to Magic Fern. If you rap from the ledge 3/4 of the way up, you miss out on this section of great climbing and a much better anchor above.
[Hide Photo] Left option to finish to Magic Fern. If you rap from the ledge 3/4 of the way up, you miss out on this section of great climbing and a much better anchor above.
Awesome crack climbing on Magic Fern.
[Hide Photo] Awesome crack climbing on Magic Fern.
Doug on the crack traverse at the start of Magic Fern.
[Hide Photo] Doug on the crack traverse at the start of Magic Fern.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

sqwirll
Las Vegas
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] We excavated this route on 3/22/08. We climbed it on 4/11 and there is now a lot of loose dirt that needs to wash out of the cracks or it may need additional cleaning. Apr 15, 2008
Eric8
Maynard, MA
  5.10-
[Hide Comment] The route actually continues to the top of the cliff. Although benign looking SVR lists this section as 5.9. I found it to be harder than any of the 10a's on the ltw. The crux was moving out of a short chimney into a tight hand crack with bad feet.

Its still possible to rappel with a 60m rope from the top of Istanbul. This is a bolt and sling anchor that did not have rap rings on the slings. Apr 19, 2009
NateF
Bend, OR
[Hide Comment] From the alcove with the sling rap station you can continue straight up (as described above), or move left then up. I found both options challenging for the grade. Going left is similar to Battered Sandwich, only more difficult. Going straight up is as difficult as it looks. Both options protect very well, and can be climbed from the ground to the top in a single pitch. Grades vary in the guides, but I'd say straight up is 5.10, to the left .9+
This topo (rcnw.net/forums/index.php?s…) calls the straight up option part of Curious Poses, 5.10.

Either way, very nice route & you'll reach a bolted anchor at the top with steel rap rings. A 60m gets you to the ground in one rap. Oct 18, 2010
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
  5.9
[Hide Comment] First ascent: Cal Folsom, Dan Brooks, 1984

Originally approached via the "3rd class" ramp on the right (now overgrown) the Curious Poses start is now used, the bouldery face/thin fingers on the left is described as 5.8 in both books.
Magic Fern then goes up the right side of above fin using hand jambs.
2nd pitch was the left side crack( like said above, both pitches can be done as one)

There is a SS rap station at top of 2nd pitch, 1) 60m rope works. . Mar 28, 2014
Matthew Tangeman
Bellingham, WA
[Hide Comment] No midway anchor anymore as of July 2017.

Such a great little pitch! One of my favorite Index moderates. Aug 4, 2017
Hank Thompson
Tacoma, WA
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] I feel like this climb should be combined with Curious Poses and then broken into 4 separate variations. left side of the fin 10D, right of the fin 5.8/5.9ish, left around the corner after the ledge 10a, and straight up the chimney/ thin hands crack after the ledge 10a/b ish (felt similar to libra crack) My favorite variation is to take the right side of the fin and then go straight up the chimney this more direct line helps mitigate rope drag and keeps it at a more consistent/moderate grade. Mar 18, 2019