All Locations > Washington > Northwest Region > Darrington > Exfoliation Dome > Blueberry Hill & Proxima Wall
Avg: 2.8 from 16 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1000 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Clark Gerhardt, Bill Sumner 1972|
|Page Views:||4,507 total, 99/month|
|Shared By:||Curt Veldhuisen on Mar 1, 2014|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick|
DescriptionThe Blueberry route is a popular Darrington classic that has more feel of an alpine rock route than a crag climb. It is the easiest route up spectacular Exfolation Dome, the west face of which has been nicknamed Blueberry Hill for the wild blueberry bushes on many ledges. The alpine character applies to the climbing, which has sections of clean crack and corners interspersed with blocky scrambling and occasional bush pulling (thankfully scrappy cedars, not blueberries).
Blueberry Buttress is a compelling feature splitting the West Face of Exfolation Dome. Although not especially technical, this route is physically demanding with the Granite Sidewalk approach and deproach providing an added challenge physically, and for many, mentally. Do your homework, pack lots of food/water and headlamps....and your camera of course.
The well-traveled 7-pitch version attains Blueberry Terrace, a broad ledge around 2/3 of the way to the summit. From there, you can continue to the summit via scruffier climbing, or get started on the tricky rappel descent. The route-finding is fairly straight-forward and adds to the adventure, so is not described here in detail. The basics:
The Start: Above a large white snag find the obvious fist crack leading to a cedar bush (see photo). Continue toward a prominent right-facing corner on the buttress crest.
The Right-leaning Corner: Cimb the corner (slabby to right, overhanging on left), passing semi-wedged flakes and two bolts (5.8+). Make an airy step leftward (5.8+) out of the corner back onto the buttress.
To Terrace: Several more pitches of scenic crack and block climbing on the broad crest to Blueberry Terrace.
Terrace to Summit (optional, but definitely worth a visit!) : Walk left to the far end of the Terrace (~100 yds beyond turnoff shown in Smoot's Falcon guide). From there, scramble up and leftward until you see a bolt. Two short pitches (5.8 max) lead up and left until you can drop slightly left to unrope and walk to the summit.
For a more detailed pitch-by-pitch description, consult Weekend Rock: Washington by Whitelaw.
Descent is by double-rope rappels, and DOES NOT follow the climbing route. From Blueberry Terrace, either: 1. Rappel (skier's) left off slinged trees to the West Slabs and bolt anchors of the Westward Ho route, or 2. Find the top of the Dark Rhythm route which is several hundred feet (skier's) right of where Blueberry Buttress reaches the Terrace. Although Dark Rhythm has all bolted anchors, the line wanders a bit and finding anchors while descending may be tricky. Westward Ho is a more straightforward line and clearly visible from the Buttress route on the way up.