Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches
FA: R. Woodsworth, W. Chemakoff 1964. FFA- E. Weinstein, D. Vernon 1973.
Page Views: 1,366 total · 26/month
Shared By: geoff georges on Jul 28, 2014
Admins: Nate Ball, Kate Lynn

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Access Issue: Illegal Camping Details

Description

Often ignored, deserves more attention. Adventurous alpine feel. We did not do the lower section below Astro ledge, so I can't speak of that, but it sounds like nobody ever did that portion. Expect some dirty mossy lichen covered cracks, route finding and be prepared for an adventure. Less woods hiking than angels crest. In the old McLane book it is 5.9 and 10a in the more recent one.

This route would be awesome with a clean-up.

A great place to be on a hot day, even the descent is mostly in the dark woods, unlike the top of the middle or south peaks. It's a great up and over adventure in the shade.

General directions, but not too specific to keep it an adventure.

We approached via the first 4 pitches of parallel passages, and followed fixed ropes lines to the base

We had no description of the route, and followed the path of least resistance.

1) Off astro ledge, find the tree with the green flagging and a blocky gully near the sharp bend of the trail. Combine first 2 pitches, pass first belay, low 5th class, unless you like the look of the hand crack on the left side as I did, around the crest to the right, another chain on tree. 60 meters
2) move the belay or simulclimb 20- 30 meters left of crest, lead out 40- 50 meters up blocky flakes to conifer in groove. 5.7/5.8
3) combine 2 pitches here for a nice long varied cracks 60 meter pitch. 5.9 . plenty of ledges if you want to break it up. toward the end of this there is a chimney with a flake on the right and an old knarly Yew tree to crawl under and mantle at the end on a dirty top out to big tree ledge with a view out west.
4) through a cleft in the rock behind 3 pine trees, avoids dropping into dirty gully on the left. Large chockstone gully. Follow the right side crack to avoid the chockstones. laybacks to crawl under trees on ledge. 20 meters 5.9
5) move belay 30 meters left through woods with a blocky start, then easy path to 2nd chimney.Either belay at top of 5.6 chimney or continue up dirty corner, avoid brush by climbing small slot/chimney on the right, traverse blocky arete to left side and up to slopping ledge, cross log, steep layback till belay at Cedar and birch, 60 meters, 5.9
6) This is the most obvious path on the whole route because there is a piton in the corner ahead of you. finger crack runs into chimney/cave, the birthing pitch brings you out to the sunshine for the first time all day at the top of Zodiac. 10a past the piton, or pull on it with the cracks being 5.8 then.

Interesting hike up to Zodiac peak, passing the slack line to the third peak. find another rope to pull up and fixed ropes to the top. Good views that you don't see from the other peaks. Find trail down rugged third peak trail. Take a side trip up the slahany trail to view cobra crack on the way down or visit the solarium wall.

Location

We approached via Parallel Passages first 4 pitches, which can be done at 10a if you do the left hand 5.9 on the first pitch. Parallel Passages is pretty scruffy and loose, so adds to the alpine like feel of this day without hiking up the north gully to Astro ledge, which is the other option.
It is situated in the middle of the north end of the Zodiac formation.

Protection

Standard rack to 4" Camalot. Bring lots of long slings. Double up if doing long pitches. We did a few full 60 meter pitches and were glad to have doubles of .4- #3 Camalots. top of 1st and 2nd pitch have chains around trees, no other fixed anchors. We found 1 piton on the last pitch.

Photos

geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
  5.9+
geoff georges   Seattle, Wa.
  5.9+
After doing the New Life route which tops out on Astro ledge right at the base of this route I had the opportunity to descend the NN Gully. This was very easy and went quickly, Where the trail starts up on the right side of the NN Gully there is a fixed rope. I have not been over by the Parallel Passages start since the big rock fall obliterated that base area. Mar 6, 2018
Daphne Huang
Vancouver, BC
Daphne Huang   Vancouver, BC
We did this over the weekend, and also via Parallel Passages. If I ever do this again, I would just hike straight up to Astroledge instead. If you're keen on the first few pitches of Parallel Passages, follow the trail up to Angel's Crest, walk across the gully, locate the fixed rope, and follow them up and left until you can't go any further left. And enjoy the silverfish!!

After a couple pitches of Parallel Passages you will end up on Astroledge. You'll know you've made it once the fixed ropes reappear. Follow the fixed ropes left and down, until you reach a bend where you can see the North North gully. As noted there is a tree with a ton of green stuff tied around it, start there.

No real idea of the pitches, but we went basically straight up from the tree, staying climbers left of the arete as much as possible. There are a few markers that you're on the right path - a chain anchor, some tat, a giant oak tree. Tons of fixed rope to your right. It would be awesome if anyone knows what the rope is being used for??

After the pitch 5 chimney noted above, I would highly recommend belaying directly above the chimney. IF you keep going, every time the rope moves, dirt, rock, pebbles, etc. is knocked into the chimney, which is pretty unpleasant for the follower.

Birthing pitch is the cleanest pitch of the entire route!!!! Jul 16, 2018
Cat Cahoon
Seattle, WA
  5.9+
Cat Cahoon   Seattle, WA
  5.9+
We followed orange trail markers into the North North Gully, then onto Astro Ledge. If you get to a mess of handlines, you have passed the start. (Yes, there are lots of fixed lines to the right of this route) P1 climbs blocky terrain staying just left of the crest P2 moves left up cracks, flakes, and blocks. I belayed on a mini pedestal using a slung block for the anchor. (I never saw these chains you speak of) P3 goes straight up cracks and under a tree to belay on a large treed ledge. I don't think we did a left traverse here. Then bump the belay 10m to what the book calls "a deep, impressive bay, full of jammed blocks". P4 climbs up past the chockstone and out right. I climbed up directly under the block past a stuck #5 but you may prefer to take the crack to the right. A short pitch to a ledge. Then bump the belay 50m up and left to the end of the ledge. P5 goes into a deep chimney. I kept going after the chimney and belayed on a nice ledge out left. P6 goes up hard moves to get above a wide crack. Belay at the base of a dark slab with a piton in the corner. P7 climb crack/slab past the fixed piton then right and through the tunnel.

Doubles to #3 and a #4. Lots of long slings. This route may be a bit dirty, but offers really good climbing! Worth it. Aug 8, 2018