WI3 M6 Steep Snow PG13,
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, 950 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III,
Avg: 4 from 1
FA: Mark Allen
, Seth Keena-Levin
, Jan 15th 2019
> Goat Wall
: The Mazama Queen project was completed over the course of 3-years and the most recent contribution to the wall. The route is mostly dry, however, snow, ice, frozen moss, gravel, wood, and ver-glass also support upward movement. Traditional gear placements contribute to the style and vision desired by the first ascentionists. The pitches were opened ground-up and on lead with the use of a power drill to fix all belays as well as install a few lead bolts when warranted. On decent, three additional bolts were added to P1, one to P3, and one to P8 in order to maintain PG-13 exposure rating and support repeats, and piton-free ascents. The Mazama Queen mine was operational from 1932 to 1936. Operated by the Continental Gold and Silver Mining Company the mine was a moderate producer of silver and gold. Enjoy the history while questing into the future.Description:
Pitch 1- Follow the blocky weakness then break right above a ramp hooking a podded crack protected by 3 bolts. Mantel onto a slabby ledge trending left into a shallow right facing corner and up to a stance left of the top out flake. 90ft M6 Pitch 2
-Head up off the anchor passing two protection bolts into an open book. Clip a 3rd bolt exiting the book and trend left into a deep chimney with ice. Pull the awkward roof into the Alcove belay. One belay bolt near cracks. 100ft M5 Pitch 3
- Exit right onto a loose, blocky tower and up into a wide blocky chimney. The Chimney leads directly into a partially bolt-protected series of steep blocks and flakes; two bolts. Exit right out of the flakes and follow a tilted ramp in a right facing corner for 50ft. When possible trend left up a short crack and onto a ledge. The anchor is situated under a small overhang on the climbers left side of the ledge system. 140ft M6Pitch 4
-Aim up and right for a 30ft 1”-2” crack. Pull onto a large ledge and walk 60ft up and right into a small alcove. One anchor bolt is located under a small ear-lobe overhang on the left side of the alcove next to a 2” crack. M4+ 80ftPitch 5
- The route jogs significantly right aiming to gain entry into a massive corner system over head. To do this, step right from the belay then up into a blocky crack system leading 15ft onto ramp/ledge. Trend right 40ft to gain a 30ft vertical crack onto a slaby ledge and rappel anchor below the orange lichen roof. M5 100ftPitch 6
- Enter the Left-facing-corner. Commit to the wild traverse left under the orange roof. Pull the blocky roof and follow the thin crack system, 5ft right of the main corner, to the semi hanging rappel anchor. M5+ 90ft Pitch 7
-Step right into the crack. Follow the crack up for 25ft then trend right up a wide crack system. Pull on to a ledge and then trend up and left to a ledge and bolted rap anchor M4 125ft Pitch 8
- Follow the thin seam directly off the anchor and through one protection bolt. Move slight-right around the small roof with a 2” crack and into a vertical right-facing-corner to a ledge and bolted anchor. M5+ 80ft Pitch 9
- Step left into a blocky grove until forced to traverse right at the bulge. Commit to the large undercling flake and move up, through a large block, and then into a long offwidth crack. Tip toe past stacked blocks, through bulges, onto a ledge and the final rap anchor M6 120ftPitch 10
-From the last anchor finish the wall to a large bench on the Prime Rib. A large pine on the left has a rappel sling. M4 25ftDescent:
Rappel 5 times with 2 ropes from 2-bolt anchors, top of pitches: P9,7,5,3, and 1 (1x rope reaches form P1 & P10).
Approach: Park at the 2nd pullout 3.1 miles upstream from the Mazama Store. Walk upstream for 40m until possible to walk Northwest through an opening in the woods on an old road, past a National Forest kiosk. Follow a wide path (old mine road bed) Northwest for 80m until a trail splits back toward Goat Wall. Pass the concrete ruins of the Mazama Queen Mine mill site then go up a few short switchbacks for 75 vertical feet. After the trail levels off, contour South past a large boulder and out of the trees onto the bottom of the andesite talus slopes (don’t get sucked onto/up the Prime Rib descent trail). Follow faint switchbacks up the left-hand margin of the talus. About halfway up the slope, break off hard South (climber’s right) where it makes sense to, traveling well under the wall and outcrops, then up and right, aiming for the deep recess in the Goat Wall (a feature known at Claymore A.K.A the Czech Gully). Find the wash/draw coming out of the Czech Gully (staying on it’s left margin) and pass the Mazama Queen Mine ruins and iron engine. Settle into a landing on the climbers left of the wash directly below the wall (48.622449, -120.45066). The first bolt is 25ft off the ground directly above the landing and difficult to spot. The first pitch follows broken terrain for 20ft to stacked blocks then breaks climbers-right following a bolt protected podded crack system above a mossy ramp.
Conditions: Aim to climb on a very cold day. After the winter season snow has arrived, the best and most enjoyable conditions are after few days of persistent cold temps that are following a few days of warm temps (ideally with rain.) This trend fills the wall’s seams and moss with seep- ice as well as setting up ice on small ledges without concealing gear and pick placements in new snow. Warm temperatures or new snow can make this climb more stressful. Climbing the route in fully-dry conditions will remove important detritus, gravel, moss, and rock from the route and will make subsequent ascents harder. On a clear day, the upper SW facing pitches do melt out: This (soft)reality adds spice to your life, the wish you were a faster climber, but does not impede an ascent. Enjoy.
Avalanches: The Czech Gully is an avalanche path composed of many start zones both within and feeding into it. Some days, the entire approach to Goat Wall becomes prone avalanche terrain. Use good judgment and situational awareness when selecting your days to be exposed to this terrain. Wet loose slides can fall just climbers right of the route from above, but the route is thought to be less prone to overhead hazards, unlike all the terrain surrounding it. A large ledge on P4 may be a wind slab; such conditions are often obvious before starting the route.
Rack: 2x 60m ropes, 6 x QDs, 8x 24 inch runners, 2x 48 inch runners, med-small wires, 2ea. 000"-#2" plus 1ea. #3-#5 Camelot, Hexes can be useful in ice filled cracks, 1-specture for pitch 3 (not required)
Seth Keena-Levin jugs the line on pitch 6 during the development of the route: Photo Mark Allen
Mark Allen on the FA of pitch 6 the Orange Roof M5: Photo Seth Keena-Levin
Mazama Queen Topo Mark Allen CW2019
Goat wall near Goat Wall Creek showing Prime Rib, Mazama Queen, and the Czech Gully
Mark Allen on the M6 crux of pitch 3 in snowy conditions during the opening of pitches 5-6 &7 in 2018. Photo: Seth Keena-Levin
Seth Keena-Levin on Pitch 1: Photo Mark Allen
Seth Keena-Levin on pitch 5: Photo Mark Allen