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Preiss Route

5.9 R, Trad, 1700 ft (515 m), 13 pitches, Grade IV,  Avg: 2 from 1 vote
FA: 7/20/99 Mike Preiss
Washington > Central-W Casca… > N Bend & Vicinity > Exit 34; Middle… > Mt Garfield

Description

After a late start(1130am) on July 20th 1999 I was under the south face of the west peak of Mt Garfield, in the woods, trying to find the beginning of the rock wall. After traversing in from the trees, left of the rock wall, I gained the large ledge with a weak waterfall on its left side and an obvious stair stepped rock “gully”. I made a few difficult (for me)un-roped moves(5.9+) just right, to gain the rock gully. After about 80 feet up I set up my 1st anchor at the 1st crack I reached, on the right side of the gully. After rappelling and retrieving my pack I re-climbed the pitch. Staying on self-belay I exited the gully, moving slightly out right and up a full pitch with some fun 5.8-9 slabby rock with a few good cracks/pockets to add solid protection. I reached a shelf with a couple small pools of water on it and set up my rappel. After retrieving my pack and re-climbing the pitch I put away the rope and went up, angling left, climbing easier rock until I reached the base of the great slabs. I then climbed sub-par 4th-5.3 class rock un-roped, which seemed like awhile (6-700 feet?), eventually aiming for a small, thick stubby tree on the upper rightish side of the face. From here I self-belayed out of the tree, as the exposure was getting impressive. I went on to the next small tree patch and decided to bivi here. It was only around 6:30-7pm but I felt like resting some and was not in a hurry. This tree patch had a few small trees and some sandy ground, but was far from comfortable. Looking back I should have went on and got to the large shelf below the upper head wall. But at the time I didn’t think of it. I didn’t bring a stove so I ate my cold sandwich and tried to sleep. I awoke at 4am and started climbing at 4:30. Un-belayed. I climbed strait up the slabby rock and soon reached the large ledge under the steeper headwall.  I traversed it to its left side and self-belayed a fun (5.6ish) blocky corner which ended at a small sandy notch. I continued self-belayed up from the notch via a few difficult moves (5.9) with a solid thin crack for protection. It quickly turned into class 3 with small trees. After a very short rap to get my pack I went until I reached what looked like my last obstacle, a rock wall of maybe a half pitch. I tried it with the rope in my pack but I felt it was little to difficult, so I broke out the rope again and self belayed up good 5.8-9 rock with good protection. After retrieving my pack, again! I walked a bit down and left through a small gap in the trees and onto the gentle northern slope. Hiked around right and scrambled the short back side of the sub summit rock. It was about 12:00 noon. It seemed I was only climbing a few hours but took 7 hours from my bivi to the summit!  little did I know I would miss work the next day as I had a mini epic descent involving steep downclimbing, bushwhacking and a few big drops! (don't head strait down the backside slope NW) In all I belayed 4-5  moderate pitches (5.6-9 all with good pro PG13) the R rating is for the easier runout middle section. 

Location

Park a aprox at a slight clearing around 1/3 mile after turning right onto NF110. pick a line and hike basically strait up with taking a line of least resistance for aprox 1,500 feet, staying left of the lower rocky slabs of the massif.(up to 3rd class) traverse right, on top of a very large mossy/grassy covered rock dome towards the wall. A short 20ft dirty down climb will deposit you on the large ledge near waterfall streaks. The 1st pitch is in the obvious stair stepped rock gully (pitch 8? IB)

Protection

I brought a single 50m rope, rock shoes, a small-med rack with a set of cams up to 3 inches, set of nuts, few small/med Tricams, a few pins(which did not use), rock hammer, and 8-10 runners. protection was good on the 5+ pitches I self belayed, pg13

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