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Chair Peak
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East Face T 
NE Buttress of Chair Peak 
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East Face 

YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 600'
Original:  YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c PG13 [details]
FA: 
Season: Summer
Page Views: 205
Submitted By: Paul Carduner on Jun 29, 2017

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BETA PHOTO: The East face of Chair Peak.

Description 

The East Face is a moderately interesting way to get to the top of Chair Peak, involving some 3rd to low 5th class climbing and an adventurous descent.

Pitch 1: Climb either side of the narrow chimney for about 50m until you reach a short but wide roof with a good crack for building a gear anchor. Depending on exactly where you start, this pitch is 5.1-5.6.

Pitch 2: Traverse left under the roof to climb easy 4th class rock for about 40m. There is very little pro here, so when you see a spot for a gear anchor, use it, as they are hard to come by.

Pitch 3+: Keep going up easy 4th class terrain trending slighty right towards a notch that puts you onto the Northeast Buttress, about 40m. You can either build another anchor at the notch or start simulclimbing. From here you are mostly in 3rd class terrain with perhaps a few 4th class moves up the left side of the Northeast face towards some trees.

After topping out near the trees, you can scramble up to the summit of Chair Peak where there is a nice spot to sit and eat lunch.

Location 

Approach:

From the Alpental Ski Area parking lot, take the Snow Lake trail.

At around 1.5 miles, where the trail forks, take a left (West) towards Source Lake.

Follow this trail for about a half mile until you see a somewhat narrow rocky gully heading WNW and starting at about 4200'. Depending on the time of year, this gully may have some snow in it with water running down.

Ascend the gully (3rd class) while trying to avoid slipping on the wet rocks or dislodging any big boulders until you reach a small cliff at about 4800'.

Follow a path to the right heading North through a notch in the trees which opens up onto the basin directly below the east face.

Ascend the likely snow-covered basin, heading WNW, to the base of the climb at around 5500 feet, which begins right below a small narrow chimney that is easily identified from a distance.


Descent:

There are many descent options, of which only one will be covered here.

From the summit, head part way back the way you came until you see a *south facing* rock gully. There is a tree at the top of the gully with some webbing around it. If you don't see this tree, you are in the wrong gully. Either rappel or down climb the gully, which is filled with loose 3rd class rock until you reach a wider, steeper, looser gully that heads Southwest. Instead of continuing down, which looks quite treacherous, cross over the easy gully and scramble up to some trees and a notch.

If you are in the right place (good luck!) you will see a large boulder next to a tree with a bunch of webbing around it that is at the top of a steep, east facing gully. From here, do 3+ rappels (the number depends on how much snow is in the gully) to get back to the snowy basin where you started the climb. This will put you about 300 feet southwest of where you started.

Descend the approach route, *or* head east over the snow and through some trees towards a large clearing until you reach a boulder field. Follow the boulder field down until you run into a trail that connects the Snow Lake and Source Lake trails. This is a bit longer, but also a bit easier than down climbing loose wet rock.

Protection 

Opportunities for protection on the route are minimal with some sections having over 50ft of runout. Finding good cracks for building gear anchors can take time.

Recommended gear includes a set of small nuts, and single cams from .2 to 2". There is one place for a #3, but it's not really needed. Bring plenty of single and double length slings as the route tends to wander, along with cordelette for building gear anchors.

For the descent, make sure you have some extra nylon webbing and rap rings for rappeling.

Depending on the time of year, an ice axe will be *extremely* helpful.


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