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Ascent of Steeple Rock on 2015-05-17

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Date:Sunday, May 17, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Steeple Rock
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5567 ft / 1696 m

Ascent Trip Report

Saw this peak from the Mt. Angeles approach and was tantalized. Had to check it out. I didn't know the name or have any beta.

Just due to where I found a parking spot I started from the east. I went straight up to the ridge and when west along the East Ridge until it became steep rock. An exposed maybe class 4 step got me to the ridge, and I began to slowly, carefully traverse the exposed ridge. I almost turned around at a jagged little bump on the knife-edge ridge. I tried to follow a tiny ledge just below this bump but it was too exposed. I then scooted aross the ridge au cheval-style, and by holding on to the top of the jagged bump moved my feed around to again staddle the ridge on the other side of the bump. It was some careful footwork, which, honestly wouldn't have been that hard but the exposure was really scaring me. I scratched up my stomach a bit holding on to the rough rock.

Happy to still be alive and not fallen off the mountain, I continued on through straight-forward, relatively secure class 4+-ish terrain to the summit, made slightly more nervewracking by some light rain starting (even though the sun still shone) and not knowing whether or not I would have to retrace my steps. When I got to the top I was greeted with a full rainbow, great views all around, and an easy route down (although I almost missed the right spot to pass over to the south side of the ridge on the way down...)

Summitpost calls the East Ridge 5.0, and I guess it's true the climbing is not that tough, but the exposure in a couple places is big enough to scare this solo scrambler. The rock isn't great, so I kinda doubt there are many protection opportunities.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:517 ft / 157 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:517 ft / 157 m
    Start Trailhead:5050 ft / 1539 m
Descent Statistics



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