Start date 20220731

We climbed 9 pitches, climbing Snagglepuss (7 pitches, 5.8+ trad) with the 5.10a Purdie Shuffle variation for pitches 4 and 5, and then climbed Top Cat (2 pitches, 5.8+ trad) at the top of Snagglepuss, for a lengthy amount of slab climbing!

Overall: 3/4 stars

  • Approach: 3/4 stars. Pretty good! At a very slow pace, it took us 50 mins including wrong turn, and on the way down we found the better trail that does NOT go through the rocky gully with the devil’s club!
  • Climbing: 3/4 stars. Slab, slab, and more slab. But kinda fun! Basically the same as Silent Running. Kinda neat once you get into the slab groove. As a 5.10+ climber, it felt easy enough to be enjoyable, compared to previous outings I’ve had on Blueberry Buttress several years ago.
  • Protection: 2/4 stars. The route is actually quite well bolted! I wouldn’t recommend it for a 5.8 leader or a budding 5.9 leader, but I was actually surprised how well it was bolted. I literally only used one cam once for pitches 1-7 (on pitch 4 on the 5.10a variation).
  • Anchor ledges: 2/4 stars. Pretty comfortable belay ledges… they are slab anchors, but typically in a location with a bit of a ledge, none were terrible!
  • Anchors: 1/4 stars. They’re all bolted, however about 2/3 of them are missing chains and are equalized with cordalette/webbing for rappel. Therefore, bring extra webbing and a knife for the rappel if they’re looking worn.
  • Rappel: 1/4 stars. You need to use double 60’s to rappel, which means hauling up another rope, and it takes exactly as many pitches as you climbed to rappel. Still only took 2 hours to rappel, and the rappels pull very cleanly, but a bit of a pain, especially when combined with replacing webbing on the anchors.
  • Communications: 3/4 stars. Easy to hear each other, and often direct visual sight too.
  • Shade: Route got sun at 10am, was shade till then luckily!
  • Should you do Top Cat? The pictures of the 2nd pitch dihedral look awesome, but I was a bit disappointed. The first pitch direct start over the overhanging #3 crack was probably more interesting actually. Overall, I wouldn’t feel like I missed anything if I skipped Top Cat (and it doesn’t top out anyways). But at least it used some cams finally! 😂 If you’re bored and have extra time, go for it. If you’re feeling like you already did enough, skip it and know that you won’t have missed out on anything.

Gear brought

  • 12 draws, including 4 single alpine draws.
    • Next time, 11 draws including 3 single alpine would probably be ideal. The bolts are actually really well in line! Rarely ever have to extend! I think on one pitch I used 11 draws.
  • Single rack of #0.3-2
    • If not doing Top Cat, I only used a #1 once (on Purdie Shuffle), and I would only bring just a rack of one #1 next time if skipping Top Cat. Seems like probably don’t even need any gear if just doing classic Snagglepuss. It seriously felt like a sport climb… slightly runout but realistically you couldn’t place any gear at those spots anyways and it was in easy terrain.
    • For Top Cat (which uses gear), this gear was perfect. I could have placed a #3 at the start of Top Cat, but def not worth bringing up there. I managed to place a super tipped out #2 just before taking one more step up to where I could place a #0.4. Pulling over the #3 crack lip seemed easy enough for me without any gear right there, but a 5.9 climber could probably appreciate having a #3 there. Then I placed a small nut on the slab, and an extra #0.75 on easy terrain just for fun. On the second pitch, I think I used a #0.4 again and one other piece.
  • Nuts
    • (Only needed on Top Cat) Next time, only bring small nuts. I placed my second to smallest nut. No need for anything bigger than a peanut.
  • 1.3 L of water
  • Two sport anchors (all anchors were classic sport bolted)
  • Extra webbing and knife for replacing webbing on rappels
  • NO radios – Comms were good!

Times

  • 2:40 AM – Started driving
  • 4:45 AM – Trailhead (2hr drive)
  • 5:10 AM – Hiking
  • 6:01 AM – Base (50 min approach)
  • 6:10 AM – Climbing
  • 9:30 AM – Top (3:20 hours climbing)
  • 11:38 AM – Done rappelling (2hr rappel)
  • 11:41 AM – Hiking down
  • 12:08 PM – Car (27 min hike down)

Approach

50 minutes, 1.4 miles, 715 ft gain. Feeling really tired from our 2:15 AM wakeup in Redmond and it already being ~65 degrees (heat wave) even though it was 5AM, we took it extra slow. We followed the trail listed on Mountain Project, which went through a crappy rocky gully that was overgrown with devil’s club. On the way down we found the better trail that skips all of this and stays in the forest. We also took a slight wrong turn near the top. If taking the better trail, the trail is actually pretty good. It’s a steep forest trail, vaguely travelled, but only a couple class 3 sections, the rest is just very steep forest.

Note where trail diverges for the better trail option! Follow red trail! CalTopo map.

Pitch 1 – 5.7, 40m, ~3 bolts

This pitch starts up some slightly knobby slab, and then cuts through the bushes for some easy climbing up to the anchor. Note that there’s some other different route further to the right, so choose the right line of bolts! No water running across the route today.

Pitch 2 – 5.8+, 50m, ~9 bolts

The 5.8+ move over the bulge was pretty easy and VERY well bolted (two bolts within ~3 feet of each other).

Pitch 3 – 5.4, 50m, ~3 bolts

Easy climbing up knobby slab goes to a bolted anchor at the base of the forest.

Walk from P3 to P4

This walk wasn’t too bad! Doesn’t even really have any class 3 moves, but some class 2.5 with a little exposure.

Pitch 4 (Purdie Shuffle P1) – 5.10a, 40m, ~7 bolts

The start looks a bit runout, but getting to the first bolt is easy. After that, you can’t place a cam till a bit higher, but climbing up the flake to get to the cam crack is quite easy (starts harder and gets easier). In the crack, I placed a #1 but seemed like you could place a #0.75 or #2 in there too (gets smaller toward left and bigger toward right).

Then, the single 5.10a move of the route (rest is prolly ~5.8) is well bolted. But make sure you spot the bolt far to the left. I couldn’t manage to make the move and ended up aiding it by pulling on the bolt, but maybe without the backpack with the rope in it, I could have done it. Alexis got it cleanly by stepping on a cut root at the base before mantling over! The rest was pretty straightforward.

Pitch 5 (Purdie Shuffle P2) – 5.7, 45m, ~8 bolts

This one’s fun! A fun cruise up a few dikes, and it actually seems to follow the easiest path with more featured footholds!

Pitch 6 – 5.8, 45m, ~5 bolts

Start of the pitch had some slightly tricky slab.

Then some mellow runout section, nothing bad, and then another well-bolted slab at the end.

Pitch 7 – 5.7, 55m, ~7 bolts

Slightly dirty, especially at the top. Both my foot and Alexi’s foot slipped in one spot. The ending move to the anchor could benefit from a bolt in my opinion.

Continuing to Top Cat

From the top of P7, it was a short 2 min walk through the forest to the base of Top Cat P1.

Pitch 8 (TC P1) – 5.8+, 30m, ~3 bolts

Just before stepping into the alcove, I placed a very tipped out #2 in the lower #3 crack, and then stepped up (the moves were easy) and placed a good #0.4 before the overhanging direct start move up the upper #3 crack. It was a fun more powerful move up over the alcove, I didn’t feel a #3 was necessary.

Pitch 9 (TC P2) – 5.8, 40m, ~5 bolts

This pitch looked super cool in photos, but I was a bit unimpressed with the climbing. It’s neat, but I also wouldn’t feel like I missed out on anything if I skipped it. You get to use more cams again though!

Rappels

9 rappels, all with double ropes except P8 used single 60m. Decent rappels, but relacing some of the webbings on the anchors was annoying, and managing all the rope was annoying. Took us 2 hours with simul-rappelling most of them.

Descent

This time we found the good trail back down! 25 mins down!