Alpine Fever

Prusik Peak - South Face (Beckey-Davis)

Cascades, WA

August 14, 2011

Dave and Mike

One of the most iconic photos in the Cascades is the reflection of Prusik Peak in Gnome Tarn. No red pen needed to show our route here: just use your imagination to trace a line from bottom to summit - beautiful!

I have the recipe for climbing on the Pacific Northwest's best alpine rock. Find fit partner who is good climber and want to climb good alpine rock. Next, hope they are so motivated that they will drag along a sloppy climber (me). Of course, the rock I speak of is the unparalleled south face of Prusik Peak with its myriad crack systems, snow-white granite, and designed-for-the-playground knobs. Several routes exist on the face, but two equally classic lines have been established at a grade within the realm of the non-rock jock. My recipe has worked twice: once in 2006 on the Burner-Stanley route, and again in 2011 on the Beckey-Davis. Again the climb was done in one long day, the difference being we did it Leavenworth to Leavenworth instead of Seattle to Seattle. Also, thanks to Mike's pregnant wife - who wakes at odd hours - we hitched a ride to the Stuart Lake trailhead and left a car at the Snow Lakes trailhead to make the hiking portion a loop.

This trip showed yet another benefit of living so close to the hills: easy to make a last-minute plans to go alpine rock climbing. Looking forward to many more such adventures in the future.

Mike enjoys our first snack break just over the top of Aasgard Pass.

 

Mike admires the perfect south face of Prusik Peak.

 

Mike digs into the awkward section of the superb first pitch.

 

Mike receives his first lesson in the basics of creating rope drag.

 

Mike scampers onto the summit before the camera can capture him. This thin crack is a suiting end to the climb.

 

Summit shot and last smiles before the long walk back to the car.

Alpine Fever