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Broken Top, Northwest Ridge Route


The evening before the climb Fritz Capell called to report the gate on Road 380 to the Broken Top trailhead was closed, perhaps because of lingering snow. So we changed to the Green Lakes Trail and met there Saturday morning. There was still plenty of snow on the trail and what goes with that, plenty of mosquitoes. As a result we didn't take a rest break until just before gaining Broken Top's northwest ridge. There we found running water and enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. We pumped some water for the trip to the summit.

On this trip I set a fixed line on the U-shaped traverse. Usually a single rope is brought for a twenty-foot pitch and the traverse left unprotected. Two ropes end-to-end were just long enough for the fixed line above the pitch. Besides bomber anchors at each end of the traverse I only found four other anchor points, two of those marginal. But Fritz and I both agreed the fixed line made the traverse more safe. Setting and removing the fixed line did take some time. Moving a large group of climbers around the traverse with only one on the rope would take a substantial amount of time. There are different ways to look at that. It is a great place to hang out, at least in the near ideal conditions we enjoyed.

We had the summit to ourselves and enjoyed a long break. After we descended the pitch a couple hikers joined us at the base of the pitch while we packed up. We took another break and pumped more water at the same point on the way down as we did on the way up. Then we made an unbroken bolt through mosquito alley for the trailhead.



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