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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Climbers on expedition list their possible first ascents

The Spokesman-Review

Members of the Spokane Mountaineers Adamants-Gothics 2004 climbing expedition list the following possible alpine first ascents (confirmation pending):

Post Peak, 9,930 feet: Northeast Ice Remnant and Direct North Ridge, a route created by extensive glacier recession and not visible in previous guidebook photos. Team named the route Surf’s Up because, while long-jumping a moat at the east ridge of Gargoyle, Rich Bennett and Lee Davis dislodged a 10-foot by 2-foot by 4-inch “surf board” of granite that slid a mile down the glacier to the base of Thor Pass as though an invisible surfer were riding it.

The Gargoyle, 10,197 feet: Josh Rudnick led a new finish called The Fire Down Below on the The Corkscrew, the hardest route up the east side of the mountain. The new route name was inspired by the previous night’s Mexican dinner.

Shoestring Buttress: At least half of the first pitch of the route the team called Scooby Surprise may have been below the surface of the rapidly retreating Shoestring Glacier in 2001.

Mount Damon, a West Ridge crack variation the team named Emily’s Way, for Eric Christianson’s daughter.

Lee Davis said the team also apparently had cragging first ascents, including Pika Buttress with a difficult overhanging exit led by Kevin Klim on a rainy day just 15 minutes from the Fairy Meadow hut. Other alpine ascents included The Toadstool, 9,306 feet; Mount Thor, 9,834 feet; and 8,999-foot Mount Quadrant in an attempt to traverse the entire northern Gothics cirque that was cut short by what Davis calls “an incredibly frightening and fast-moving lightning storm.”

The team also reconnoitered the North Face Direct of Turret Mountain. Davis said, “Horrible double-bergschrunds, massive crevasses, toppling seracs, and serious ice and rockfall encouraged the crew to retreat.”