Archives for May 2016

Darrington – The Kone and The Rash

After the weather forecast was turning south for the weekend, Josh and I decided to shoot for some run-out slabby climbing in Darrington. The first route we did was called The Quin Konehead Pre-Memorial Route or just, The Kone. The route was named after Quinn Koenig, who wanted to free solo the Willis Wall on Rainier. This route was very prone to rockfall, so his friends suggested he wear a cone shaped helmet to deflect the rockfall. The pre-memorial route was named after him because they were sure he would die from free soloing up to and sometimes over his climbing ability.

The route was fantastic, albeit a bit run out in places. Often, the first bolt was so far away, we would clip one of the anchor bolts with a quick draw to prevent a huge fall onto the belayer’s harness (see photo 4). The 3rd pitch starts with cruxy moves over a small lip directly above the belay but below the first bolt. Josh equalized a #0 Friend and small nut to protect the move but the nut only had good contact on one side and the tiny cam only had 3 lobes engaged- not very confidence inspiring. The belayer had the enjoyment of thinking about which way would be best to dodge while still maintaining the belay if the leader were to fall onto them (see photo 4). The rest of the climb involved lots of committing slab moves and airy traverses that would even get the followers blood pumping. Route topo can be found here. Would highly recommend.

The Kone – 5.9 – 5 Pitches. Gear to 2″ including some very small cams.

The second route we did was called The Rash, aptly named due to the rash like texture on the second pitch. The first pitch is an enjoyable climb up small cracks and flakes to a bolted belay. It’s all trad except for the belay but protects well with small cams and nuts. The second pitch is essentially unprotected until the first bolt 70ft off the belay station. Josh tested his nerves and finally made it to the first bolt, but after inspecting the section above the second bolt, he decided to bail due to the rock being wet. Two bail biners at the bolt reassured him he was not the first.

The Rash – 5.8 R – 2 Pitches. Gear to 1.5″