Exfoliation Dome- West Buttress

When: August 5, 2005
Who: Marcus, Nathan, Emily and Dave

Nathan the Raven and Marcus the Orcas were both in town and ready for a little Darrington action. Dave had climbed the W. Buttress of Exfoliation dome a handfull of times in the past, but was cheerfull about climbing it again because it is such a fun route.

The granite sidewalk begins just a few minutes up a rocky streambed.

Nathan, Emily and Marcus exiting the streambed and merging onto the granite sidewalk

Continueing up the granite sidewalk. This frog-filled pool looked really thirst quenching on the way down.

We arrived at the base of the route, had some snacks and some water, and continued up. Emily took off to lead the first two pitches (5.5 and 5.7) with Nathan and Marcus climbing behind. The first pitch is a dirty scrambly affair that requires climbing through a couple of trees. The second pitch is cleaner and starts with a nice finger crack, then ends with a beautiful legs-to-fist off-width.

Nathan leading up the second pitch (5.7)

Nathan skillfully thrutching his way up the top of the second pitch offwidth

Marcus on pitch 3, just past the 5.9 crux move (and the only bolts) of the route. You can see the white scar from the sheared rock whose absense slightly increases the difficulty of this pitch.


Dave prepareing to pull the 5.8 overhang that is on the second part of the crux pitch.

Emily leading up the beautiful 5.7 cracks of pitch 4.


Pitch 4 is long

From the top of the Pitch 4, we running belayed the remaining two pitches (5.5 and 5.6) and cruised on into the patchy shade on Blueberry Terrace.

Once at the terrace, we took a moment to commiserate our incredible thirst together. "Could somebody please urinate into my mouth?" asks one anonomous climber. "Sorry, I don't think I have the capability to urinate." replys another. Dave makes an exciteing discovery- a jug full of water!!! "But it smells like gasoline," he says. "And," he continues, "It is in a gas can."

We were veeerrry thirsty, and the rock was blisteringly hot. After a few sweaty minutes in the shade, we rapelled down onto Westward Ho and continued the decent by rapelling down the slabs.

Twins on rapel. Nathan tips his brim as Marcus trys not to burn his feet. The granite sidewalk snakes into the forest.


This trickle, warm and full of minerals, shall forever be etched in Dave's mind as the ultimate beverage.


Emily, Nathan, Marcus and Dave. Sweaty, thirsty and stained of thimbleberries. Soon to consume 4 quarts of water, 1 quart of gatorade, 2 Thomas Kemper sodas, and a bottle of green tea.

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