An avid back-country skier and aspiring mountaineer, David’s gone on some pretty inspiring adventures through-out the Cascades and up in Alaska. With strong ties back East he took the opportunity to get out for some multi-pitch climbing with us this past Friday. After chatting about his experience and desires for the day I mentioned a new route that had recently been put up on nearby Whitehorse Ledge, The Cormier-Magness Route.
This route was established on 8/31/2012 by locals Paul Cormier and Chris Magness, and is an excellent moderate line up a section of the Whitehorse slabs that most would have considered picked plenty clean of new route potential. A bit of “hidden in plain sight” if you will.
You can find a detailed route description in this forum: http://www.neclimbs.com/SMF_2/index.php?topic=7190.0
We started at about 9am and quickly scrambled up the easy first pitch.
I had climbed the first 4 pitches with a client a week or so ago, and it was great to finish the whole route this time. If you are solid on 5.6 slab then this is a great route for a new leader, despite some run-out bits it protect’s pretty well. Both the 2nd and 3rd pitches have 5.6 cruxes on them. The 2nd pitch is a bit more of a mental crux with some well spaced protection, and the 3rd pitch is a well protected 5.6 slightly awkward step. The upper pitches can be a bit hard to follow, though I admittedly got off route on the 5th pitch by climbing the flake to the right, not the flake directly off the anchor as I should have. It was an easy fix, but it pays to read descriptions carefully!
David was a pleasure to climb with and given his interest in learning to ice climb and in taking a formal avalanche course this winter I have a feeling I’ll be seeing him again!