South Ridge, 5.4 - 5.6
September 30, 2006
The Toof. That epitome of what Chad calls a CAME-UP, a "Classic Accessible Moderate that is Ultra Popular." No other rock route in the Cascades attracts more climbing class students and continues to be run over with all sorts of climbers all year round as long as there is no snow on the route. Becky, Pete, Kirsten and I left the Snow Lake trailhead at Alpental at about 7:30 Saturday morning, and picked our way across large boulder fields and then up an even bigger boulder field into Pineapple Basin, arriving at the notch around 9:30, and the base of the climb around 10. Lo and behold, we were the first ones on the route, and after four pitches of super fun climbing, we reached the summit around 12. The views from the summit were pretty nice, considering the forecast was pretty gloomy. Because of its status as a CAME-UP, it's easy to expect the presence of crowds to detract from the enjoyment, but being the first ones on the route and not having to wait for anyone reminded us of just what a nice route this is. Nice clean rock with easy climbing, punctuated with a few interesting sections to keep your attention.