Big Snow Mountain, E Buttress (June 9, 1997)

Left Seattle at 8 on Saturday. Drove to the Taylor river and then continued along Mid Fork Snoq Rd. The Rd gets really shitty, and 5 miles took an hour. At the Dingford Ck trailhead, we got on mountain bikes and rode the last 7 miles. Hellish with heavy packs. Made my butt very sore, but there's no good way to get up the road unless you have a 4WD.

The approach was straightforward (lots of snowcover still), and we reached the lake by 2-3. The weather seemed to be improving, and it did, until some more showers came through at night. Bad time to find out that my bivy bag has given up the ghost.

Next morning dawned with clearing skies, so we gave it a go. The buttress has 2 parts: an apron for about 500 ft, and then the buttress proper. The apron is low angle, topped with large overhangs. Things that look like cracks from below are either nothing or grass filled. We climbed 3 pitches on the apron. The first pitch left from the snow (hard climbing right over the moat), right of the low point of the apron, and meandered left. The second pitch continued leftwards, over the blunt snout. At this point, we were about 100-150 ft below the overhangs and couldn't see a clear path through them. The angle by this point lessens, but the pro is not really existent. Continuing to the left under the overhangs appeared feasable, but we lacked the gumption to climb the necessary runout over the overhangs. We retreated from our second belay.

Overall, pro is hard to come by, and the rock is pretty licheny, but solid. Recommendation: Try the far left (or the far right, possbly) of the apron, and just cheat your way up to the ledges which separate the upper and lower buttress. The climbing high on the buttress looked much nicer. This is a neat looking buttress in a beautiful setting. It is a pity that we couldn't swing it, but I'll be back for another go.

Rack and Gear:

* Two 9 mm ropes.  First time using double ropes.  What a pain.
* Medium Rack 
	One and a half set of stoppers (one set would be ok)
	2 TCUs
	1, 1.5, 2 Friend
	1, 2 Camelot
	20-25 biners
	6 double slings
	10+ single slings (less would be ok:  the hard sections are short)
	4 pins (two bugaboos, 2 angles).  Thin pins, and the desire to
	pound them may be the key to protecting the overhang pitch...
* Ice axe
* Rock shoes - much of the climbing was wet/muddy.  Half the time I wanted
  boots, half the time I wanted friction...
* Bivy sacks and light sleeping bags