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New route in Snoqualmie Pass with Kurt H. 19th Mar 2006.
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Very scenic skiing up the valley.
Kurt skiing across the lake, Abiel in front.
Final approach below the face.
Kurt at the belay after doing the first pitch.
Kurt leading the first technical pitch to a belay on the left.
Climbing the "Regretting Helen" pitch on the North Face Direct, Abiel Peak.
The "Regretting Helen" pillar.
Wading in the upper gully.
Kurt digging a trench to the top.
More digging.
Kurt, summit... perfect day.
All big grins.
View of Snoqualmie Pass.
The route.
Kurt skiing out. Good powder up high.
North face of Abiel Peak.
View up the valley.

North Face Direct

Last day of winter, perfect weather. I managed to drag myself out for the day before getting sick for the next week. Had a great time with Kurt doing a new line on Abiel Peak. Spent the next week as sick as a dog - but it was so worth it.

Why "Regretting Helen"? "Helen" is a CrossFit workout I was sort of wishing I hadn't done Friday night when I was half way through the crux on Sunday morning. Of course in another month I'll be in the Yukon and wishing I'd done more training not less.

Route Description:

This route is easily identified by large hanging icicles just left of the North Face Couloir (topo to follow).

Pitch 1: From a small rock outcrop, climb left up 45 degree snow to the base of the waterfall. Screw belay. 50M
Pitch 2: Climb the waterfall (WI3) to a belay under the overhang on the left. Rock belay (use the crack up and right of overhang with small cams). 35m
Pitch 3: From the overhang, traverse right onto the pillar. Continue up good WI4 that eases to AI3 after 30m. Tree belay on the right at 60m.
Pitches 4-6: Climb up the gully on snow to 60 degrees (near top), trending left when it splits. Tree belays.

Once on the ridgecrest, unrope and walk easy slopes to the summit (~2 ropelengths)

Grade: III, WI4

Descent: Rappel the route from trees. From the head of the gully, do 2 60m rappels down the gully. On the 3rd rappel, traverse towards climberís right, descending into the North Face Couloir. One more 60m rap and downclimbing brings you to the bottom. (2 60m ropes recommended/required). Retrace ski tracks back to the car.

Gear Notes: 8-10 screws & screamers, KBs, LAs, green - orange aliens, double length slings, 2x 60m ropes.

Approach Notes: From the Annette Lake TH (exit 47), hike up the summer trail until it intercepts the railroad grade. Turn right (west) and ski a few hundred yards to the valley bottom. Turn left (south) and ski up the valley bottom to its end. Abielís North Face will be visible to the southeast. Ski to the base of the route. 4 hours. (We actually skied/hiked the summer trail on the approach and descended as described above. On balance skiing the valley bottom is much easier)