Cormier-Magness Route, Private Rock Climbing 9-21-2012

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:

We started at about 9am and quickly scrambled up the easy first pitch.

Scrambling up the easy 1st pitch
Looking down the classic 2nd pitch arete
Climbing through the summit slabs
Great view of Guides Wall, Cathedral, Humphrey’s Ledge, and Carter Notch in the distance
Near the top
Topped out with Echo Lake and Cranmore in the background

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!

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