Guye Peak 5168 ft
May 30, 2001
Michael and I have looked at the south rib of Guye Peak on numerous occaisions thinking that it might be a fun, moderate, multi-pitch route. With good weather and flexible job schedules we left work at 2pm and drove up to Snoqualmie Pass excited that we were finally going to climb this route.
We started hiking a little after 3pm and reached the base of the lower buttress of the south rib and started climbing at 3:50pm. We both coveted the first lead, so as gentlemen we decided the affair by a spirited game of rock-paper-scissors. Elated having ended my long streak of losses to Michael, I started the pitch. It was easy climbing at first and I soon found myself higher than I would like to fall, so I put in a directional and continued up. The rock was very compact with good cracks few and far between. The large fir trees that were growing at the base kept this buttress in the shade much of the time which allowed a lot of moss to accumulate. Although the climbing wasn't difficult the moss, wet rock, and sparse protection made for an exciting pitch which ended at a dead tree.
Michael had the next pitch which was technical for about 20 feet then turning to a scramble and finally a walk through the woods to the beginning of the true ridge. Since this second pitch was so short, Michael continued with the third pitch which turned out to be the best of the entire route. It was a fine lead, and was highlighted by a bomber hex placement at the crux that I know instilled great confidence in Michael! ;)
Michael brought me up and I started off on the next pitch. This fourth pitch was mostly scrambling. To the right the slope dropped off steeply to a gulley. I briefly climbed on this edge which was the "true" south rib, then continued up the easier terrain, running out the 60 meter rope. I placed two pieces of protection mostly to guide the rope for when Michael came up. Unfortunately the path from the last runner to my chosen belay station ran straight through a large patch of juniper-like shrubbery! As I belayed Michael quickly up, I heard him below the shrubs and I apologized in advance for what he was about to climb through. Michael thought nothing of it, and it was quite funny when I saw his head poke over the green mass!
Michael began the fifth pitch somewhat shorthanded as I had used two of the cams for the belay anchors. Sorry! But I knew he would be fine as he still had a nearly complete set of hexes. After looking around at the numerous route possibilities, Michael decided on a route above and to the left of our shrubberous belay. He quickly disappeared up and over the rock and on and up, and on and up. After some time I couldn't hear him, and the rope stopped paying out, so I knew that he was at a belay position. I started up and after some fun climbing I found Michael on the edge of a rocky slope to the left of a large, ascending gulley.
We reached the top of the ridge around 9 pm and were treated to a beautiful sunset and a great view of Mt Rainier and the surrounding peaks of Snoqualmie Pass.