New Route in the South Fork of Pine Creek?

Submitted by seth on Thu, 02/01/2007 - 15:39
While working this summer for the FS, I spotted a nice cascade about 4 miles up the South Fork of pine creek. In hopes of finding some long lost gem I was able to convince Gregg Smith to go exploring on wednesday. Snowshoes were pretty much ineffective due to the faceted snow and it took 4.5 hours to get to the base of the climb, which turned out to be an OK 60 meter flow of WI3. There are two flows seperated by a snow shelf, the top 20 feet would be the crux, although many variations exist. We rappelled the route off of a tree with double ropes. I couldn't recommend the climb as the approach is just too long, but the views of Mount Black and off towards the divide are spectacular! There was also a parallel flow to the right, which we didn't climb, that appeared to be 50 meters of WI2. To approach the climb(s) head up the right (south) fork of the south fork of Pine creek to a large meadow, where the climbs are obvious up and to the right. This is the major fork in the drainage directly after Neptune and Pluto. Allow an additional 1.5 hours of slogging once you are even with these climbs. FYI: Neptune and Pluto both appeared to be in great shape and our path gets fairly close which may save some time on the approach to these climbs. I can't find any mention of these climbs in Winter Dance or Big Sky Ice does anyone know if this route has ever been climbed before? [img][/img] [img][/img] cheers, seth

I have been up S. fork of Pine creek a few different times this winter... but never quite that far! Lemme see ... If I understand your directions correctly, y'all left the maine Pine creek trail after about a mile ( a few hundred yars shor to pine creek falls itself), cross the creek. You see the Volakbles on the left, then 2 different longish, ramblish, avy-prone routes on the right ( these also begin at meadows in the drainage .... with wierd dry-stalk plants sticking up through the aenemic snowpack). Then, you get to where the drainage splits ( thats about where Neptune and Pluto are?), and you guys went up the right fork (whats that... the south fork of the south fork?). Then you went about another 1.5 hours? How far up from the creek did you have to go to get to the climbs? In my meager days of experience up in that drainage, that elevation increase can be the long hard part. also, Nice job... As far as I know, those are unclimbed until you did them.

Yeah thats pretty much where the climb is located. It took us 45 minutes to swim through the last bit of snow so 1.5 hours is very much conditions dependent. The meadow in which the climbs lie above is quite distinctive and much more flat than any of those lower down. Anyways, if a new route Gregg and I decided to stick with the astronomical theme and call it The Oort Cloud, the next thing past Pluto in the solar system. cheers, seth