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Trip Report    

Kangaroo Temple/North Face

A successful summit of Kangaroo Temple, although with a lot of snow. Snow is continuous from the road's edge to the base of the climb, and there's also a big snow slab on the final scramble portion near the summit.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

We climbed Kangaroo Temple this past Sunday, June 12th, with six people, as a typical Basic Rock climb.  There's still a lot of snow up at Washington Pass.  The usual pull-off at the southern tip of the hairpin turn is still buried, but there is another pull-off on the inside edge of the hairpin turn at 48.515333, -120.645308 with space for 10 or so cars.  We brought ice axes & crampons.  Most of the snow was soft, and every twentieth step or so would be a deep post-hole. I almost regretted not having snowshoes on the gear list, but the post-holing was just infrequent enough that I don't think they were really needed, just booting-it was passable. (Skis would have been awesome considering how continuous the coverage is, and it might stay like that for a week or two, but also skis wouldn't have been compatible with my goal since I was trying to help some certain students get their rock-credit who were not skiers.)  We did use the crampons for part of the approach, they were nice-to-have for a brief section of firmer snow, but things were generally soft enough that they weren't mandatory.

The climb itself has dry rock.  The final scramble section (after the rock-climb but before the summit) is covered in a big slab of snow.  The snow is easy, you can just kick steps up it comfortably, even without bringing an ice axe or crampons up there, but it has the potential to be high-consequence if anyone slips there.  We stayed roped up to cross the snow, adding an extra pitch, it's just less than 60 meters from the belay-tree the climb usually ends at to a great rock-horn up near the summit after the snow, and there is a dry rock crack left of the snow where a cam or two can be placed while travelling up the snow.

We also set up a fixed rope, anchored at one end on that near-summit rock horn, and anchored at the other end on the rappel bolts, so everyone could self-belay themselves with a prusik along that for the scramble over to the rappel anchor.  Again, it's just barely less than 60 meters.  We cut away the whole faded rainbow nest of webbing on the top rappel bolts, and replaced it with a purple & yellow cordelette.  So that's brand new.  However, the color camouflages surprisingly well with the granite, so the rap anchor is harder to see from far away.  As long as you've done the climb before and know where to look, you'll be fine.  If you don't know where to look:  go to the absolute northern edge of the rock prow, you might not see the rap anchor until you're right at that edge.

Overall, our time was 11 hours car-to-car.  The breakdown was:

  • 5:15am - left the cars
  • 7:00am - at Kangaroo Pass
  • 8:20am - arrived at the base of the 1st pitch
  • 11:40am - first rope-team on the summit
  • 12:30pm - last rope-team on the summit
  • 2:20pm - all rappels completed, everyone back at the base
  • 4:10pm - back at the cars

FWIW, my preferred rack for this is:

  • singles of BD cams #0.4 to #3
  • set of nuts
  • set of tricams
  • slings:  6 singles, 6 doubles (use doubles liberally at the start of the 1st pitch to avoid rope drag later)