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Needle Peak East Face: The Needle and The Damage Done
Timestamp Free: 2020.05.26 - 09:19:48
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
  (1 days)
Participants: Merran Fahlman, Drew Brayshaw
Difficulty: 5: Grade III 5.9 A0 (4 moves of aid); 6 pitches.
A failed trip to climb the SE Buttress Route results in a parallel new route on the East Face.
"I caught you knockin'
  at my cellar door I love you, baby,
  can I have some more Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

I hit the city and
  I lost my band I watched the needle
  take another man Gone, gone, the damage done.

I sing the song
  because I love the man I know that some
  of you don't understand Milk-blood
  to keep from running out.

I've seen the needle
  and the damage done A little part of it in everyone But every junkie's
  like a settin' sun.
" - Neil Young

What is it that keeps someone coming back to the same peak over and over when they could go somewhere else? For me, Needle Peak has convenience, but it's more than that - it's an addiction or a love. I always have a good time on Needle even when it's not a very good time.

Some strange things have happened on Needle over the years. I've heard voices when there was no one in sight - found bear shit on inaccessible ledges one hard pitch off the ground - had climbing partners vanish and reappear. I saw the Brockenspectre here for the first time. A mother wolverine tried to attack our helicopter the one time I flew over. And I keep coming back. "I love you baby, can I have some more?"

This time Merran and I thought we would poke around on Needle on Saturday and then jaunt up Yak on Sunday to make the most of a good weekend forecast. Packing large racks we left Zopkios Ridge parking lot and headed into the forest. Having been to the SE buttress before via the south face traverse, this time I thought it would be faster to go up and over Markhor. It wasn't. Remnant snow had us slogging and we ended up gaining a lot of elevation only to lose it again. Merran was a bit annoyed that we couldn't see the route from the approach and found my glowing description a...

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