Warning: The Death Picnic route has an approach that is subject to avalanches!
12-23-11 Table Mt, Near Mt Baker. 2 pitch route named ” Death Picnic ” (D.P.)
Fa: Mark Houston, Alan Kearny Dec 1986. 80m, WI 5.
I became stoked on the route for several reasons:
Only 3 hrs from Seattle, 1 hr fun ski approach
Jeff S. had some good pics from his ascent last year,
and Cascade Climbers folks said it was in, and posted pics of it too, this season.
On 12-21 I made a run after it with Nate. We skied in under snowy skies and got up to the point to where you can see the route before D.P., named Death Banquet.. It was a thin, steep scarefest , we thought it was D.P. I found this out later when I reread the CC thread and studied the photos more closely. We were 10 feet from seeing DP! I deleted my post on CC where I proclaimed the route “Not In”, and made plans with Tom for another run at it.
12-23-11 Both Tom and I invited a friend along and we became a party of 4. Bryan and I skied in, while Tom and Daniel took snowshoes. They beat us there as Bryan’s skins werent up to standard. Dan had the first go at it. It was the first ice outing this season for all 3 of my friends. You wouldnt have known that with Daniel, he marched right up with very few screws. After Tom followed, I lead up and past their stance with a 70m rope, to a better ledge area. It was my 19th and 20th pitch for the season, so I didnt find it that difficult. What was difficult was the relentless spindrift that poured on us all. It choked and blinded us constantly. Hearing Toms cough at one point, I knew he had inhaled snow in misery. In spite of this, I really enjoyed one of my favorite ice routes in Washington. The route itself rambled though troughs and bulges with good feet. We hugged the left side ramps, then p2 we stayed more left. P2 was deceptively steep, yet short. Rappels were made off a tree first, then a v-thread after that. What a great day in the mountains! Now for some pictures.