April 18: 5th Annual Dallas Kloke Memorial Work and Climb Day at Mt. Erie, WA
Dallas Kloke was an avid climber and route developer in the Northwest for over 50 years until his death in a climbing fall on September 25, 2010. Mt. Erie was a special place to him and to keep it special and to honor his legacy, SRCFC holds Annual Dallas Kloke Memorial Work and Climb Days at Mount Erie.
Click Here to learn more of the accident and Dallas's legacy!
The day will begin at 9:00 am with Work Projects organized by Anacortes City Park and Recreation Department. Meet at the Ray Auld drive at the base of Mt. Erie. Work Projects should wrap-up about noon. Bring trail maintenance tools such as flat shovels, buckets, shears, gloves, etc. Contact Jonn Lunsford with the park department for more info.
At 12:30 pm, we will gather at the Lower Access Trailhead off Heart Lake Road. Dallas loved to have gear giveaway for all those who participated the work party days the he organized. To continue that legacy, SRCFC will be giving gear to climbers is present.
The afternoon will be time to climb some of Dallas’s routes or ones that were special to him. For example in 2011, SRCFC National Director, Calvin Landrus, climbed Zig Zag, the classic line at Mt. Erie as declared by Dallas (see below), in mountain boots and tied-in with a bowline on a coil.
A MT. ERIE CLASSIC: ZIG ZAG
By Dallas Kloke from 2007 Newsletter to SRCFC Members in Western Washington.
To me Zig Zag is the “classic route” on Erie. It has a variety of climbing, good rock and protection, easy to get to, and enough exposure to make it interesting. The route goes up the Main Wall, which faces south, with total sun. It is probably the most popular climb on Erie.
My partner, Mike Killien, and I made the probable first ascent back on June 5, 1963. Mike had 3 months of climbing experience and I had two years. We were deck out in our Army wool pants and wore mountain boots. Our gear consisted of a heavy 120-foot Goldline rope, 8 to 10 soft iron pitons, and about the same number of iron carabineers. We tied the rope around our waists with a “bowline on a coil”. We belayed basically around our lower back and hips. Usually, we were anchored into one piton.
The first pitch of the route is a “classic” open book of about 30 feet leading to a ledge, then up a short face to a slab which is sort of run out to the anchors. Back in 1963, we traversed left from the ledge going down and up to a large flake for a belay at the edge of the slab’s lower left side. The second pitch follows a broken section in the center of the slab, getting steeper as one climbs higher. In 1963, we traverse right to the top of Snag Buttress and belayed from a large Madrone tree. Now, instead of traversing right, one climbs left and then up to the ledge below the crux.
Our third pitch was to angle up left to the large ledge below the crux. I placed a large angle piton in the solid crack above. With boots on I had a hard time using the small holds. I didn’t want to lay back the crack (which is the way to do it) instead I did some jamming and thrashing about. I almost peeled off but struggled up. The final move below the ledge at the top is awkward. Now there are anchors at the ledge with the horizontal tree; but back then we made a traverse left and then up to the trees above.
Even after 44 years, I still find the route enjoyable and challenging. Most climbers will do it in two pitches; with chocks and cams protection is much easier and quicker to place. The three sections are rated: 5.5, 5.4 and 5.7. If you don’t think it’s challenging enough, try it in mountain boots.