NW Adventures,  Maps & GPS Tracks

Battle Ax’s Earhole Cave

P1050334So, I first noticed this cave on the side of Battle Ax, as I was hiking the French Creek trail over to the Beachie Saddle…mid 90’s. The gray color of the rock, along with the ripples in the formation around the cave, reminded me of skin around an ear…. that’s where I came up with the name “Earhole Cave”. Ever since then I’d been very intrigued with this cave, and vowed to enter it one day. Well, that day finally came, and boy am I happy I learned how to rock climb before then. A good friend, Tom Kline, and I set out October 17th 2010 not knowing anything about what we were getting into. I remember looking through binoculars from a distance, at the cave and thinking it was going to be an easy scramble…but I couldn’t be sure so we brought a rope and gear….
Only mistake of the day…thinking the approach would be a traverse from Beachie Saddle…WRONG! Bushwhack from hell! Won’t do that again…well, maybe I will, but i won’t bring the trekking poles.
The first pitch, cheese grater, got us up to the bottom of the trough. The second pitch, up through the trough, got us just below the cave entrance. I remember standing there, heart pounding with excitement, wondering what was around the corner. The third pitch, a boulder scramble up into the entrance of the Earhole Cave….WOW!, as I hear Tom yelling from below…”What do you see!”… This cave is much bigger than it looked, if fact the route is much bigger than I expected. As I entered the cave I noticed a “Cave Register”, a waterproof plastic box. And in the box is a bit of history of who has entered the Earhole Cave. Can’t be certain who was the first, but if all that enter this cave signs the register, then there is only a small handful that have entered.
After belaying Tom into the cave, we explored a bit. Tom proceeded to survey the cave on paper…he’s that kind of guy, as I poked around. After exploring for an hour or so, we decided to descend. Scrambling down the third pitch, then rapping the second, off a new rap anchor, through the trough to the top of the first pitch. Then rapping off of the stout maple to the ground.
No way were we going to traverse back to the saddle, so we decided to down climb the drainage, across Battle Ax Creek, and on to the main trail back to Beachie Saddle.
What an adventure!
I’ll definitely be back…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *