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Middle Peak
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East Face T 
Gunrunner T 

East Face 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Wertkin and Putelis - 2006
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,213
Submitted By: blakeherrington on Dec 22, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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Pitch 6

Description 

This route follows a hidden line, which unfolds piece by piece with amazing climbing and perfectly clean rock.

P1 - From the top of the Blue Glacier, work up ramps, slabs, and cracks to a flake with twin hand cracks, just left of a dark corner. 5.6

P2 - Climb up th steep twin hand cracks, moving into the right crack/flake, and step right to belay on a ledge. 5.10b

P3 - Move right to the quartz dyke fist crack, followed by delicate face climbing and stemming (RPs) before moving right on a flake and awkward mantle out and right. 5.10c

P4 - Step left into perfect thin-hands splitter corner. Semi-hanging belay atop this. 5.10a

P5 - Work up thin corner on right, then move left into right-facing corner and finger crack, which pulls a bulge and becomes a mind-blowing splitter in amazing position. Save 1" cam for after the crux bulge. 5.10d

P6 - Straight up the runout, but featured slab, to where the rock steepens. Traverse left to large outside corner of the face, using long slings and small pro where available. 5.9

P7 - Follow cracks and corners up to the summit. 5.8

Location 

From on the Blue Glacier, look up at the face (very foreshortened from this angle). You should be able to see twin hand cracks and a flake (almost right-facing). These form the start to pitch 2. With these landmarks, the route is easy to follow.

Protection 

A full rack, from RPs to 3" cam


Photos of East Face Slideshow Add Photo
The twin cracks of pitch 2
BETA PHOTO: The twin cracks of pitch 2
Pitch 6
Pitch 6
A different view of the pitches described here
BETA PHOTO: A different view of the pitches described here
Beginning of pitch 4
Beginning of pitch 4
P4
P4
The East Face of the Middle Gunsight, as viewed fr...
The East Face of the Middle Gunsight, as viewed fr...
Pitch 3
Pitch 3
A very wet rappel back into the moat at the base o...
BETA PHOTO: A very wet rappel back into the moat at the base o...
Mason coming up pitch 4.  Taken from the hanging b...
Mason coming up pitch 4. Taken from the hanging b...

Comments on East Face Add Comment
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By Darin Berdinka
May 1, 2009

First off this route might just have the best rock in the entire range. While the W Face of N Gunsight might be harder and have more of a history the rock quality simply does not compare.

The crux pitches (p2-p5) on this climb are remarkably similar to the Godzilla-Sloe Children linkup at Index in quality, length and difficulty. Just add a crushing two day approach to some of the most remote peaks in the Lower 48.

I'm not one to link pitches at all. I like to stop as soon as possible, but the description above makes for some very short pitches. p2 & p3 are easily combined as are p3 & p4 resulting in two ~45m pitches with great belay ledges.
By Chris Winter
From: Portland, OR
Aug 30, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Just climbed this route to within 50 ft of the summit only to get blown off in the storm.

We accessed the route from the moat at the base of the notch between Middle and South Gunsight. One traversing pitch leads to the base of the twin cracks. Turn the outside corner at the base of the moat, traverse climber's right 30-40 ft, head up a corner, and then traverse again. This allows the climbing party to leave their gear at the base without having to carry over.

Great route, but there is a very large detached flake on the pitch 6 traverse that will someday come off. Above the 10d crux and crack, its probably best to keep going up and then right until you can see the low angle slab of pitch 6 to belay - this will keep you out of the line of fire. Be aware.
By Daniel Coltrane
From: Seattle, WA
Jul 30, 2013

Definetly agree with Darin on the pitch linking. Link pitch 3 and 4 and skip a poor belay stance. Just save a #1 for the crux.