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Burgundy Spire
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North Face T 

North Face 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
Page Views: 2,802
Submitted By: Keenan Waeschle on Aug 1, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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Phil Gleason, 5.10 chimney variation. P4, Burgundy...


P1-2 scramble up 4th with the occasional mid 5th move to the broad sandy ledge connecting with paisano pinnacle.

P3-4 climb up the right side of the wide open bowl, being careful of the loose and exfoliating flakes. Aim for the obvious horn with tat around it above. You can go pretty much anywhere. I started up the center, got sketched by the looseness and traversed to the left, then climbed back right on decomposing thin shit with no gear. the right side looked more straightforward and thats the way the rap route goes. the top is really fun 5.8

At this point the route reaches a big ledge, giving you many options. The most straightforward route climbs off the far right side, after scrambling under a chockstone head up for 2 pitches of 5.8ish climbing to the summit. This is also the way the rap route goes.

However, if you have the time I recommend heading off to the left once you hit the ledge. (This may be part of the corkscrew route, someone else can chime in and tell me if I'm right or wrong)
P5 Aim for the clean handcrack in a flare which is about, or scramble around it at low 5th to the left. gain the ridgetop and head out for some stellar exposed 5.7-8 face climbing complete with a original sketch 1/4in bolt put in 50 or so years ago. the climbing isn't hard, just wild and fun. belay at a slung block.

P6 Continue up the ridge, making fun moves up the sharp arete to a perfect handcrack. let out a few ecstatic yells and then get ready for the semi unpleasant part. downclimbing. there are 3 or 4 downclimbs, all can be easily followed by the 2nd if precautions are taken (don't be a dick and skip clipping tat or placing gear if you're leading) go as far as you can until rope drag becomes unbearable and belay. Wildly exposed 5.7 with annoying downclimbs.

P7 (or maybe 8 if you didn't go far enough you may have to do another short traversing pitch) There's a fun looking 5.10 offwidth that goes right to the summit if you hauled the # 6 along or are comfortable soloing. otherwise keep scrambling right till you intersect the route that goes off the right side of the big ledge. Climb the final left leaning wide crack to the ridge crest and walk over to the summit block. The rap anchor might be in need of new webbing. plan accordingly.


You can make it down with a 60 but you might have to do a little downclimbing in places. having a 70 was nice. lots of places to get the rope stuck, be careful when you pull.


single rack to 3 inches was adequate. bring an extra .75 and 1 if 5.8 is near your limit.

Photos of North Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: big ledge atop P4
big ledge atop P4
Rock Climbing Photo: left side handcrack
left side handcrack
Rock Climbing Photo: P4 fun 5.8 crack
P4 fun 5.8 crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Last pitch in smoke
Last pitch in smoke

Comments on North Face Add Comment
Show which comments
By Rafe
Aug 12, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Anyone ever done the direct route up the north face that puts you at a bolted belay beneath an open book'ish feature with a wide corner crack to the top with another bolted rappel station?
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Jul 31, 2013

The new Supertopo shows 3 variations on the last pitch. We took the left variation up a nice long chimney in a right-facing corner. This finish is great and I highly recommend it. However, directly above the chimney is a nice looking offwidth corner crack, and although it's clean and high quality, don't go up it unless you are prepared to downclimb. It tops out at a knife edge block with no rap anchor. You'll find a lonely 1/4" stud (no hanger or nut) on top. The proper finish to the summit is to the right, where you'll find two OW's just a few feet from each other.
By Keith Leaman
Aug 5, 2013

Bryan, I just added a photo of what I believe is the variation you mentioned. Does it look the same? Just above the end of the chimney was a steep off-width which Phil climbed & downclimbed unprotected. We also exited off to the right as you suggest. Highly recommend this flared chimney variation as well.
By Curtveld
Feb 14, 2014

Can approach by doing the West Face of Paisano Pinnacle. Adds a bunch of nice climbing and avoids the first two blocky pitches above Burgundy Col.

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