|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 500', Grade III|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]|
|FA:||Chris Atkinson, Dan Redford, August 1989|
|Submitted By:||Steven Lucarelli on Oct 5, 2006|
|Comments on Paddle Flake Direct||Add Comment|
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By Devan Johnson
Aug 3, 2010
|Much better overall than Mctech..|
From: North Vancouver, BC
Sep 5, 2012
We did the original indirect Paddle Flake, using the first pitch of Westside Story to start, and this was a fantastic route. Every pitch was amazing, and I highly recommend it. I agree that this is a much better route than McTech.
Having said that, I thought the route description in the guidebook was just a bit off. Hopefully the following description is a bit more accurate. Grades and pitch lengths are only estimates.
P1: 5.9, 50m. Start well right of the main corner, and follow broken cracks up through a tricky wide section. Keep following cracks until you can make an easy traverse left along a ledge system back to a belay in the main corner.
P2: 5.10a, 35m. Climb the main corner (easy fifth) for about 25-30m to a point where the corner gets steeper and the cracks get flaring. Plug in whatever gear you can find and traverse left and up to a short crack that leads to a belay at the base of the first smaller paddle flake. I thought this pitch was pretty spicy, as the crux was the rising traverse out of the corner and the fall would have been a bit ugly.
P3: 5.10b, 15m. Climb the finger and hand crack in the corner of the right side of the small paddle flake to a two bolt belay at its top. Alternatively, climb the squeeze chimney on the left side of the flake.
P4: 5.10b, 35m. Climb the hand crack on the left of the larger paddle flake past many good rests. A steep section at the top leads through a bulge to a stance and a gear belay. Awesome!
Note that there were two good belay stances here. The lower right hand one had two pitons, and led to a wide crack, but the upper left hand one was what we chose as this looked like the best way for the next pitch.
Many variations are possible for the last pitch. This is what we did.
P5: 5.10b, 55m. Climb up from the belay using parallel cracks (finger crack on the right) for 5m. Hand traverse right beneath a large boulder until you can pull up into a crack that widens into a chimney. Chimb the chimney to its top then up through a bulge. Broken rock leads to the ridge crest.
The rappel route is down McTech, and I don't recommend it. There was a lot of climber induced rockfall from people rappelling, and this was really dangerous for anyone below. As well, there seemed to be a lot of people getting their ropes stuck.
I would recommend carrying over approach shoes, and then down climbing the easy gully between Crescent Spire and Crescent Towers. There is an easy trail. If you do this, you can rack up on one of several boulders sticking out of the snow near the base of the gully, so you don't have to return to the base of the route.