Pamola IV Ridge
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BETA PHOTO: South Basin from Chimney Pond.
|Winter climbing/hiking/mountaneering requires a permit|
I stand corrected on the route. P3 that was listed below is actually the traiditional route for P4. The real PIII is further to the climbers left. I changed the PIII to P4 and PIV to P4rv(right variation) Thanks for the info Ben.
Over the course of 4 days in August 2012 me and two friends climbed on Katahdins South Basin and sent Pamolla IV(P4) ridge as pair with one rope on our last good day of weather. We took a shot Pamola IV right variation (P4rv) as a party of 3 with 2 ropes and retreated in a rainstorm by rappelling into the chimney and then rappelling past the chock stones. We got a good view of P4rv from P4. P4rv was less steep but had way more loose rock. Enough so that you'd be foolish not to stay roped up even on the 4rth class stuff. The chimney is to the right of P4rv and was grungey and loose. P4 had its share of loose rock but held plenty of solid protection placements. Areas to set belay stations were abundant. Scale/height can be deceiving so plan on an early start. We started from chimney pond at 8am and walked back into camp at nightfall.
Start at chimney pond. The hike in from roaring brook is fairly short but takes its share of energy. Circle Chimney pond from the right and follow creek bed until it distinctly has a section breaking left to the base of the Pamola Slabs. We climbed Pamola Slabs in 3 full pitches. The slabs can be detoured by continuing up creek bed through the boot to the base of the chimney/P4rv routes and climb up the bushwack ridge and then crossing above the Slabs to the bottom of P4. This is most likely faster scrambling the bottom part of P4rv's ridge but trusting my life to loose rock and scrub brush seems less than ideal and when we did it with the rope earlier in the trip it was a serious pain in the neck. The crossover looked fairly easy from where we started P4. Several pitches up the ridge and exposure really kicks in and one might want to break left of the ridge but trust me the climbing and protection is much better on the ridge. I'm sure our last 5 pitches could have been done in less but rope drag and being blind of whats ahead took its toll. About 2 pitches from the top is a blueberry knoll (15'x30'). From there you get a good look at the upper pitches of P4rv. From this perspective me and my partner both agreed that P4 had better rock.
Standard Rack. Friends, tricams, and chocks. One rope. Helmet.
From: Westerly, RI
Feb 17, 2013
I gave this a PG13 rating not because of the placements but because of loose rock. In one case my partner above me moved a very large rock (5'x8') with very little pressure. We climbed around it but if he had knocked it from its perch I most likely would not have avoided it.