|Type:||Trad, 13 pitches, 2000', Grade III|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]|
|Submitted By:||peachy spohn on Aug 27, 2007|
|Comments on Serpentine Ridge||Add Comment|
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Mar 21, 2008
|Did this one a year before doing Backbone (2005). Climbing was OK but much more loose stuff than on Backbone (I thought) & the best pitches here did not compare to best ones on its neighbor.|
By Mike McL
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jul 1, 2009
As far as snow gear, we did it in late June without crampons. That time of year there is very little actual snow climbing on the approach. Most of it is on rocks with short stretches of snow. We were able to get by in the morning without crampons, but the snow was very hard. If you descend in the afternoon (which most will do) the snow is soft and we didn't need crampons. An ice axe was nice to have. We brought boots but it could be done in approach shoes with an axe.
As far as a rack, I suggest doubles of purple, green, red, and maybe yellow camalots in addition to the usual stuff if climbing near your limit. Nothing bigger than a single #3 was necessary.
For the route, aim for the golden granite blocks at the base of the ridge near the rock island in the glacier. You'll start in a blocky left-leaning ramp that joins up in about 1 pitch with an easy right-trending ramp. Follow this right-trending ramp to the base of a large left-facing corner. 1-2 pitches up to 5.7 puts you on the large ledge with the large pinnacle. This pinnacle is very recognizable and is a good landmark when locating and scouting this climb. Traverse to the right side of the pinnacle and climb some cracks that lie about 15' right of the pinnacle for a short pitch. This is the crux and felt a little tough for 5.8 to me, but I'm a weakling so it's hard to tell. A shallow right facing corner with a hand crack in the back lies above this crux pitch. Ascend this corner (fun!), traverse left on some knobs, and set up a belay to the left. These two 5.8 pitches could be linked with a 70, maybe a 60. After these crux pitches, the next pitch climbs a short (10-15ft) straight-in corner and then follows a right facing dihedral to some blocks. It's a bit nebulous from here. Stay near the ridge crest and follow the path of least resistance. Just about every pitch seems to have a short stretch of low/mid 5th class separated by 4th class. The steep stuff just below the summit can be avoided by going left around the corner and walking to the top.
Descent is down the easy back side trending south and east towards snow slopes. Descend these snow slopes and walk east to Asgard pass. Descend Asgard Pass to Colchuck Lake.
Enjoy and be careful of the loose stuff.
By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Aug 7, 2011
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
With a camp at the south end of Colchuck Lake, we thought a descent of Colchuck Glacier was the way to go. What we forgot to do was look at the map and see that there is a sub-ridge that makes a straightforward descent and traverse to the col at the top of the glacier less than obvious. We learned a harsh lesson...in the dark... again. Figure it out beforehand.
We didn't find crampons necessary but this was a big snow year and the snow was soft and pliable. I could easily envision crampons being mandatory in the right (wrong?) conditions.