Underhill Ridge Original/Direct
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|Type: ||Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 800 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.8+ [details]|
|FA: ||Robert Underhill, Phil Smith, and Francis Truslow 1931|
|Submitted By: ||Allen Sanderson on Aug 25, 2009|
The Underhill Ridge sees very little traffic and is a very moderate climb. Perfect for the aspiring Teton climber who wants to avoid the crowds, is not sure about a technically longer route when the weather is funky. There are no real route finding difficulties.
The climb begins on the east side of the ridge. Start by climbing up a 4th class easy 5th cass broad ramp for 400+ feet. From the end of the ramp scramble up the ridge for another 75 feet of 4th class climbing to a rappel station.
From here one can follow the original route and go left on to the west side of the ridge. A long 200' pitch starts with some more easy climbing that leads to a chimney system. Climb the first chimney to a ledge step right and continue up another chimney which ends on a 4th class ledge system.
The other option stays on the ridge proper and also involves a long 200' pitch. From the rappel station go up and right for about 50' then up a crack system which is begun by surmounting a small block. This crack leads to a fine 40' 5.8 dihedral. From the top one can step right and climb a 5.6 chimney or continue up a 5.9 crack. At the top traverse left on to the 4th class ledge system.
With either option it is possible to belay mid way. However, the climbing is moderate enough that doing it as one long pitch is easier.
After about 150' of 4th class meandering climb a 5.5-5.6 100' face with many variations. From the top of the ridge walk north along a good ledge system. Coil the rope and scramble the remaining 700 or so feet to the summit. Depending on the tim eof the year the upper slopes may be snow covered and require a fair amount of traversing to bypass.
Allow 2-3 hours from Glencoe Col to the top of the Ridge and another 1-1.5 hours for scrambling to the summit.
The Underhill Ridge is eastern most ridge coming down from the south side of the Grand.
There are two approaches. Most parties camp at the Lower Saddle and follow the Black Dike to Glencoe Col. However this route requires that you cross Stettner Col which can be very hazardous due to rock fall. Definately not recommended late in the year.
The other option is to camp at the base of the Teepe Glacier and go up from glacier. However, for most parties this will require an ice axe and perhaps crampons for an early morning start. In the afternoons the snow is much softer and it is possible to bivy at Glencoe Col. where snow can be found for water.
A standard Teton Rack of 6-8 cams and 4-6 nuts with 6-8 long runners