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West Face 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 700', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Fred Beckey and Hooman Aprin, 1971
Season: Year-round if you like to snowshoe/ski
Page Views: 1,646
Submitted By: limpingcrab on Nov 28, 2012

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BETA PHOTO: Approximate West Face route from space! Arrow poi...

Description 

The route is mellow, exposed, and just plain fun. If you learn how to sling knobs with one hand it will make your day easier. The crux is probably the first pitch or two.

Start out by climbing the chimney/left facing corner and exit to the right when you get the chance. We missed the exit and climbed all the way out of the top. Once you're out of the chimney/corner climb up six awesome pitches on chickenheads and knobs!


Location 

Descend along the west side. When it starts to turn around the bottom you will see the chimney. If you get to the detached tower (or the corner right before it) you've gone too far.

Rappel off the north side like every other route. One short rap from the top, and then a long hanging rap to the base. Takes two ropes, and one might get snagged!

Protection 

Singles from small to 3" and a set of nuts. Lots of runners to sling knobs.


Photos of West Face Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down from the top of our first pitch.  I think we were supposed to exit right before here.
Looking down from the top of our first pitch. I t...
Somewhere towards to top.  I love that rock!
Somewhere towards to top. I love that rock!

Comments on West Face Add Comment
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By randy88fj62
Jul 8, 2013

Completed the West Face over 4th of July weekend. Hiked in one day to lower Geraldine lake, completed climb on the second day, and hiked out third day.

The hike in is the hardest part due to difficult route finding. I have an iPhone app that overlaid our position on USGS topo maps and it was extremely helpful.

The route itself is straight forward. The chimney start is obvious. The pitches get easier as you go up. The first two pitches are the hardest. We did it in 6 long pitches on a 60m rope.

Pitch 1: Chimney, then exit out left onto face.
Pitch 2: Follow obvious face / right facing dihedral up.
Pitch 3: Face straight up to obvious belay ledge.
Pitch 4: Face climbing over right roof onto easy knobs. 5.5 easy.
Pitch 5: More face and knobs straight up.
Pitch 6: Class IV rope optional.

Descent is obvious on back side with two raps. 1st is short at around 50 feet. Second rap is longer at around 150 feet with the majority of it free hanging. We rapped with two 60m ropes and had 40 feet of slack on ground. If you had two 50m ropes you could make it down. I do not believe that 60m ropes are mandatory.

On the second rappel about 1/3 of the way down I spotted a two bolt rap anchor with rings. This was not posted on mp and may be helpful in a pinch. My thoughts are that someone must have extended out the first rappel and then bolted a rappel anchor while hanging off their rope. You could speculate that this two bolted anchor was made to accommodate 50m ropes back before 60m length ropes were the standard. The bolts are in good shape.

Be careful with rope pulls. We used an EDK knot backed up (i.e. two overhands) as it pulls better than a standard triple fishermans knot which could snag easier.

RACK:
We took four metolius mastercams (0, 1, 2, and 3), 1 set of nuts, the two largest wc hexcentric hexes, and four large wc alpine nuts. This was more than enough for placements. You could easily take half a set of nuts, 4 cams, and 2 hexes. The important thing to bring is lots of double length slings. We used 4 for slinging knobs and it made leading quick and easy. We also had 10 standard length slings.

If you don't own large hexes or large alpine nuts then BD .75 through 3 would work. A BD 4 is overkill and not needed.