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fear_and_greed

[TR] Wedge Mt.- NE arete 9/19/2004

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Climb: Wedge Mt.-NE arete

 

Date of Climb: 9/19/2004

 

Trip Report:

After 5 days of rain, Sat. morning, the weather took a dramatic turn for the better giving us sunny conditions, but the snow build up over the previous couple of days prevented us from summiting.

3.5 hr approach to the hut which is full, Jason sleeps on the floor, I sleep outside. The morning breaks clear and cold and we're on the way. We find the previously uncrevassed glacier is extremely broken up. I can't believe the amount of crevasses. If next year has the same degree of degradation, this glacier will not be passable. We spend several hours navigating through. The 12 - 18" of fresh snow adds some confusion to the route finding, what is stable and what is not. Lots of probing and heightened senses.

We are behind schedule after the crevasses so we decide to take the more direct route to the arete going behind the seracs in the upper bowl. This means making trail up a 55 to 60 degree snow field for about 1500 ft. We plow through, with the snow getting deeper all the time. At this point we have yet to reach the arete and time is running out. The snow is knee deep and there are several bergschrunds up ahead to surmount. We decide there is no way we're going to summit and get back through the icefall before dark so we stop for some lunch and head back down.

The weather is near perfect all the way back to the hut and then it's 2.5 hrs back to the truck.

Talked to 2 other parties who left earlier and they too were forced back due to the snowfall. But it was still a great trip although my thighs are still sore from the walk down from hut to truck. See gallery for fotos.

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I do not see any 55 to 60 degree terrain confused.gif Even the North Face is only 55 degrees right at the very top

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exactly. aside from the hyberbole about slope angle the pictures are nice though thumbs_up.gif

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hint: your photos show u way out in the middle of the glacier. no surprise there were multitudes of crevasses. next time, walk ALL the way southeast between the ice and moraine, then travel the extreme east side of the glacier.

 

did u cross paths with janez ales? he too bailed on his attempt...

 

cheers,

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Thanks for the advice Don. We didn't try over that way but when we had gained a bit of height cold see that it was deeply crevassed over that way as well. Maybe next time we'd try to go diagonally up Weart south flank towards the Weart / Wedge col and onto the arete that way.

We didn't watch the other parties name but he had a european accent so that was probably Janez. He ended up rapping off the west side of the arete I believe.

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hey how did you put that photo in there, I cant seem to right click and find the properties on the larger size photo, only the thumbnail allows me to do that?

 

works now!!

 

Untill I figure it out, heres a shot of the NW ridge of joffre last weekend,I cant say I wasn't told that there was snow every where, but I'm glad I stayed away from any glaciers. Shortly after this picture was taken I watched the entire NW face of Matier cut loose, quite impressive. That being said, on Wednesday the freezing level shot up to 3000m and it has stayed that way and will continue to stay that way for the weekend. Looking at the whistler cams shows absolutley no snow, this weekend looks good for one more stab at some alpine climbing!!! I should probably bail on Skaha and go be a real man in the mountains, oh what to do?

 

5974IMGP0375_p001_010_-med.jpg

Edited by jmace

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vat du yu min by my aksent smile.gif

 

The eastern route around the glacier is duable, but not without some steepish climbing. Another party of two had tried it but they eventually ended up on the glacier where the photo was taken from. We did not even try the eastern side due to novices in the party.

 

Snow conditions did not look promissing even on the slope leading to the ridge, easy to moderate shear 25cm down, most likely enough to turn around. We avoided it going up to the col on the north side of the slope, which is lower angle. We hoped for some wind blown ridge travel, but what we got was more and more snow even on the flat part of the ridge. Ridge higher up was nicely smooth, another indication of no wind through the night was surface hoar everywhere. Once we were sinking 2 feet, still on the flat part of the rige, it was time to get out of there. Two rappels deposited us down to the glacier...

 

In retrospect we missed perfect turns in perfect pow down from the Weart-Wedge col...

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Some of us went back to Wedge this weekend. Definitely safer conditions than two weekends ago.

Susi and Rudi climbed the NE arete,

Tyler and Scott did the NE face,

I went up Rethel/Parkhurst/Wedge via their north culoirs and the Slot.

As you know the weather was superb...

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