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best of cc.com [TR] Les Cornes - Springbok Arete 8/1/2007

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Trip: Les Cornes - Springbok Arete

 

Date: 8/1/2007

 

Trip Report:

Last_View.jpg

 

 

Last week we climbed the celebrated Sprinbok Arete in the Anderson River Valley of BC. What a route! It was my second attempt after adventureboy and I failed to even find the river valley last year. We left bham in the early afternoon on wednesday figuring to have plenty of time to make the approach and bivy near the base. Unfortunatly it was like a waking re-occuring nightmare, and we spent many hours wandering around on the wrong logging roads, lost, trying to make sense of it all. Luckily it all came together, and we made it to the roadside, bug-infested bivy around sunset, intent on now climbing car to car.

 

A 5 am start saw us alder-ing our way up to the base which wasn't nearly as bad as others have made it sound. A little schwacky but its short, there is a path to follow, and you gain very little elevation.

 

 

The Arete from the base:

 

Sprinbok_base.jpg

 

I started us off on the first block. Four mediocre pitches and a bit of simul-climbing brought us to the base of the fierce fingercrack of pitch 7 (McLane), where we swapped blocks.

 

 

Scenic:

 

ty_on_slab_1.jpg

 

 

 

Tyree lead on up the hard 5.9 fingercrack and the off-width, but whoops, ended up on the wrong wide crack. We climbed a clean long off-width to the right of where we were supposed to be. After fucking around for a little bit we rapped off a nut back to the route. Ty smoked the orange head wall pitch hooting and hollering, having a good ol' time.

 

 

Awesome and steep. Flakes, fists, and hands:

 

headwall1.jpg

 

 

 

headwall_2.jpg

 

 

 

The quality of the rock kept on improving as we continued on via a fun flake traverse. I took over for the 10c fingercrack, and the immaculate 5.9 layback and elegant slab above.

 

Quality:

 

high_on_springbok.jpg

 

 

 

Ty took us to the summit from there via never-ending finger locks. A quick pound and we moved on to the au cheval.

 

"Gut-churning"

 

au_cheval_1.jpg

 

 

 

au_cheval_2.jpg

 

 

 

 

Compared to Gato Negro the descent was casual. The worst rap was prolly the first one. And the running water was well appreciated. 4 raps and some downclimbing brought us back to the base. Overall we did the route in 10 pitches with some simulclimbing. Car to car in 15 hours. Its the best route i've climbed in BC and lies somewhere in my top 5 favorite alpine rock routes. The grades are nice and stout. Highly recommended.

 

 

Because you can never get enough Steinbok:

 

More_Steinbok.jpg

 

 

Steinbok.jpg

 

 

 

Anderson_River_Valley_.jpg

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Twin 60's. Rack of doubles to #2, singles through new #5. Couple RP's.

 

Approach Notes:

Dont ask me.

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Great pics! If you can suffer the initial shitty 5 pitches, it's the best freakin' route ever! Easy yet brutal approach -those are some concentrated trees, eh? Awesome pics!!!!

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Nice Ty and Sol... What's so bad about the first 5 pitches? How's the pro overall?

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The rock sucks on the first 4 pchs. I was nearly decapitated once and Sol was a few times too I'm sure. The pro is adequate and after the first four it is gooood!!! STOUT but goood!!!

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Any way you cut it...that rock looks like nice!! Thanks for the stoke. How many hours in the car from the border(if all goes well)?

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I think that if you were to encounter no traffic have sense of direction as what roads to take (seems like a crap shoot sometimes)2+ hrs from the Peace Arch; less from crossings east.

Edited by tyree

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Yes, I did not know about that until I was looking down from the sparkling bolts, looks nice. I had a hard time picking out from the ground though. Any beta on exctly where it begins?

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Hey all,

Looking at this route and wondering if there is any update on the approach roads etc.

Also, is the green line in the following topo the one that contains the direct start? And is the blue ramp line the chossy early pitches?

Thanks much,

Rad

Alpinist topo for new Steinbok routes

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nice going, great route!

 

 

 

The Arete from the base:

 

Sprinbok_base.jpg

 

 

for those of you who haven't been up there, it could be useful to point out that the start of the route (the chossy pitches) lies up the rectangular ramp above the snow well up and left of the lowest extent of the rock (i.e., the route lies near the left skyline in this photo).

 

 

Ty smoked the orange head wall pitch hooting and hollering, having a good ol' time.

 

 

Awesome and steep. Flakes, fists, and hands:

 

headwall1.jpg

 

 

yah, i'll say! sticks in my memory as one of the very best pitches i've ever done in the mountains.

 

 

The quality of the rock kept on improving as we continued on via a fun flake traverse. I took over for the 10c fingercrack, and the immaculate 5.9 layback and elegant slab above.

 

Quality:

 

high_on_springbok.jpg

 

 

so, can u confirm i'm getting this right? after the orange headwall, you climb up a little and traverse left maybe a short pitch (i think we did 2 very short pitches to improve communication and minimize rope drag), then you turn upwards again and climb a steep left-facing dihedral, kinda black and lichen-covered initially, two steep sections then it opens out. is that what you're calling the 10c? (i ask cuz we pulled on 2 or 3 nuts thru here, and i've always been curious how hard it would be free.)

 

 

 

Approach Notes:

Dont ask me.

 

 

actually, it would be interesting to know more about the approach...

do you have Alpine Select? there's a good detailed map on page 126. where were you able to drive to? are the bridges in on the main anderson river (18.2km) and the side stream (N anderson)? where did you park/bivy?

(it sounds like there was confusion at the time, but maybe it's clearer now...)

 

 

congrats again - that'll make the summer!

 

cheers,

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is the green line in the following topo the one that contains the direct start? And is the blue ramp line the chossy early pitches?

 

yes.

 

 

also note, my take anyway, the 10b right variation (where Springbok and Sprung Cock coincide in the topo) is more logical than the harder finger crack on the lefthand face.

 

cheers

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Bump. What is the latest drive approach beta?

Are two ropes needed or is one sufficient?

Thx!

Rad

Edited by Rad

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Sprung c#ck Erect is an outstanding route guarded by a non-trivial approach. Roads and trail choices seem to have changed from past posts so I'll put together a trip report at some point here.

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Springbok was an amazing climb but the roads and approaches were going to hell 15 years ago. Good job onsighting the approach now, please, give us the details!

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Rad, I think you're better off with two ropes, but you could use one plus a tag line for the raps.

No idea on current approach...

Btw, my recollection of the first 4 pitches up the ramp is not as bad as this TR makes them sound. Chossy cracks, for sure, but not very hard, so non-life-threatening!

Good luck

Edited by Don_Serl

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Don, we brought 2 ropes (new Fusion Photon 7.8s I picked up at MEC on the way) and they were essential for getting down the gully in one piece.

The first three pitches of Sprung ... Erect were outstanding and should not be missed.

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