Trip: Chair Peak - West Ridge
Overall a fun day and nice longish route for the area. Loose rock everywhere was annoying enough to probably keep us from ever repeating the route.
Pitch one: scrambled up a little too far and stopped at a cramped ledge below this first "bulge" to harness up. Partner led all the way up and over the ridge to belay at a tree, no protection placed except clipping the two fixed nuts. The low angle corner stemming was kind of cool but dirty.
Pitch two: I started traversing high, but didn't like it so retreated and scrambled down around easier terrain until seeing the chockstone chimney, then climbed low fifth rock up to the base of the chimney. Continued up beneath the chockstone then climbed around and stepped across it to the slab section. This was the most fun part of the climb - and the belayer can see you as well! Made it to the horn and set up a belay.
Pitch three: partner chose to continue up the ridge, climbing the 10 ft "headwall" and then across another chockstone, followed by some downclimbing, and then more traversing this time on the north side of the ridge. Stopped at a notch with another tree belay - in retrospect could have continued further, but I don't think the belay would have been as comfortable or convenient.
Pitch four: thinking this was the final pitch, we decided to stay roped up and cruise to the summit. There was some smooth bulging rock with cracks up and to the right that looked fun, but after not finding a safe way to access it and thinking we were close to the top, I chose to scramble a crumbly 4th class section leading back to a higher notch on the ridge. Once at the notch, I made a few sketchy moves to reach what turned out to be the false summit! Disappointed, I built an anchor and settled in for a comfortable belay as my partner followed by gaining the notch and traversing on the north side not up and over the false summit.
Pitch five: partner led a short traverse, along top of ridge and around north side to belay at a giant horn in the last notch before the summit. Possibly could have continued on up to the summit, but didn't know if we had enough rope left, so I followed. From here it was one more half pitch to the summit which we stayed roped up for having come this far, though the climbing was easy enough for an exposed scramble.
Met a party of 4 on the summit who had come up the NE buttress. They said they were planning to rappel down the same route so the SW chimney didn't get too crowded. After spending about half an hour on the summit and looking around at smoky haze, we scrambled and downclimbed to the SW chimney and made 2 rappels to the scree. On our way out we heard a lot of yelling and noticed that the party of 4 was still only about halfway down the NEB... looked like they were going to be hiking back to the car in the dark.
Time: just over 2 hour approach, 3.5 hours on route, 0.5 hours on top, about 3 hours back to the parking lot.
Placed about three cams, 2 nuts, not including the one anchor built on top of false summit.
All remaining snow is easily avoidable.