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dave schultz

[TR] Johannesburg - NE Rib 1957 10/13/2018

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Trip: Johannesburg - NE Rib 1957

Trip Date: 13-14 October 2018

Trip Report:


started 715 Sat AM from the parking lot.  


took the lowest start posible, scrambling a few hundred feet before a 100m roped pitch into the trees.  

lots of unroped climbing before realizing we were too far right.  we did another roped pitch thinking we'd be out - wrong.  a single 30m rappel down and skiers right put us back in business.   

a long stretch of unroped climbing into a gullet.  roped back up for a few of the moves and that deposited up on the main ridge's shoulder.  this was the large climbers right trend in the topos.  

lots of steep vegetated climbing and steep exposed climbing brought us to a short (10m) knife edge ridge crossing - officially out of the shit.   this is where you could drop into the gulley to climb up to the bivy or stay on the rope.  gulley obviously looked nasty in October.

we scrambled another short distance to where we needed a rope. either the ugly offwidth or the steep face up and right.  not entirely sure if the face is what others had chosen, but it's what we opted for.  it was a little hard down low, but opened up nicely.  we hauled packs on this particular pitch.  

from that beltway we were a 150m pitch then a 45m pitch to the bivy site.  arrived around 530pm - just under 10 hrs on the route.  

no running water for us, so we went ultraconservative with fuel only melting water and saving some fuel just in case.  we were treated with an awesome sunset and sunrise. we were nestled between the snow and the rock and stayed protected from the wind.  

next morning we were moving by 745am and summited around 920am.  glacier was very simple all things considered.  snow arete was very cool and truly unique. 

started to descent around 10am, opting to downclimb vs rappel.  some serious exposure on sometimes pretty delicate climbing.  we were pretty close to the top, only dropping to maybe 100 feet below occasionally and not for very long.  we reached the main descent around noon.  

on the main descent we made one anchor for a belayed downclimb relatively high up, then lots of downclimbing snow and rock until an obvious rappel station.  this was a real rope stretcher (full 30m) to a subtle ledge skiers left of running water, we loaded about 1.5 liters knowing we'd get more soon - it was euphoric to get nice cold water.  

more snow and rock brought us to a second obvious station, going skiers left.  another 30m with some downclimbing and we were onto a broad apron.  

traversing skiers left, going more directly to C-J Col, we found three more rap stations, plus a lot of downclimbing.  we reached the col around 230pm.  we were moving quite slow.  

after quickly adjusting layers we were off to Doug's direct and searching for water.  we were at the top around 5pm and made fast work down to the 6k foot level.  

here is where were made our only route finding mistakes: dropping too low too early twice.  this cost us probably a at least an hour.  we then got back on track and were to cascade pass by 8pm and the TH by 930pm.

all in all, full value route that was surprisingly straightforward.  I'd do it again.

Gear Notes:
single rack to 3in was nice to have,  60m rope was shortest we would have wanted

Approach Notes:
short, or long, depending on your perspective











Edited by dave schultz
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Nice write up, Dave. Also, at least we know I had that picket up until the last snow arete photo was taken...


Some more photos:


Typical 'Schwackin



View from the bivy



Snow arete:



"Your best option is probably to jump into the moat"



Traversing a hanging glacier on the downclimb



More downclimbing


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Ugh.  That descent is tedious when dry, it looks terrible with thin snow.  Well done!

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Oh boy, doesn't that bring back memories. That would be a piece of work when snowed up. Yikes!!! 

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5 hours ago, Phil K said:

Oh boy, doesn't that bring back memories.

ummmmmm, yeah.  None of us were in our happy places after the fall.

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faqh'n'a - snow indeed makes the summer ascent look dainty by comparison...

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