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[TR] Johannesburg - 1957 NE Rib 08/01/2020


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Trip: Johannesburg - 1957 NE Rib

Trip Date: 08/01/2020

Trip Report:

Here is my report with photos for the mighty Johannesburg: Spokalpine

Amazingly, we shared the face with Karsten and Matt (Karsten posted a trip report on CC right after their climb) but used different starts.  As a result, we never even saw each other on this giant, complicated route.  We started an hour earlier than Karsten and Matt, but they reached the bivy hours before us(!) and continued up and over the summit.  Karsten and Matt used the traditional 1951 start while John and I took a lower start, far right of the waterfalls.

Gear Notes:
Singles .4-1, nuts, ice tool, aluminum crampons, approach shoes

Approach Notes:
None
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J berg has some of the best rock quality in the cascade pass region. Not really sure why there’s a bunch of hype over the choss, type 1 cascadian hilarity the whole way! Maybe best done sans rope and sans bivy gear, I recall my 15 L pack was about all I’d have wanted to carry through the jungle gym of cedars. Anyone do any of the lines on the wall to the left? The Yellow flower route and the two just right of center look neat, looks kinda steep for 5.6/7 though, sandbag or optical illusion?

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Nice write up Nick. Me and @thedylan did the '51 rib this past weekend and were surprised at all the names on the register this year. If anyone goes again this season take some Rite-in-the-rain pages for the register, it's almost full.

Also many of the rappels only have a single carabiner at the anchor so if you have some bail 'beaners please add one here and there.

My most important piece of gear specific to this climb was work gloves! They really save the hands in the heather and the vertical brush.

Does anyone have an opinion on whether the '51 or the '57 route are better (aka more fun)?

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Geosan asked: Does anyone have an opinion on whether the '51 or the '57 route are better (aka more fun)?

I did a hybrid version, starting on the '51 route (or probably even further left), up the lower brush to the snow patch, then somewhere above the snowpatch climbing to the right to get onto the '57 rib which was a cruise as long as you didn't worry about things. We didn't flake a rope out until we got to the rap into the gully and up to the snow arete. Gully was swell, though its long out of fashion, but I think it was more fun that the rock climbing over to the left sounds like. The old thread of neve did give an ominous "Whumpf" and settle about 6" while we were in it. Of course, that was 35 years ago so its old info and possibly a little fuzzy. We descended straight down the south side (lots of sketchy scrambling and two pitches of down leading) and around to the west ridge, over that and down the steep timber. It wasn't easy, and we did get benighted after we got down the technical stuff and the steep snow cone, but it was a cush bivy with as much firewood as we wanted. Sounds like the current East Ridge/Dougs Direct is no picnic either. 

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On 8/16/2020 at 1:47 PM, Sam Boyce said:

J berg has some of the best rock quality in the cascade pass region. Not really sure why there’s a bunch of hype over the choss, type 1 cascadian hilarity the whole way! Maybe best done sans rope and sans bivy gear, I recall my 15 L pack was about all I’d have wanted to carry through the jungle gym of cedars. Anyone do any of the lines on the wall to the left? The Yellow flower route and the two just right of center look neat, looks kinda steep for 5.6/7 though, sandbag or optical illusion?

In mid July 92 did the left most route (1963 ridge/rib) in 15/16 hrs round trip and found the route really good, with the upper 3-5 pitches on the rib being great rock in the 5.7-8 range. And the bonus of NO bush! I recommend the route and I have never figured out why climbers choose the brushy 57 route. Maybe do it in winter

s_r11agecf6270238.jpg

Edited by Kuckuzka1
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Hey @geosean you're probably part of the pair that passed us on the slab left of the waterfalls? I was pretty proud of my equalized bush anchor but then felt like a dumbass when you easily placed a #1 right at our feet. Did you actually bivy at the summit? Doesn't seem like a ton of space up there.

We left bail biners on some of the anchors. @Nolan E Arson was eager to get rid of his neutrinos. I should say that I found the descent beta confusing and that there are rap anchors everywhere up there. Close to the col we started rapping skier's right of the main anchors and did some kind of weird traverse to get back to them.

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On 8/19/2020 at 3:40 PM, Kuckuzka1 said:

In mid July 92 did the left most route (1963 ridge/rib) in 15/16 hrs round trip and found the route really good, with the upper 3-5 pitches on the rib being great rock in the 5.7-8 range. And the bonus of NO bush! I recommend the route and I have never figured out why climbers choose the brushy 57 route. Maybe do it in winter

s_r11agecf6270238.jpg

I was just looking at that in the guidebook yesterday and wondering the same thing! In Beckey anyway it reads like the route to do up there on that face, though maybe the '65 line would also be fun.  Has that hanging glacier receded and become less scary over time?  Also, got any more pictures from that climb? I'd love to see 'em.

 

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On 8/21/2020 at 7:01 AM, Off_White said:

I was just looking at that in the guidebook yesterday and wondering the same thing! In Beckey anyway it reads like the route to do up there on that face, though maybe the '65 line would also be fun.  Has that hanging glacier receded and become less scary over time?  Also, got any more pictures from that climb? I'd love to see 'em.

 

I have not been up there in a long time but at that time it (July 92) was cruiser up and we went down that way and there was a little rockfall, definitely not a place to linger, I believe we were un-roped. I'll check for some photos. Only a summit photo found.

FB_IMG_1598067857698.jpg

s_r11agecf6270334.jpg

Edited by kukuzka1
added photo, found one more photo. is the first pitch
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On 8/20/2020 at 2:10 PM, zaworotiuk said:

Hey @geosean you're probably part of the pair that passed us on the slab left of the waterfalls? I was pretty proud of my equalized bush anchor but then felt like a dumbass when you easily placed a #1 right at our feet. Did you actually bivy at the summit? Doesn't seem like a ton of space up there.

We left bail biners on some of the anchors. @Nolan E Arson was eager to get rid of his neutrinos. I should say that I found the descent beta confusing and that there are rap anchors everywhere up there. Close to the col we started rapping skier's right of the main anchors and did some kind of weird traverse to get back to them.

Actually, I was the follower through that stretch, and glad of it.

We bivied on the top of the last tower on the east ridge right before the first rap station. It was nice for two and broke up the route nicely, also a handy snow patch for water.

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What are your thoughts on the commitment grade of this route? I’ve seen it mostly referred to as a IV, but I recently spoke with some guides who strongly felt that it was a V. Nelson/Potterfield give it a V, curious what others think. Obviously, it doesn’t matter at all at the end of the day... this is an ass-kicker!

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We did it in 9 hours back in the stone age, but got benighted on the descent. Grade IV states that "some parties my bivouac", and complete N Ridge on Stuart still gets a IV; it's a comparable amount of work albeit a very different route and kind of climbing. I'd stay with IV, that is, if I had a vote.

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