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[TR] Triumph - NE Ridge 08/23/2020

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Trip: Triumph - NE Ridge

Trip Date: 08/23/2020

Trip Report:


Soloed the route c2c yesterday. Driving up Saturday night I passed cars at many pullouts near the trailhead so I was shocked to roll into an EMPTY PARKING LOT. 
Approach was smooth and shaded until the glacier crossing. Nearing the notch I heard voices up ahead. I thought I’d try to catch up with them at the base of the 5.7 pitch and check if they’d be willing to trail my rope and give me a quick belay from above that crack. Since they didn’t sound very far up the route that gave me some time for exploration.


My first diversion was trying to take the snow tongue as a short cut to the notch, but it ended up being quite tall and steep on all sides, so I descended back the way I came, carefully stepping down into the west side near the start of a granite ramp. Several years ago I had made it as far as the bivy ledge with a friend who succumbed to some minor heat stroke (very hot day). We spent the night there and headed back the next morning instead of climbing the route. I remembered the start of the route being crappy, so this granite ramp caught my eye. Maybe a better bypass route could be found along it.

I traversed along it for quite a ways, passing an anchor (maybe for bailing?) until it petered out. Tried a few spots to get up towards the ridge but it just didn’t quite go, everything seemed to have 1 or 2 sketchy 5.7-5.8 face moves to get off the ledges. So I backtracked to that anchor. I tried climbing above it, initially on good low 5th knobs but again hit a dead end. I went down and East again, almost back to the start of the route. After all this wandering for an hour or so I was able to bypass the first pitch, but no more.

Back on route I quickly caught up with the pair ahead just as they were nearing the 5.7 pitch, as planned. I asked about the belay but it was a guide and client and they were planning to bypass it to the right. Thin face traversing + route finding didn’t sound safer to me than a straight forward obvious crack, so I passed them there and climbed up to the crack. I hope I didn’t freak them out too much climbing it.
People don’t usually mention taking a #4 on this route so I had hoped a #3 would be big enough. It wasn’t, really. You can protect this part with smaller pieces by sticking them deeper in the crack, but doing so feels a little insecure, especially while soloing (there’s was a fixed .75 that I automatically starting trying to free for 3 seconds before remembering where I was and what I was doing :) ). For those inclined to solo the route, plan on about 15 ft of 5.5ish to start, then another 12 ft or so of 5.7. And bumping up a #4 as you go might decrease your risk.

Near the summit I spied a corner with hand and finger cracks that looked more appealing than the loose and heathery ledges surrounding it. It was probably 15 ft, 5.6. There was a loose microwave at the top of it that I took care to step over.

Such good summit views there.

Downclimbed what I could, with 5 raps along the way. Like many have noted, it usually takes longer to descend than ascend this ridge and that was the case for me if you don’t count the granite ramp exploring I did at the start. About 20 minutes longer, I think.
Had a very nice plunge at the upper lake (2nd one, not the third one higher up). It was too cold to swim for more than a few seconds. Very refreshing though!

Smooth sailing from there. Made it to the car at 830 just as it was getting dark. So it was 14.5 hours including time for exploring, enjoying the summit, and a dip at the lake.

Gear Notes:
#2 (unused), #3 (used) wish I had a #4 instead 60m for raps

Approach Notes:











Edited by JonParker
  • Rawk on! 5

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You're on a tear this summer!

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And we appreciate the TRs!  I am woefully behind on putting stuff up from my meager adventures this summer.  I guess that is what November is for.....

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Nice, that's a lot of ground to cover in a day, I recall being happy to make it in two days. That first early morning picture of the second lake is very beautiful, I like the way you framed it so that the lake just ends at the notch and the lower lake is completely hidden. Thanks for the TR.


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Glad you got up there, nice work! I loved that climb.... :x but you missed out on an amazing bivy! Good thinking on leaving the .75 :grin:

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