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sexual_chocolate

Liberty Ridge info request

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mattp said:

I don't know who my witnesses were, either.

 

Until further evidence is produced, I don't believe in your acennt because I would feel inferior if I admitted that you're a better climber than me. yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif Thanks anyways. Must have been fun. bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

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It sounds as if really the difficulties are more conditioning related, as opposed to technical. Bug, it sounds as thought the way you guys did it made it quite pleasant, in terms of time spent on the climb.

Any approximations on the total mileage?

 

If you are so new to mountaineering that you can find the answer to these questions on your own, maybe this is the wrong route for you. This is a classic and well documented climb and many books have detailed info on it. Not that it's super hard but if you don't know what you are doing it easy to get in trouble on this route

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I agree, Nathan, that Liberty Ridge is a serious route that should not be undertaken by a weak or inexperienced party, but this section of the board is dedicated to the discussion of specific routes. Yes, he could look at a topo map and a guidebook and calculate the mileages involved, but his questions thus far don't appear to me to merit a critical response.

 

As to the relative distances:

For me, Liberty Cap is the "climber's summit" because most of technical routes on the mountain end there, or nearby. And the top of the Liberty Ridge route is Liberty Cap. So if you consider (as I did on that occasion) a climb to Liberty Cap as a complete ascent of the Liberty Ridge, it is probaby just as far and more work to descend via the D.C. route (assuming you had good conditions on the Liberty Ridge like I did).

 

As to the "difficulty:"

Sexy, you said you are a "relative newby" so Nathan's warning may be warranted. The route is not known for steep ice or rock climbing but you may have to climb into and back out of a crevasse somewhere on the Carbon Glacier, there could be some ice climbing with poor protection in an exposed setting, and you may encounter a rotten rock band -- difficulties that have stumped rock and ice climbers of considerable experience. Also, a slip from almost anywhere on the entire climb from the Carbon Glacier to Liberty Cap could be fatal; and climbers, rocks and ice blocks all fall down the route on a regular basis. So yes, "conditions" are important, but even when in "good" shape, the route is a serious one.

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his questions thus far don't appear to me to merit a critical response.

Fair enough Matt.

 

As for any additional beta I have. Last year when I climbed the route I found it particularly tricky to find a good way to get onto the ridge from the Carbon Glacier. When I got home and looked at some pictures in Becky’s book I realized there was a much easier way on the ridge than attacking it straight on and climbing over crappie loss rock. The route is climbed a lot less often than say routes like DC so route finding skills may be needed. I recommend Becky’s and Nelson’s books for good descriptions.

 

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mattp said:

...what are you going to do if you drop an ice tool...

I'm not familiar with the route but would you necessarily want to decend that route if you dropped a tool? Seems like under certain conditions/locations it would be easier to finish the climb with one tool then to downclimb with one tool?

 

Also, Mattp, what gear did you take with you when you soloed liberty ridge?

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I used a 70 cm axe and a 50 cm hammer. As to your question about the retreat if you drop a tool: you might well want to downclimb because the steepest snow or ice pitch is the last one, a short wind-roll to the summit ridge. On the other hand, even that pitch is well less than vertical and you could climb it with a single tool. It is a judgment call you are going to have to make at the time but my point in suggesting that you think about it is that you should consider the possibility of downclimbing the route even if you hope to carry over -- and that I think people get themselves in trouble when they discard the possiblity of retreating once they leave Thumb Rock or once they have passed the Black Pyramid or whatever.

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hey matt

i tend to agree with much of what you said, but as someone who has to pick up the pieces when people crash on rainier, i would like to add that down climbing liberty ridge with one tool is quite dangerous unless you're a physically strong and very experienced climber. i would go so far as to say that if you're even asking about route conditions, climbing techniques and logistics, you're probably not up to safely soloing and down climbing the route. you are correct in stating that the route isn't vertical nor is it too technically difficult. it is, however, one helluva fall if you screw up.

btw, there is a lot of good advice on this page...

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Right on Mike. I didn't mean to sound as if I was advocating soloing the route, and I know that there are lots of folks out there who will need two tools on it -- so maybe they should consider bringing at least one extra tool in the party in case somebody drops one. I know that's not the fashionable super- alpine-light-and-fast approach but didn't a party get stranded near the top last year or the year before precisely because they had lost a tool or some tools and were afraid to go up or down?

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I won't do any Rainier route without without a standard axe and one of these.....

 

41.jpg

 

Weighs only 17 ounces. Great for pounding pickets or for short patches of moderate ice. Grivel "3rd tool". Best $83 I've ever spent.

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that's right matt, a team lost a pack in an avalanche a few years ago; another lost a pack that was stowed at the mouth of an emergency cave/bivouac and there have other occasions when folks dropped or lost critical gear.

right on fairweather. i also carry one of those tools too! so do a number of other rainier aficionados, they work perfect as a back up.

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Attitude said:

What is the speed record and who holds it?

 

From speedclimb.com:

 

Three climbing rangers, Craig Van Hoy, John Smolich, and Jason Edwards, have apparently established a number of records: Success Cleaver: 13 hrs Sunset Ridge: 14 hrs Nisqually Icefall 16 hrs Central Mowich Face: 19 hrs Liberty Ridge 21 hrs Ptarmigan Ridge 22 hrs all times car-to-car

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Sabertooth said:

Three climbing rangers, Craig Van Hoy, John Smolich, and Jason Edwards, have apparently established a number of records: Success Cleaver: 13 hrs Sunset Ridge: 14 hrs Nisqually Icefall 16 hrs Central Mowich Face: 19 hrs Liberty Ridge 21 hrs Ptarmigan Ridge 22 hrs all times car-to-car

 

A correction, those are RMI guides, not climbing rangers. Pretty nice times too.

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or you could have paid about $115 canadian for that grivel 3rd at MEC.. i agree with you tho fairweather those things Rock!!!!

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Nathan mentions a short pitch on steep rock at the base of the ridge. When I did it, the tracks all went straight to a short rock pitch, and I believe folks were going that way because there was an easy path between crevasses that lead straight to that spot and they didn't want to or maybe didn't have the skills that would have been needed to climb in and out of a crevasse to get somewhere else. Not wanting to test a new path unroped, I went that way too. But that rock pitch was SCARY! I had the distinct impression that I could easily pull out the wrong block and bring the whole thing down on myself. Had I been there with a partner, I would likely have insisted upon going around some other way.

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Indeed I did downclimb those blocks. That was more frightening than anything I found higher on the route.

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Dru said:

or you could have paid about $115 canadian for that grivel 3rd at MEC.. i agree with you tho fairweather those things Rock!!!!

 

I got one from here for ~$50 US, but haven't yet tried it out.

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that lower section of the route is quite rotten.my hand was hit by a big rock right at the entrance onto the ridge.

it was a left hand,it sweel a bit and hurt tremendosly and since then you climb on the right side of the ridge i had to use my left hand.after i took some aspirin at the thumb rock,things got better the next day.second day after leaving camp on the left side snow slope,our leader got hit on his knee.we pached him up a bit and he was good to go but after a while he was still bleading.it was actual

blod trail.lastly when we were going around the black piramid a bunch of rocks fell at my friend chriss koziarz.

would there be no beley,he would be gone via thermogenessis.out of four of us only one guy got out with no scratch.it was mid june and carbon was still ok to cross.it,s a nice route but not to be taken as an easy one.

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Good correction, Gator.

 

Probably also worth noting that Van Hoy and Edwards are still "at it" on Rainier, some 20 years after they made some of those earlier ascents. Smolich was a quiet and very strong climber from Sandy. Probably had one of the most Hood ascents, by the most routes, under his belt at the time of his death on K2's West Ridge in '86. His partner, Al Pennington, also from PDX, was killed in the same avi. I've seen a plaque for these climbers in Silcox hut (last time it was tucked away someplace...maybe they'll mount the memorial in a more visible place. Smolich and his friends were the motivators, who had little money, behind the renovation of the hut).

 

Rumor was that J. Roskelley climbed Lib Ridge in a day in around 20 some hours or so back in the '70's, and then Van Hoy and Edwards went up in the early '80's. According to the stories they've shared, the team climbed Lib Ridge and Sunset Ridge during the same week, each climb in a day. It was a string of 'dayers which they've continue to knock off when conditions are right.

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About soloing:

I don't know if anyone here remebers Scott Kinkle. He was a young Navy aviator shot in the head returning from Mount Rainier near Anacortes.

Jdog and I happened to run into him while climbing LR Memorial Weekend 2000. Well Scott comes cruising through solo while we were camped on the Carbon, asks for a little bit of Beta and heads off. Well we see him go to far to the left on the upper Carbon. About an hour later he came back to our camp looking exhausted. He says, "Dudes, I just wasted a life line." Come to find out he took a 30' fall onto a small ledge (inside a crevass). Luckily he had two good tools and climbed out. He was much less cocky then when he had first arrived. He camped next to us. He said he was low on food and headed back the next morning while me and Jdog made it to TR and the summit. On the summit I fell into a crevass. I would never solo this route, never!

Too bad he was murdered, but I keep thinking back to that day I met him. After eating dinner and swaping stories I told him, "Scott I wish I were in your shoes." He made it into the USNA and had just gotten carrier qualified. I'll never forget that remark and it has given me a new outlook in life. Watch out what you wish for....

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