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Liberty Ridge, Recent Ascents?

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Anyone done Liberty Ridge this Spring? I'd love to hear about conditions, especially if someone has done it recently. bigdrink.gif

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The white river entrance to the park isn't open until next weekend so, it's not very likely anyone has recent conditions, but we will wait and see if someone proves me wrong. bigdrink.gif

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Yea right, as if someone sitting in front of their computer is going to predict the constantly changing conditions on a mountain when you decide to climb.

 

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Greg W and I went in to Glacier Basin Saturday. Deep unconsolidated snow and windslabs encountered above that elevation (7,000') as you would expect given the unstable weather on Friday and Saturday. Strongly recomend taking snowshoes/ski's until bootpack established. Like Gator said, good looking snow cover on the upper mountain but some area's of windswept ice was visible on the Emmons.

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Bronco said:

The white river entrance to the park isn't open until next weekend so, it's not very likely anyone has recent conditions, but we will wait and see if someone proves me wrong. bigdrink.gif

 

Best time to do it and avoid the crowds. Only adds six or so miles to each end of the trip and it's pretty flat.

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is there that much snow at that elevation right now? im thinking maybe some drifts and for sure a bunch of tree limbs. but thats all. easy ride downhill.

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Yep, we took our bikes but the road was only plowed to mile 2 on saturday morning. thumbs_down.gif But, don't feel too bad for us, there was a group of ski mountaineers from Calgary there to do the Emmons also, they had to walk the first 2 miles in ski boots then skin to the White river campground in kinda cruddy snow. There is currently 2-3' of snow at the campground. One of the Canadians mangled his feet getting to the campground so that's where they camped. On sunday durring the walk out, we were greeted by a snow blower clearing the road all the way to the Campground so we were able to walk on asphault, which we decided was better than postholing the 4 miles to our bikes. I feel sorry for the guy with mangled feet who probably had to walk the 6 miles on the pavement in his ski boots. Ouch! pitty.gif

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Supposed to open this coming weekend, just in time for the Memorial Day hordes.

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We went in 5/20 towards Liberty Ridge from Itsupt Cr. No snow to the Dick Cr. bivy site. There was some unstable small slabs on the moraine of the Carbon at about 5k and heard some little whooping as we walked. The ground shook pretty well two or three times. It seemed like Willis wall was pretty active shedding some of the recent snowfall. We never saw the ridge or the upper mountian due to the weather. Damn weather man... guess we'll wait for the hordes to pound out the track for us.. fruit.gifcool.giffruit.gif

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C'mon ya'll...

I know somebody out there has some beta for us after the big weekend.

 

SPILL IT!

 

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Climbed Lib. Ridge this past Mon - Weds. Truly an awesome route and in superb condition! Snowpack is stable and glacier crossings are very manageable. All in all, it was a relatively straight forward climb and thanks to the boot path, we made it up there from high camp (just below Thumb Rock ~ 10k ft) in around 7 hours. Sustained 40 - 50 snow/ice and exposure, but not really "technical". Soloed the entire route (about half of it in the dark since we left camp at 2am), except to belay a funky move getting over the bergschrund right at Liberty Cap. Didn't encounter anybody on the route, and judging by those snoring away at Thumb Rock, when we passed by there yesterday morning, we weren't going to. There's something to be said about climbing stuff like that in total darkness...you can't SEE the exposure. Also, my partner and I somehow got separated in the dark and it was total solo climbing for a couple hours. Imagine...a thin crescent moon, stars, the orange glow of city lights in the distance, the faint light reflecting off of the massive ice-cliffs looming overhead above Willis Wall and Ptarmigan Ridge...and then there's you, alone. Yep, just you, the mountain, and that constant nagging question - "what the hell am I doing here?". It was surreal, almost spiritual. Walked across summit from Liberty Cap to Emmons Glacier. Wasn't feelin' the slog to the "true summit" and so we descended down to Camp Sherman and back to the car.

 

Been quite a few successfull ascents recently, including a couple dudes that claimed to have skied it, though I only saw tracks from below Thumb Rock.

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I'd just like to add one thing to sverdina's account ...

 

Right now, there are two possible routes over the bergschrund ... one to the left, and one to the right (you can't miss where the bootpath diverges). We took the option to the right which featured a clumsy move up and over the schrund via some relatively soft snow .. the schrund is pretty wide here, and it is fairly tall, so you may need to do some digging to get over it if you forgot your ladder ... you won't be two-tooling it over the schrund, more like knee-stemming if you take the bootpath to the right. If I could do it all over again I would have gone to the left to check out the reported pitch of WI3 that we missed. Overall though, a fantastic route with fantastic views and dramatic exposure. I hope to get back up there for a shot at Ptarmigan Ridge when I know there will be some alpine ice hanging around.

 

If Thumb Rock is full and you are unable to obtain a permit, there is a nice bivvy ledge dug out at ~9900 right on the ridge large enough for a two-person tent. It sure beats hoofing the whole route from the Carbon.

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Yeah! That was our bivy ledge. A little exposed, but comfortable. That rock wall worried me a bit. Didn't look too terribly stable.

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Went up Lib Ridge with Tim Holscher (crackman) and two others yesterday, what a nice route. It is quite easy right now, no ice to speak of, we went right for the schrund and I feel we should have went left for the ice, but we didn't know it was there. Thumb Rock is tight but we all fit with a bunch of folks from Denver. I wouldn't bring any screws and just one picket per person. Lots of fun, get out there though, the rangers say it'll only last another 10-12 days. With this heat the approach will be too broken to cross.

 

 

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Bruce McMillian, Greg W and I summitted Liberty cap yesterday around 8 am and agree, the condition of the route was beautiful. The scariest section for me was the mud & scree on the lower part of the Ridge because the upper part of the route was "cruiser eh" according to the 3 Canadians also climbing the route. The schrund crossing was about 15' of verticle snow flailing and pretty interesting.

 

It was hot enough at Thumb Rock where we didn't need to fire up the stove, just threw snow into water bottles and in the pot and laid them out in the sun. We listened to a large serac crash by on Liberty Wall in the early afternoon and got dusted a bit, but the route was untouched. Shortly after the avalanche, a couple guys cruised through doing the route car to car, shooting for 18 - 20 hours round trip. By comparison, we took 8 hours from Thumb Rock placing 10-12 pickets for running belays and moved pretty cautiously.

 

The descent is fairly direct right now, cutting accross the upper Winthrop to the Emmons. There's a big boot pack on the entire route, but that could change pretty quickly.

 

It's unusual for me to have caught the route in such good shape and in great weather with solid partners. I could get used to that. thumbs_up.gif

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bronco & gregw

 

that is the highest anyone from snoho county has got without meth!!!!

 

nice work!!!

 

bigdrink.gif

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