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johan

West Ridge of Forbidden in a Day?

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Hello everyone,

 

I was wondering if anyone has experience climbing the West Ridge of Forbidden in a day car to car. I would like to do this climb, but I am not sure how feasible it is. For a 5.8 leader how much of the route do you think is simul climbable also.

 

Additionally, any beta on the route conditions would be appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

Johan rockband.gif

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Very feasible. A 5.8 leader could probably solo most of the route.

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For simulclimbing the pertinent information is how adept is the follower, not the leader.

 

The rockclimb is easy, maybe one section of 5.6-7, with plenty of pro placements.

 

The crux is the couloir, or getting down it. Car to car, you should try to figure out how much left you are going to have after hiking in that far.

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Totally doable. The crux of this route is getting to the ridge; once attained, you'll find the ridge to be a walk. We went in mid-August, approached via the nasty gully left of the couloir, summitted in a little under 5 hours from the car.

 

More of a scramble. You could solo or simulclimb almost all of it.

 

- J

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Very feasible and the preferable way for me when I eventually get around to climbing that obelisk.

 

My late friend Don Dovey frown.gif once told me he and his partner climbed the entire technical portion of the West Ridge in 45 minutes in a simul-climb/running belay. That would kind of make me want to descend and climb it again.

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did this one car to car w/ highlander last summer...we suffered several time drags due to a) getting totally clusterfucked in the avy wrecked section of the trail, resorting to climbing trees trunks strait up hill, then having to traverse a long way once we hit timberline b) me using 1950s tech strap on crampons, requiring 10 minutes everytime to take on/off and c) only 1 tikka headlamp once night fell

 

think we spent something like 16 hours doing the roundtrip, but woulda been much less if we'd avoided the 3 items above

 

given the options, i think i recommend the c to c...no big pack to piss you off in the avy section, plus it gives you the delightful exhaustion feeling at the end of the day

 

agree w/ the folks above, the rock section on the ridge is beyond easy...downclimbing the rock ramp (coulior was shut down by the schrund) was the only dicey feeling part

 

excellent climb

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Thanks everybody. That is good news. Because there are three of us doing it. We plan to solo most of it, with the odd bit of rope work.

 

Has anyone been in their yet this year. How soft, and at what time is the snow getting soft. Is the snow manditory (ie do you need boots) or can you get by in running shoes (I'm from the Sierra).

 

Cheers

 

JOhan

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I've heard that running shoes with really long track spikes work pretty well.

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I have done it in a day and we simulclimbed and rappelled a lot. Even got the rope stuck once where I had to climb back up to get it. The problem was the couloir.

 

The earlier the start, the less rushed you will feel and enjoy the climb.

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As of last weekend there was snow at about 5000 feet, basically once you leave the trees. You will also need to cross the taboo glacier (not that big) to get to the coulior. I think you can get to the coulior in 3-4 hours. The snow was getting soft around 10am. You will probably want to take crampoons, maybe you can strap those on your running shoes. grin.gif

chris

 

 

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All the ridges on Forbidden are day climbs.

 

Also other day climbs that can be linked or done as well are-

 

Sahale

Sharkfin

Boston

Torment

Eldorado

Snowking

and more ...

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chucK (and others) said:

The crux is the couloir....

 

I have a little different opinion here. I climbed that route in mid-June a couple of years ago and I didn't think the coulior was very difficult. The toughest part for me was being way up on the ridge and watching cloud after cloud come zooming up the south face and wondering if we were going to get caught in a storm with no quick escape. Plus we had a lot of snow on the ridge, so the traverse wasn't trivial; we belayed most of it. I guess the snow on the ridge is gone now, but just keep in mind it takes as long to get down the ridge as it does to go up.

 

Here is my TR:

June 16&17, 2001

Partner – A.S.

Route Description in “Selected Climbs in the Cascades”

 

Steep approach on primitive trail with several stream crossings, glacier crossing, steep snow couloir (40-50 degrees), and 8 pitches of exposed climbing (up to 5.6).

 

Left trailhead (3200’) at ?

Arrived at high Boston Basin camp (6400’) at 3:30pm

Talked with group of three descending. They claimed they reached 200’ from summit via west ridge and turned around due to low visibility and snow on route. We didn’t see any tracks a pitch or two past the top of the coulior indicating they probably didn’t make it even that far.

Left camp at 9am?, reaching top of couloir at 10:15am was relatively easy on firm snow with crampons & axes, left axes at top of coulior, clouds rolled in. Periodic sunbreaks for the rest of the day. Lots of snow on the ridge which made the scrambling a bit precarious. The route was intimidating due to the difficulty of retreat, the sustained exposure, and the questionable weather throughout the entire day. Clouds were continually blowing up the south face and reducing visibility to 20-30 feet. Then the cloud would blow away and we would have clear skies for a few minutes. Climbed in hiking boots. summit (8815’) at 3:15pm, No other tracks on the summit indicating we were the first successful group since last snowfall. We could hear the party that had camped next to us ascending the East ridge, but talking to them later we learned that they did not summit due to snow on the route. Snow was extremely soft on descent; plunge stepping above the knee with every step. Bergshrund visible and just starting to open. back to camp at 8pm?, long hike in the dark back to the trailhead at 11:15pm.

 

Having two ropes would be useful for descending (particularly the couloir).

 

Adventurous drive out including a deer that wouldn't get out of the road, a mouse in the dashboard, and a flat tire.

 

 

 

Good luck and please post a TR when you get back.

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what others have said

 

and

 

to cross the avalanche blowdowns traverse at an even elevation. you may even notice remnants of the trail below your feet here and there. pick up the trail on the other side of each blowdown.

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Cpt.Caveman said:

All the ridges on Forbidden are day climbs.

 

Also other day climbs that can be linked or done as well are-

 

Sahale

Sharkfin

Boston

Torment

Eldorado

Snowking

and more ...

 

A forbidden...snowking traverse sounds like a long day.

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Ned_Flanders said:

Cpt.Caveman said:

All the ridges on Forbidden are day climbs.

 

Also other day climbs that can be linked or done as well are-

 

Sahale

Sharkfin

Boston

Torment

Eldorado

Snowking

and more ...

 

A forbidden...snowking traverse sounds like a long day.

 

It sure does. But if your implying that's what I wrote then you can't read smirk.gif

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Basically what everybody else has said - we car2car'ed it in early July two years ago, the gully was a piece of cake and running belays worked great. Be sure to climb it on Saturday so you miss all the overnighters who plan to climb on Sunday.

 

Another variation that I've done - Drive to the trailhead on friday afternoon and eat as you drive. Arrive at the trail head around 6pm and then hike in as far as you can get before it gets dark. This should get you to the basin and you can bivi. Ridgerest/bag/bivi-sack don't add that much extra weight.

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Did the west ridge on Sat. The Coulior is fat right now and we solo'd it. We saw 5 teams on the West ridge, 1 team on the East and North east ridges. Lots of traffic wave.gif but no problems passing.

 

We climbed the ridge solo,simul and belayed about 4 pitches. We rapped 3 times and solo downclimbed the rest.

 

We're old and slow so it took all day but it was great weather and views. 3eff42a51a95e6e5.jpg

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Nice job Brett, hard to tell with that sweet pic to see your trademark lead with a smoke hangin out there hahaha.gif How was the bergschrund?

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No probs with the shrund, it was filled nicely but I'll bet in 2 weeks that wont be the case. The glacier was "punchy" late in the day frown.gif

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I was in a group of three up there on Saturday. Were you the group of two that passed us at the top of the snow in the couloir, then rapped past us about 2/3 of the way up the ridge?

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Did the W. ridge on the 4th. Hiked in to a high bivy just below the snow gully on evening of 07/03, and had great views & sunset. The hike to this point is very simple with snow and rock steps above timberline. Left the bivy at 7am, frontpointed up the gully, and scrambled up dirty gully to ridge. Beautiful clear morning. The clouds had sunk in the pm, and did not hit the ridge until about 10am. Hit the summit about 9 or 9:30am. Just one other party on route, and they were doing Torment/Forbidden traverse. If you are a comfortabel 5.8 to 5.9 leader the solo is no problem. Downclimbed the ridge, and made use of the offer of a rope to rappel the gully, but the downclimb would have been okay also. Snow softens up quick up there. Very soon the gully will be a bit trickier due to melt out. I did punch a hole waist deep towards the bottom. A nice hike to the car made it a great 4th of July! Have fun! grin.gif

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