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North Face, Maude Beta

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Just climbed it this weekend. Snow was in good shape. Brought along pickets and rope but didn't use. Took 2 tools which allowed us to solo route as we felt very secure. Stay high on traverse from col -- probably around 7700 ft. Might be best and less time consuming to descend the standard trail route back to camp (sw shoulder) as the descent gully(s) are pretty shitty (some down climbing encountered is steeper than the route) and loaded with loose rock. I had a close call as a 4ft diameter chockstone gave way as I was descending almost taking me out. I managed to leap out of the way at the last minute after getting tagged in the leg. I came out OK but my crampon was sheared as the rock must have rolled over it. Get on the route before it gets softened by the sun -- an alpine start is essential.


I thought it was a great route with cool views and a nice overall package. Mellow climbing in a beautiful setting. We did Seven Fingered Jack in the same day and wanted to hit Fernow but it is a long ways over there. Camped at the SFJ high pass that you take to desend into the basin below Fernow. Awesome bivys but many snaf.gif which stole my lighter and lexan cup. Woke to rain so we didn't hit Fernow as planned. Hats off to those that did Fernow - SFJ and Maude in a day. Don't think I could get that motivated.

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Keith and I were the guys who you met in the parking lot on the way out on Sunday. Thanks for the advice to leave the rope and pro at the car. We followed your tracks up high on the traverse from the 7FJ/Maude col to the start of the route, less than a half hour. Then we followed your steps up the face. Since we started on the face so high, it only took about an hour. We walked down the south side instead of decending the gully recommended in Jim Nelson's book. It took about and hour and a half to get to our bivi at 6700 feet from the summit. Thanks too for the advice to avoid the gully in the book.

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