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russ

Stuart - complete N. Ridge confusion

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I was looking through Kearney's 'Classic Climbs of the Northwest' and his description of the 2nd pitch of the complete hits home. He writes, "From the top of the first pitch you will notice a beautiful, but discontinuous, thin crack up and left on a clean face. Do not be tempted to go that way, as it is quite hard, the pro fades, and it has been the scene of of several long falls and one serious accident. [2] From the belay stance climb right and up to gain a 40-foot 4-inch crack (5.8) above a ledge."

 

In the late '80's, using Beckey's description that "beautiful, thin crack" definitely didn't look 4-inches, so we wander up and right, and end up climbing a chimney section (see blue arrow below). Thought we were off route, but couldn't pick out the crack he meant. A few season ago we went back to attempt it in a day and this time just headed straight for the "beautiful, thin crack", thinking Beckey was wrong on the width. Turned out to be flaring fingers that scared the shit out of me! But in the end I thought I was probably being a wimp and we were on route (red arrow). Now Kearney perfectly describes that pitch and I'm totally confused as to where the 4-inch crack is. Here a photo-I put some color dot's on misc. other features. Anyone care to clear up my confusion? confused.gif

 

site1055.jpg

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its higher up and to the right

 

we started up it last month and then backed down and went around the corner to the crack.

 

i think you need to belay higher then your photo shows for the 1st pitch.

 

i lead the 1st .8 and took it all the way to the base of the very nice(wrong) crack. pete took the lead around the corner for baout 15 ft to the obvious crack. it is not a face crack. and i think becky descibes it for the pro and not the actual feature. i am sure some would consider it a chim.

 

 

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Eric is correct. The this crack that curves up looks inviting but that is only because it has been climbed many times by confused souls. Head right around the corner and it puts you back on track.

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Sounds like the way we went the first time was correct (blue arrow). A second party behind us also went that way, but I thought it might have been because they saw us there.

 

btw, the 'wrong' crack on the left does connect nicely with the route above.

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erik said:

its higher up and to the right

 

we started up it last month and then backed down and went around the corner to the crack.

 

i think you need to belay higher then your photo shows for the 1st pitch.

 

i lead the 1st .8 and took it all the way to the base of the very nice(wrong) crack. pete took the lead around the corner for baout 15 ft to the obvious crack. it is not a face crack. and i think becky descibes it for the pro and not the actual feature. i am sure some would consider it a chim.

 

 

I remember the 4 inch crack to the left in a mini-dihedral that looked 5.8 or so and solid rock but real physical. We went right on some not-as good rock but quicker and more direct at 5.9 or so.

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It's been awhile, and it doesn't hardly look familiar. I've been up the route twice, going the same way both times, and there was no 4" crack for us. I think perhaps we were far left in the picture, left of the pink arrow, and had a 2" crack with a layback around a bulge, which led into a lower angle corner. Pitch two went up the corner to a ledge, and then around right to the crest. I think it must be the higher of the two scrubby treeish ledges in the picture. I've talked to others who've taken that path too, but clearly there is more than one 5.8/5.9 way onto that route.

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I think we hit the maroon dot then the light blue dot. The light blue dot was a beautiful sustained corner with a crack that closed up a couple of times that made for some nervy stemming.

 

The squeeze described in Beckey is just down and left from the maroon dot.

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chucK said:

I think we hit the maroon dot then the light blue dot. The light blue dot was a beautiful sustained corner with a crack that closed up a couple of times that made for some nervy stemming.

 

The squeeze described in Beckey is just down and left from the maroon dot.

 

Chuck's comments final oriented me to the photo and I realized my arrows above are complete off from what I was trying to show/ask. Thanks, Chuck!

 

I'll try again - on the photo below the green line is the route we took last time. It shows the first 2 pitches and maybe part of the 3rd. The red dot is 5.7 lieback and tie-off cedar bush on pitch 1. The green dot is the 5.8 slot(but you can't see it from this angle). We belayed in the shaded alcove. Then the second pitch which Kearney's warns against continues on the green line and is at the yellow dot.

 

The blue line is the way we went on the first go around, and I THINK is where the 4" crack is. The blue dot area is what I referred to as a 'chimney', but might better be described as simply 'off-width'.

 

My apologies for the misleading arrows on the first photo - it's hell when your brain starts to fail. blush.gif

 

site1057.jpg

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Yeah, this version makes much more sense to me and your new lines look a lot like what we did at the start. Our first pitch followed yours and ended at a good stance probably in the shaded alcove above the green dot. Pitch 2 followed your blue line and ended at about where your blue dot is. The last 40 feet or so of that was a vertical off-width above a wide ledge. We just assumed this was the 4" crack that was mentioned, but I can't remember how wide it really was. At the blue dot belay, though, we didn't follow your line but definitely went left and up in a 3' wide easy groove for maybe 60'(?), probably through those two shaded pockets, then turned straight up (maybe one 5.8 move) to a belay at a largish tree and ledge. After that was one more mid-fifth pitch up and right to easier ground, probably back to your blue line.

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Cool! Does that mean I led a Kearny double skull route? cool.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.giffruit.gif

 

I thought that corner was really nice (and a bit exciting).

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chucK said:

Cool! Does that mean I led a Kearny double skull route? cool.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.giffruit.gif

 

I thought that corner was really nice (and a bit exciting).

 

I went the same way you guys went (green line) and I don't remember it being that scary, it was definitely a solid 9 and quite exciting, but the gear was there the whole time. I wouldn't think anybody would give it two skull or R rating. It must be another crack that Kearny talks about in his book.

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and one other thing our belays were at the base of the route and then at a notch about 1000ft higher and then the base of the gendarme.

 

yellaf.gif

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erik said:

and one other thing our belays were at the base of the route and then at a notch about 1000ft higher and then the base of the gendarme.

 

yellaf.gif

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif nice style. We had cut ours down to 6 or 7 pitches to the summit.

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erik said:

and one other thing our belays were at the base of the route and then at a notch about 1000ft higher and then the base of the gendarme.

yellaf.gif

 

Here's to you bigdrink.gif if you were able to simul-climb the green line. Not skulls, but certainly attention getting.

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Just returned from climbing the complete N. ridge. We were similarily confused by the "Kearney" note, and followed a line similar to the blue line on your pic. We were also confused about the route along the ridge line from above the Great Gendarme, as we encountered slings and rap rings that indicated people rap into the gully W. of the Gendarme.

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MichaelB said:

Just returned from climbing the complete N. ridge. We were similarily confused by the "Kearney" note, and followed a line similar to the blue line on your pic. We were also confused about the route along the ridge line from above the Great Gendarme, as we encountered slings and rap rings that indicated people rap into the gully W. of the Gendarme.

Yes, I didn't know where to go, either. We ended up rapping about 75 feet until we were about 50 feet above an icy gully. Then we simulclimbed up and left for a pitch, then I led up a short step of 5.6 or 7, and then we traversed and scrambled forever up to the summit. It was much longer and more technical than I had expected.

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Good choice. We stayed on the ridge and triggered a rock avalanche of refrigerator-sized boulders just below the summit ridge - lucky to escape with our lives.

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Thanks all for the beta. Jarred and I climbed the complete N ridge on Fri-Sat. There was never any doubt on the first few pitches where the route went. Some of those 5.8 offwidths are cramped and and awkward with a pack on -- much tougher than the gendarme pitches w/o. The climbing on the lower half may not be as stellar as the upper but still very enjoyable. Together, they make a great package. grin.gif

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Tim, where are the pics, I know we got some good ones.

 

For anyone thinking about the North Ridge, definitely do the complete. Just get it all in one shot then you won't have to go back four times to do all the things you left out. The complete kicks ass!!! The lower off-widths are way more physical than the gendarme (which is just pure fun!)

 

 

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Bump.

 

Anyone got photos that can shed light on these old tales?

 

Inquiring minds want to know... Geek_em8.gif

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I've still got the photo with colored lines, etc., but lost the site I use to post them from. If I can figure out how to upload photos tonight I'll repost it. If not I can email it to you.

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Thanks!! thumbs_up.gif

 

So then...if you were to go back and do it all again with 20/20 hindsight:

 

1 - Would you bother with the lower N Ridge at all?

2 - If so, which line would you choose?

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1 -- yes. I think the initial pitches are actually as good or better than the Gendarme and doing them allows you do bring less gear (no ice axe, cramps, etc).

 

2 --- I've done both. I thought the crack off to the right was dirty and not so fun, although I had to traverse back left at the top so maybe I went one crack too far right.

 

The left hand crack, while harder and scarier, is a better, cleaner line. Takes small cams and nuts well. About halfway up, instead of sticking with the crack, reach right and there is another crack to the right that makes the going easier.

 

This pitch comes after the 5.8 slot pitch (which is obvious) and starts from a ledge with an old dead tree on it. The wider crack is out of view up and right, in view from that belay is a very thin crack that peters out, straight up, and another that continues up and slightly left. The left one is the best IMO. I would put it at solid 5.9, definitely harder than the Gendarme pitches, maybe even a 10a in some circles.

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Green means go.

Blue means back the hell up and go up green, it's way fun.

I no talk more.

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