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Observation Rock - rockfall on route

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On this low snow and high temperature year, the glacier is so melted out (as of Sep 6) that a 4' band of lava rock is exposed about 200' from the top and extends across the entire glacier (in addition to the normal hard rock band exposed about 300' from top). This band is producing water and is actively sluffing off with rockfall of gravel size to grapefruit size and larger raining down in 5 minute intervals. The lower part of the route is a challenge to dodge the rockfall. Two party members sustained hits of baseball sized rocks, with no injuries. Teams are advised to stay home if this presents more objective danger then acceptable. thumbs_down.gif


Our teams did a running belay moving as quickly as possible through this lower section, setting up the first belay above the rock band. The top section was pleasant climbing, but anxiety about rockfall persisted so climbed expeditiously, completing the section with another running belay.


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