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layton

[TR] Les Cornes- Springbok Arete 7/1/2004

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Climb: Les Cornes-Springbok Arete

 

Date of Climb: 7/1/2004

 

Trip Report:

Fern and I climbed the Springbok Arete yesterday. It is rated TD+ 10c 16p. We did it in 13p, and I'll give the blow by blow in how to do it in 11p. The climb starts out p1-6 as a total choss heap, but p7-16 is steep, hard, and sustained.

 

Fern and I got the keys from Catermerole logging and hung out in hope till late afternoon. We didn't want to spend long camping b/c of the bugs so we started hiking round 6pm. The approach is short but CONCENTRATED. It's a special place where i like to come to just to think. It gets a tripple plus unfun rating and a skin loss five star.

 

We started climbing around 6am and we swapped leads until the base of the 5.9 o.w. which is very easy BTW. After the o.w. it gets fucking steep! I linked both 5.10 pitches and the 1st is an overhanging o.w. to fist crack. very very strenous with a pack. I freed every move but one on the 10c finger crack. I just couldn't reach the finger pod and tried an alpine dyno, but with my pack on and huge rack, my dyno turned into a dead point so I didn't reach it in time. Luckily i was only 1 small move I couldn't do b/c the free section was sooo much fun.

Some of the ratings seem sandbagged for similar climbs, but it's a Cheesmond rt. of Canadian Rockies fame. Some of the 5.8 and 5.9 felt way harder than many squamish 10a's. In fact there are only 5 pitches below 5.9 outta the 16 and one of the 5.8's (the last pitch) was wicked hard!

The climb is just so steep and exposed after the ramp! I highly reccomend it!

The raps sucked, but weren't awful. The tail end of my lead rope go twirled around a horn after we pulled most of it down and I had to chop it. My beautiful 70m rope is now a boring old 60m!

 

Here's the beta:

The beckey guide doesn't decribe the best way to go, McLain's guide does so I'm going off his written description.

p1. same

p2.same. terrain belay or huge cam for anchor

p3. don't stop until out of rope. many belay stops

p4. stretch the rope to the base of the 5.9 crack

p5.do the finger crack AND the O.W. belay just after the ow. This avoids the miserable belay above.

p6. up crazy steep blocks O.W. and overhanging fist crack. Save your big stuff for the O.W. and fist crack. run it out on the blocks. belay at big ledge. this way will split up the 5.10 but you could keep going.

p7. up the finger crack (much easier than other 5.10pitch) don't go to heathery belay, do the 5.8 hand traverse.

p8. up the 10c corner and run the rope till it's out.

p9. skip the useless bolts, do the very hard lieback flake and belay below overhangs either in a bad spot on good gear or a good spot on bad gear.

p10. up the hard 5.9 overhang fingercrack until out of rope and gear

p11. up the insanely hard 5.8 to the top skipping the retarded anchor bolt on the summit.

Why is there one bolted belay station? WTF? That's retarded. And the summit bolt? I you manged to find belays earlier on, you should be able to higher up. Best beta for belays is save one of your #2 cams b/c most anchors need one. If you're gonna bolt something, bolt the goddamned descent rappels!

We pussied out and belayed the "gut-churning" a-chevel, ez, but exposed. A full 60m rap gets you to another station straight down. We got our rope stuck and had to chop it. Next 60m rap gets you down into the gully.

Keep left downclimb, keep left of rock rib in middle of gully, hunt for pin/biner rap anchor on slab. 60m rap. go right, down, and hunt for 35 meter rap (last 5m ez downclimbing even with sketchy moat).

 

Moving slow we were 9hours up, 2 hours down. It's a hard call b/c it feels like a grade V and I added up the points (i.e. 3 5.9's = 27pts) and it rivals bear mtn's DNB but there are some very short pitches if you go by the guidebook.

 

 

PHOTOS ARE COMING TODAY PROBABLY

 

Gear Notes:

double set of camalots .5-2 green and yellow alien

small nut selection

3,4,4.5 camalot

!!!!helmets!!!!

70meter rope nice, 60m rope ok

6mm 60m rap line

 

Approach Notes:

bring body armor for the krumholtz forest up top, and thrashing gear for the clearcut jungle at bottom. desceptively shitty. very concentrated suffering.

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bigdrink.gif

 

The Route:

136springbok10-med.jpg

 

Vehicular Bushwacking!:

136springbok01-med.jpg

 

Mighty Steinbok:

136springbok02-med.jpg

 

Looking down on Ibex:

136springbok03-med.jpg

 

More Steinbok:

136springbok08-med.jpg

 

High up on the climb:

136springbok07-med.jpg

 

Even more Steinbok (unlike bouldering, looking at this mountain DOES NOT get old):

136springbok06-med.jpg

 

Fern on pitch 3:

136springbok04-med.jpg

 

Fern on Springbok Arete 2 long pitches from the top:

136springbok05-med.jpg

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product_group_energy.jpg

 

wave.gif

 

I want to add some beta to complement Mike's.

 

p8. up the 10c corner and run the rope till it's out.

p9. skip the useless bolts, do the very hard lieback flake and belay below overhangs either in a bad spot on good gear or a good spot on bad gear.

 

if you belay at the stupid bolts you can do a wicked looking finger crack up the middle of theslab to the overhangs. There is a fixed pin at the top. I dunno how hard it would be. The hard lieback flake is off to the right above the more vegetated cracks and has dirty feet. Belaying on the slab immediately below the overhang is kinda sucky but you could probably step right over the chasm and onto the ledge at the base of the next steep 5.9 crack to belay at a good though slightly crowded stance.

 

A full 60m rap gets you to another station straight down. We got our rope stuck and had to chop it. Next 60m rap gets you down into the gully.

 

I think that there are stations for 50m raps too, our first rap was somewhat less than 60m, and we skipped one station and rapped right to the gully floor in a FULL 60m.

 

Keep left downclimb, keep left of rock rib in middle of gully, hunt for pin/biner rap anchor on slab.

 

this downclimb is fairly long, and has a short steep section just above the next rap station.

 

60m rap. go right, down,

 

This takes you OVER the water course to a small ledge system on a slab. Walk right on the ledge and over to the other side of a knob. Scramble down through the kibble about 100m until the rock gets better but steeper.

 

and hunt for 35 meter rap (last 5m ez downclimbing even with sketchy moat).

 

also I speak from experience that all the 5.10 sections and several of the 5.9 sections can be easily aided or crack-jumared. tongue.gif

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yeah, "looking DOWN[sic] on ibex", you are looking UP, way up foo!!! the_finger.gif

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Wow! looks like a great route! cool.gif

 

Very nice pictures, as well.

 

Well done, you guys! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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well done michael and fern - one of the half-dozen or so GREAT alpine rock routes around vancouver, for sure, which otta get climbed more frequently. pretty full-on, eh? think: angel's crest without the forest, and without the "easy" bits....

 

cpl comments/queries:

 

1. any issues getting the key from cattermole, aside from (i presume) having to be in chilliwack during business hours?

 

2. u say p1-6 (as numbered in Alpine Select) total choss, but i recall p1-3 as chossy/grainy, then firm rock on the arete for the 2nd half of the ramp to p6? (i'd guess from your description you stretched this for p1-2 in poor rock, then p3-4 on the ramp?)

 

3. sounds like u took the left-hand option for p7 (first half of your p5)? did u really think this went at 5.9? my understanding was it was 5.9+/5.10- with one point of aid - that came from the barley/cheesmond/lacey/lomax FA party.

(we climbed the right, blocky option on this section, so i can't comment first hand...)

 

4. any problems with rope drag and/or communication runnning together the headwall pitches?

 

5. i recall the "10c" crux as quite a lot harder than most 10's i had previously come across, and was pleased to pull on graham's aid gear (3 or 4 points) while following. it sounds like you also might reckon this could be "high in the grade"?

 

cheers,

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In my recollection the "10c" finger crack has one brutal reach that was way to easy to pull past on a nut. That single move is probably harder than mid-10.

 

Ignoring that one move the burly, wide, steep crack was way more of a crux than the finger crack.

 

- one of the half-dozen or so GREAT alpine rock routes around vancouver

 

Mind rattling off the other 5 or 6?

Edited by dberdinka

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well done michael and fern - one of the half-dozen or so GREAT alpine rock routes around vancouver, for sure, which otta get climbed more frequently. pretty full-on, eh? think: angel's crest without the forest, and without the "easy" bits....

that's the comparison that I thought of too, and the one I used to delude myself into thinking I could do the route wink.gif

 

1. any issues getting the key from cattermole, aside from (i presume) having to be in chilliwack during business hours?

The people at Cattermole were extremely nice and accomodating. Ted OFFERED me the key when I phoned just to ask where the gates were and whether there were trucks on the road. We were originally assuming that we wouldn't be able to drive past the first gate and were going to MTB. I think they are logging madly in case they get shut down by a fire ban soon. We dropped the key off with their workyard watchman late at night.

 

2. u say p1-6 (as numbered in Alpine Select) total choss, but i recall p1-3 as chossy/grainy, then firm rock on the arete for the 2nd half of the ramp to p6? (i'd guess from your description you stretched this for p1-2 in poor rock, then p3-4 on the ramp?)

you're probably right, the rock on the left edge of the ramp is better. I ran out one long pitch (3-4) along the right edge in the choss. The top part of the ramp was better than the first 3pitches of kibble.

3. sounds like u took the left-hand option for p7 (first half of your p5)? did u really think this went at 5.9? my understanding was it was 5.9+/5.10- with one point of aid - that came from the barley/cheesmond/lacey/lomax FA party.

(we climbed the right, blocky option on this section, so i can't comment first hand...)

No we went the same way as you. The hardest moves were off the belay

4. any problems with rope drag and/or communication runnning together the headwall pitches?

no I think Mike could hear my swearing and sobbing quite clearly and was able to haul me like a dead weight through the hard stuff. tongue.gif

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Ignoring that one move the burly, wide, steep crack was way more of a crux than the finger crack.

 

yup, fully agreed, from a "hard to do" perspective.

 

- one of the half-dozen or so GREAT alpine rock routes around vancouver

 

Mind rattling off the other 5 or 6?

 

jeez, now i'm gonna really get myself in it, but why not - however, let's move this discussion to a new thread so everyone gets a great chance to spray!

 

see: GREAT alpine rock routes in SWBC.

 

cross your fingers,

cheers,

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