Dr.Hook Posted July 5, 2004 Share Posted July 5, 2004 Climb: Mt. Ashlu-South Face Date of Climb: 7/4/2004 Trip Report: Background: Jesse Mason and myself had originally attempted the route in July 2002, the day after Mike Layton's trip (we were reading the printout of his TR on the drive up - not inspiring). This experience had made us familiar with the approach and descent so we were aware of what lay before us. In 02 we attempted to do the route in a day from Vancouver but were stopped under the face in super dense cloud and forced to leave. July 2004: Jesse Mason, Jeff Hunt and myself committed to another attempt. We left Vancouver the night of the 3rd after work and drove into the Shortcut Creek. The drive requires a 4W drive high clearance vehicle with a short wheel base - thanks Jesse. We spent the night on the road and left at 6am for the hike in. Approach: We remained on the left side of Shortcut creek until it split and we headed up for Rugged Lake (left side) two hours from car. The weather appeared fine in the morning but was steadily deteriorating into dense fog and intermittent cloud as we reached the lake. It took us an hour to scramble up the faint buttress to the south spur of Ashlu and another hour to cross snow and rock to the south face. With a few rest stops we reached the base of the route at 11:30. The Route: During the clear breaks we were able to find the base of the route. The route follows the line in the guide book photo and is obvious. Two pitches led us into a seeping groove that we followed for another pitch. Climbing was fantastic on solid rock with enough pro. The final two pitches headed left out of the groove and followed broken ground to the top. The final pitch is the crux which consisted of tight overhanging flakes with big holds and minimal gear (10a). We completed the route in five 60m pitches and summited by 4:30, four and a half hours bottom to top. Descent: Summiting in total cloud cover we rested before heading down the West ridge. The guide book shows a descent route that follows a long jagged ridge crest heading SW before scrambling down to the snow. After about 20min of descending we noticed a gully interrupting the ridge that easily descented to the snow. This is a much easier alternative to the descent described in the guide and brought us to the base of the route half and hour after summiting (no shit). From under the south face of Ashlu we dropped into the basin below Porterhouse following a snow gully and morrains (stay way left) and walked through the meadows along the creek back to the road 3 hours. Summary: The trip took us 15 hours car to car. The guide had a few inaccuracies. It is still at least 2 1/2 hours to the base of the route from Rugged lake. The climbing was done in 5 long pitches with a full rack and took us 4 1/2 hours (3 people). The biggest surprise to us was the descent gully which at half an hour to the base from the summit, shaves off 2 hours from the guide book descent time and seemed the obvious choice. The route was fantastic in a beautiful position/area. A worthy trip if you don't mind 10 hours of hiking/bushwacking for 5 of climbing. Toby Froschauer Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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