Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Otto

[TR] Mount Waddington, Northwest Peak- Risse Route 7/30/2004

Recommended Posts

Climb: Mount Waddington, Northwest Peak - Risse Route

 

Date of Climb: 7/30/2004

 

Trip Report:

A full day of rest after climbing the Wiessner-House route was what I wanted and I took it. Our other partner, Jim Daubert, had arrived while we were out and set up a tent for us. He was fresh and wanted to climb, so he went with the tough Calgarian up Trundler's Point via its Trundler's Buttress route.

 

When Jim got back, he soon mentioned his idea of going up the Wiessner-House route with me if I wouldn't mind climbing it twice in a row! Not likely. But I felt a little bad for leaving without him on the first trip, so I had to come up with a counter offer. "How about teaming up with these Canadians for the Risse Route?", said I. All agreed, so it was decided to start the next day at the crack of noon for our bivy on the upper Dais.

 

Which is what we did the next day, with the snow much softer and bridges more tenuous after five days of sun. Other than the replacement of Jim for Jake, who had come down with an infected toe, with the ever-strong Colin and Nick the team was the same and well motivated. We reached the same high camp on the upper Dais that we had made earlier for the Wiessner-House route. There I found my stove, pan and cup where I'd left them in the snow. I would carry them over the top this time, to avoid a return trip to this camp.

 

We overslept a bit, but Jim saved us by waking me at 2:15am and we were almost on schedule, brewing up and then leaving at around 3:30. The crossing of the schrund was a steep and sugar-snow affair which Colin led without hesitation. As he proceded up the narrow ice couloir I worried about the central section which was without any snow or ice visible. Another loose chimney, this time in the dark?

 

I needn't have worried, as this was the first really interesting section of the climb. With much dry-tooling, stemming across the running stream with crampon points slotting firmly into little edges and pockets in the rock, the section flowed with that heightened focus and determination that makes all else drop away. Daylight arrived on the other side. With a long stretch of arduous front-pointing ahead, I set up a belay in case Jim had any difficulty, not knowing how much of this kind of mixed climbing he had done. I didn't want to stand on frontpoints with calves burning for long! But he came up quickly, cleaning the seven or eight pieces that the two rope teams had placed. Colin and Nick had been perfectly thoughtful of the group, leaving a piece where they thought we might need it, and they were right every time.

 

Hundreds of feet of steepish snow slopes ensued. We made the great right-turn at the envisioned place, the "snowy basin", and angled to the right for several more pitches. Jim and I took over the lead here, and we were climbing pitches now, swinging leads. We kept looking for the route to hit the "flying buttress" but it went on and on so we were confused. I finally came to a vertical, loose rock outcrop right on the ridge we were looking for. Still in crampons, the next pitch was when Jim showed he had absorbed some mixed climbing techniques if he didn't have them before. The steep 5.8 face climbing would have been interesting in rock shoes. I was hard put to follow it without skating off, but made it and did one more pitch before removing the crampons. It looked like good rock climbing from here on out, and it was. The Flying Buttress was an amazingly sharp, narrow blade of jagged rock with huge drops on either side. We would have enjoyed it completely if the sun were not turning red, just a short distance above the horizon.

 

There was no place to bivy, I did not want to sit out a cold night, and the summit spire still looked huge at the end of the ridge. I admit my mind accelerated into a frenzy as we dashed across the knife edge. For instance, I let one rope get horribly dragged and impossible to pull at one point, where Jim solved it by coiling the problem rope as he came, belayed by the other. Another time I let the two ropes tangle terribly, forcing a frantic taffy-pull. Furthermore, the final section where the ridge meets the summit spire was not visible, and I worried that there was a deep gap to be rappelled, or some technical problem to solve to slow us further.

 

It was a huge relief to find that the mystery section was simply met by vertical downclimbing three moves to the final gap. Looking across at the last pitch, an easy snow slope up to a saddle, I finally knew we would make it. When Jim and I got up we realized that Colin and Nick were quite a ways behind us. We reached the snow saddle at 10:15pm and it wasn't until 11:30 that they came up - Jim and I had really moved out when chased by oncoming darkness. We were on the False Summit of the Northwest Peak, so we each hopped up the snow bump in turn to bag that point. But still I didn't know the way down, so we burned up the last of the fuel making cups of hot chocolate trying to stay warm in the wind.

 

We followed Colin up to the true summit from there at midnight, being the easiest way to get back to their tracks from four days earlier. He set up a picket belay and I tottered backwards down the steep snow to the Terrace below, stiff and exhausted. My watch alarm went off at 2:00am just as I was pulling myself into my sleeping bag in my old home snow coffin.

 

It was a cold, windy night but a satisfying 24 hour day of climbing.

 

Colin coming up into the snowy basin

1236Risse-2-med.jpg

 

Looking down the initial couloir

1236Risse-4-med.jpg

 

Typical of the verglassed ramp

1236Risse-7-med.jpg

 

Colin and Nick at the start of the Flying Buttress

1236Risse-3-med.jpg

 

The last pitch to the False Summit

1236Risse-6-med.jpg

 

Next morning, the Northwest Peak

1236Risse-5-med.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Rock and ice.

 

Approach Notes:

Bell 407

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure, Colin seemed to think it might be. We're hoping to get some info on that from Mr. Serl...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good work, u guys!

far's i know, the first repeat of the risse, yes.

and, i think, if i've kept count correctly, about the 8th ascent of the weissner-house (including various upper variants).

cheers,

(p.s. if you've got any comments on guidebook accuracy (or INaccuracy, pls post 'em, so the record gets straight...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i stand corrected on the Risse Route:

FA: Steve Risse and Andy Tuthill; Aug 5, 1988.

2nd: Bruce Anderson and Mark bebie; Aug 6, 1988.

This (ttbomk) is the 3rd ascent.

cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had planned a trip into there 6 years ago to attempt this route but my partner bailed on me. When I was doing research on the route, I was told (I forget by whom, but he was a fellow guide) that Jim Haberl and Keith Reid had climbed the Risse route. Rumours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Haberl-Reid route starts in the next gully sysytem to the left, are carries on more directly to the summmit ridge. see photo page 274 in the wadd guide.

cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not looked at the guide since I bought it. no time this summer for anything but renovations. thanks for the correction, Don.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, it was great climbing with you on this route. Also, it's a nice bonus to find that we are the third ascent party! The one detail I would add is that it is a full seven pitches of rightward climbing from the right turn at the start of the snowy basin to the left turn toward the flying buttress.

Here are some additional photos:

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=6289

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×