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Colin

[TR] Waddington- "Full Range Traverse" 7/26/2004

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Climb: Waddington-"Full Range Traverse"

 

Date of Climb: 7/26/2004

 

Trip Report:

Mark Bunker and I made what we believe to be the 2nd ascent of "The Waddington Traverse" recently, over 7 days (July 26 - Aug 1) of spectacular weather. Here's a brief trip report:

 

July 26: Fly to Fury Gap, and hike up the West Ridge to a camp on the Angel Glacier at 3200 m. Very straightforward.

 

July 27: Hang out at camp and acclimate.

 

July 28: Hike up the Angel Glacier, via straightforward crevasse navigation. Downclimb steep couloir to get to the summit pyramid - very icy and time consuming. Climb SE Chimney on summit tower, via Harvard Notch Direct (Wadd Hose). The Chimney was running with water, so we climed on the rock to the right. Every once in a while ice gargoyles would come crashing down. Right before leaving the summit, we saw Jeff and Brent (CA and CO) nearing the summit via the NW Ridge of the summit pyramid. Rap the SE Chimney, and climb back up the steep couloir to the Angel Glacier. Use someone's steps to quickly climb the NW Peak, and then descend the Angel Glacier back to camp.

 

July 29: Descent to Combatant Col is complicated, and involved one rappel. NW slope of Combatant was very icy. The N Ridge leading to the NW summit was straightforward. The ridge scramble from the Great Couloir notch to the main summit is really enjoyable. The descent to Chaos Col was very time consuming, because the "snow slope" was again hard, blue ice. The west face of Tiedeman was a fun mix of good rock and moderate ice slopes. Bivy on summit of Tiedeman.

 

July 30: It took us 7 hours to descend Tiedeman. One 30m section was the worst rock I have ever encountered (although not steep). The "snow slope" was again hard, blue ice, and we made a couple rappels. The west ridge of Asperity was a really enjoyable climb - one of the best along the traverse. We again experienced hard ice on the descent of Asperity, and chopped two bollards on the way down, all the while cursing ourselved for not bringing one screw and a v-threader... Bivy at Asperity-Serra col, on prepared tent platfom.

 

July 31: Climb the NW Corner of Serra V, and finish through the keyhole. Excellent climbing on good rock. It felt like 5.9 with gloves and boots, but I don't think the rock is actually any harder than 5.7. Picked up fresh rap slings on the way up, to use on the descent. Mark signed our initials in the summit register with his blood. The descent down the E face was indeed the crux of the traverse. I think we took a line more to descender's right than previous parties, because we had to climb back up to the 4-5 col. We made 3 full-length raps (50 m ropes), and one half-length rap, leaving 2 pins, 2 nuts, and 1 cam. Climbed Serra IV in the evening light, and bivied on some ledges between Serra IV and III. This seemed like a much better spot than the 4-5 col.

 

Aug 1: It took quite a while to get to Serra III from Serra IV, and we made one half-length rappel to the north. The descent to the II-III notch went quickly, and we ditched our packs to head up NW ridge of Serra II. It was one of the best climbs along the traverse, and here we met the ever-cool Peter and Katy. From the II-III notch we rapelled down to the Tellot Glacier, drank some water, and then headed up for Serra I at 9pm. We climbed the Firey Route and rapelled Don's route, and then stumbled down the Tellot to the Plummer Hut, where we arrived at 3:30 am.

 

We spent the following week lounging around, and doing easy, short peakbaggin on Claws 1-4, Shand, McCormick, Termination, Eaglehead, and Dragonback.

 

Gear Notes:

-should've had 2 ice screws and a v-threader

-should've had real ice tools instead of 3rd tools

-having a tent was much nicer than bivy sacks would've been

-two 50m ropes worked well (a 9.0 stratos, and a 6mm perlon)

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w00t! thumbs_up.gif

 

Any comments about doing it this way rather than starting up the Bravo?

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Nice thumbs_up.gif

 

We heard you were in the area and saw your tracks headed towards the N-NW ridge on Combatant.

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Howdy Ade, that was cool to meet you and Rob at Whitesaddle. Glad to hear you guys got a bunch of pitches in!

 

After the traverse and during a few hut-bound storm days we devolved into a world of dark insanity interrupted by wandering whiteout forays onto the various peaks surrounding the Upper Tellot, and of course eating dried food product.

 

That lasted for a week before we became seriously concerned with possible permanent behavioral damage. So we flew out and drank beer.

 

We took a Wadd load of pictures but they'll take developing and then scanning to post them. Have you got any digital shots from your climbs?

 

Cheers

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Thanks for the compliments, everyone.

 

To answer your question, Dru:

 

I think that the Bravo Glacier Route and the W Ridge, Angel Glacier route are about equal in difficulty.

 

Advantage of starting from Fury Gap: You only have to carry your bivy gear to 3200 m, rather than to the base of the summit pyramid.

 

Advantage of starting with the Bravo: You could start and end your traverse from Sunny Knob - this means no food caches to be dropped off, and therefore a cheaper heli fare.

 

Starting from Combatant Col would obviously be the easiest, but then you wouldn't have "traversed" Waddington to any extent.

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You guys were welcome to the slings... you earned them.

 

Syudla and I did what we believe to be a new line to the climber's left of the slings between the Keyhole Route and NW Corner Route incorporating as much ice into the ascent as was practical. Good on ya for signing the registry in blood. Syudla and I just shrugged pretty much about the lack of a pencil, although, I still get a chuckle considering his frustration in having left a pencil in the tent.

 

You guys did a considerable amount of good work in accomplishing this traverse.

 

Great Job.

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sweet pics, marko. thumbs_up.gif sounds like a great trip! some of our party were hoping to ski at least one of those "snow" slopes back in early may ... but they were pretty much just ice then as well. hopefully they get some good snow this winter!

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Yup, there wasn't a whole lot of snow pack over the ice.

 

But what a wonderful place! Definitely way up there on the funometer!

 

Cheers

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