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[TR] Mt Sloan- Southwest Buttress 7/24/2005

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Climb: Mt Sloan-Southwest Buttress


Date of Climb: 7/24/2005


Trip Report:

A sad admission - July 24 was my 33rd birthday. Birthdays: laugh.gif Being 33 years old thumbs_down.gif The "hair fairy" seems to want to steal follicles from the top of my head every night and add them to my nose, neck and back.


Anyways it being my birthday and all I wanted to get out and climb some nice clean granite. The wrist and ankle were still tweaked from an involuntary talus somersault last weekend so my only quibble was "not too hard".


Merran and I decided to head up to Mt Sloan. Some steep white rock on the south slopes has attracted my attention during previous trips to the mountain. It would be good climbing but probably not sustained or too hard, I hoped.


Saturday was a bit iffy weather wise. We drove up to Gold Bridge via Pemberton and hiked in to Ault Lakes. By the time we arrived at Upper Ault Lake, it was 2 PM, too late to go for a climb that day and too early to just eat dinner and go to bed. We compromised by swimming. Cold water, oooooo.


After setting up in the only slightly wind sheltered bivi, the night passed uneventfully for me in a heavy sleeping bag and with a thick pad. Merran, in a roomier bivi sack but with only a lightweight bag and ultralite thermarest, slept poorly. At one point I heard her talking in her sleep only as it turns out, she was not asleep at the time.


Dru----> yellowsleep.gif

Merran----> madgo_ron.gif


In the morning there was none of this Don Serl alpine start, "up at three away at four" nonsense. We got up around 7:30, made coffee, ate breakfast and got going near 9. We hiked up to the south face, looked at some buttresses, and chose the steepest and most continuous looking one, two gullies left of the Scrambles Guide gully.


The climb started near a small pinnacle and scrambled up the rubble ramp between the pinnacle and the main buttress to about 15m below the pinnacle col. From here we went 40m or so up cracks and face holds, low-5th, unroped b/c Mer claimed that the climbing was too easy to rope up for. Eventually I found a ledge, made a belay and insisted on roping up. The next pitch proved a little bit trickier than it seemed (5.7) so roping up was validated, fortunately for me. I wouldn't have wanted to solo this pitch with a heavy pack full of ropes and gear on.



Merran leading out... the classic butt shot picture.


From the top of this pitch we scrambled a bit then Mer led another pitch of 5.6 or so, which with simulclimbing, took us up a corner and ramp to a nice belay ledge in a grassy sun collector.


Upon being handed the lead, I decided to put on rockshoes. As it turns out I didn't need them, there were two 5.8 chimney moves then it relented to nice hand-sized flakes, a short wall and a black-lichened ramp, a full pitch (60m) of fun.


We moved the belay 10m to a ledge on the buttress crest, and I led one more pitch of 5.5-ish climbing to the top of the steep buttress.



Mer seconds the last pitch.


From the top of the roped climbing, there was a few hundred meters of 3rd class scrambling on delightful rock, to join up with the standard route. We dropped the rack and ropes off at the junction and continued with just water, snacks and camera to the summit.



Scrambling on the upper ridge. Note the "no paparazzi" hand gestures wink.gif


After lounging on the summit for a while, we took the scramble back down to camp and packe up. The bugs were HORRENDOUS!! mad.giffrown.gifmadgo_ron.gif on the way out, when we got to the car we had to hop in immediately and drive 5km before arriving at a bug free area to change out of sweaty climbing clothes.


Coming back over the Hurley, the famous "curse of the Hurley" struck again. Something about this road dislikes automobiles. This time it was my radiator running dry, sending temperatures soaring. Fortunately I had a couple jugs of antifreeze in the back and was able to deal with the problem. Ate cheesecake at the Pony in Pemberton, home to Chilliwack just after midnight (again!)




Orange line is more or less the route taken.


MT SLOAN: SW buttress. Grade II 5.8, 5 5th class pitches plus scrambling. FA July 24, 2005. A nice birthday present. This route is similar in character to a climb like the ridges on the Nesakwatch Spires, and would make a good route for a climber looking to do a first alpine rock climb.


Gear Notes:

A rack of hexes, tricams, and a few Camalots (0.75-3) plus some med-large wire nuts would be sufficient. Cracks are generally wide finger to hand sized.


With only two 5.8 moves, climbing in approach shoes is feasible, rock shoes not necessary.


Two 60ms are Ok but you could get by with one as there is little rope drag and no need to rap off.


Approach Notes:

Ault Creek road 2wd, Ault Lakes trail bushy. 2 hrs from cars to campsites. Doing this in a day round trip from Squamish or Whistler is feasible.

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I hear chestwigs and neckbeards are the next big fashion trend


Not to mention gerkins.

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yeah! nice b.day present to yourself!

the n.e. ridge of sloan was on the short list for your b.day weekend. we could have shared a toast (as i've started to carry rum now), but by friday night the participants wound up all over the map.

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The NE ridge is fun but not worth taking a rope for. I did drink a flask of jagermeister on Saturday night though bigdrink.gif

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landjagermeister shocked.gif it's only a matter of time before someone invents it....


i seem to recall pickled horsecocks in the bar in lillooet though.

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your cooking talents? perversely, that looks like a yummy meal. could be better with mash. actually, everthing is yummy when in the out-of-doors.

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"Then Kobus showed me an interesting trick. He adds chocolate chips to oatmeal. He claims it makes it so you can eat it."

-John Clarke, 92 CAJ bigdrink.gif

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you're supposed to add a wee dram o'whiskey to yer oatmeal, laddy.


and Jordan, why aren't you climbing your arse off right now.

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