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Pencil_Pusher

Prusik Peak

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For all those that wonder, Prusik Peak is in condition to climb. We went up June 2-3 and the bivy was cold. From Lake Vivian, it was mainly 3/4 snow to Prusik Pass. Cold climbing brought us up the West Ridge.

The first bit of snow you'll hit is after the cairn maze above Upper Snow Lake, and then only in patches.

This route is do-able in a day, for those of you who don't have permits, so long as you leave the parking lot around 6am. You don't need crampons or an ice axe. Don't need a whole lot of gear either as the belays are solid with plenty of rocks to sling.

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We did a hellaciously long one day push last Sat. from the Colchuck Lake side. The semi-trail up to Aasgard Pass is nearly snow free. Mostly snow covered in the Enchantments Basin still, a little sloppy but not bad. It was partially sunny, partially cloudy with a wickedly cold breeze blowing most of the day. Somebody from the Mountaineers needs to get up there and bring a new summit register--there isn't one currently.

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Forrest and I went in on Saturday the 16th and did a variation on the S. Face from the Snow Creek side. It was wonderful. We stayed left of the regular S. Face route almost the entire way; the first pitch was left of the chimney described in Beckey (though clearly climbed often), it follows a hand-to-fist size crack up and left along a sort of rib then back right up a twin-cracked trough, then we strung the second (low-5th class) pitch together with the first to make exactly 60m.

Our second pitch followed the regular route straight up above the tree belay, but then continued straight up instead of cutting right on the chickenheads halfway up the pitch as the regular route does. This provided us with a thin and technical finger crack in a shallow corner that had obviously been gardened but nonetheless still had a fair bit of vegetation. Strategically placed chickenheads and features allowed passage of the thinnest parts of the crack, but it was protectable by green and yellow aliens and stoppers all the way. I'd say it was solid 10b or 10c, really fun interesting moves. It ended at a large ledge; great belay.

Our third pitch continued straight up from there. A steep (vertical) left-facing dihedrial with a clean thin crack (10b, again green and yellow aliens), gradually widens and comes out of the corner, turning into a splitter thin-hand crack (barely perfect for my hands, a bit thin for Forrest's), comes to a mild roof (10b) beyond which the angle eases off and it becomes a right-facing corner, wide hands in the crack eventually culminating in a #4 camelot placement and a rejoining of the regular route just below the giant chockstone. I finished leading the pitch by going up behind the chockstone and sat on top of it for a comfy belay at 55m.

For our 4th pitch, we opted for the left-hand variation around the offwidth. Forrest followed wide cracks angling up and left from the chockstone, stepped left around two corners, and followed another clean 10a/b crack up a steep exposed pillar, with the crux at the top; a strenuous mantle onto an insecure knob with dubious pro, followed by a wide stem across to a wide crack protected by an old piton, to a semi-hanging belay.

Our fifth pitch was short; I intended to take it all the way to the summit, but after using several essential pieces getting up to the huge ledge below the final left-facing corner and with the other essential pieces Forrest was using in the belay, and with the rope drag caused by traversing right all the way across the ledge to get to the corner, and getting 1/3 of the way up the corner and realizing I didn't have enough gear, I lowered down and belayed Forrest up to the ledge. He then led the classic final pitch to the lovely summit.

We made it down in time for Mexican food in L-town. Mmm salt-fat-tasty-goodness!

In summary, the left-hand variation of the S. Face is quite worthwhile if you're looking for high-quality, aesthetic climbing with slightly more technical difficulty and sustained crack climbing than the regular route.

Dan

[This message has been edited by daylward (edited 06-19-2001).]

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Sounds Great!

Can anyone give some spray about the south face Burgner-Stanley route? Info on Gear needs and the offwidth pitch would help.

thanks

[This message has been edited by A-Dog (edited 07-05-2001).]

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anyone know if there is a speed record car to summit for this thing-it would be interesting to know just how fast it has been done in?

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Dude, what's with the speed record stuff? I keep seeing that pop up in different threads. I think it's safe to assume probably somebody did everything way faster than you or I could way back in the 70's and didn't brag about it afterwards, so it may not be an "official" record. Somebody's always looking for an FA, new variation, first ski descent, first or fastest something or other. Just climb and have fun and forget about the record book. It's needless ego stroking. Sorry to come down hard on you, that's just how I feel.

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speed Ski decent on prussic Raddddd, , he he everything looked like a go up there on friday,, cheers

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There is a killer variation we did last summer. Rather than heading up under the chockstone, go left up a left facing corner with a great 1-2 inch crack for a whole pitch ending in a slightly run out dihedral to a large ledge. It seemed like solid 10b. From there you go right 15 feet over a small picnnacle and end up looking down 25 feet over the chockstone. You can downclimb or just continue around the corner and up the chimney with a little rope drag to the last pitch.

As to speed records; last summer there was a note in the summit register by a guy who claimed to have soloed the west ridge in 17 minutes and the Serpentine Arete on Dragontail in 3 hours...whatever.

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thanks nolan!!! your always helpful info was much appreciated. "it would be interesting to see how fast this thing has been done" was obviously alluding to my ego and blatant bragging of my speed. whatever-jason

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A-dog -

The Burger-Stanley has 4" cracks on the first and last pitch, so bring a large piece or, if you want to sew it up, two. Otherwise, bring a stadard rack. By the "off width" I am guessing that you are referring to the flared chimney above the chockstone. The hard moves are protected by a chockstone or some fixed gear or something way back in the crack, and nothing special is required (maybe if you had a #27 camelot you could put it over your head).

- Mattp

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I used to have one of those #27 Camalots but i traded it for a #18 Tri Cam, they're a bit lighter. Also easier to bivi in.

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u might be able to use lambone's strap on, he said it is very useful in wide slots. i personally will be running it out. tongue.gif

[This message has been edited by erik (edited 07-10-2001).]

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Lambone can keep his strap ons, i hear he uses them for penetration when things are frigid tongue.gif "Baaaa!"

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Jason a compadre Lworth area local and a parter I know claimed to have done the Serpentine Route simul climbed in 2 hours. I don't doubt them considering their abilities.....

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Its my secret weapon! Hands off! I did leave one fixed on a 5.8 squeeze down in Yosemite, if you really need one that bad...

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Jason,

Sorry you didn't appreciate my comments. I notice no one has chimed in with the answer, probably because no one knows for sure. Too many people have climbed it over too many years to be absolutely certain what the fastest ascent ever was. I do realize you weren't claiming the fastest time or saying you were going to set the record. If you look thru some of the archives, you'll see what I was alluding to. There was a thread on fastest ascents of Rainier. Then one about climbing all of the Cascade volcanos on consecutive days, and how many hours could it be done in. Eventually it seems like an exercise in pointlessness speculating about it. But that's just my opinion.

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