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Liberty Ridge 6/20-6/21

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Took advantage of the good weather on Wednesday and Thursday for a 2-day climb of Liberty Ridge. Approached from WRCG. The route is tracked in across the Winthrop to Curtis ridge where we made our one and only bivy. Carbon is in good shape, enter at about 7,500 ft and a straight line is available to directly below the Willis Wall. We got on the ridge at 8800, I think we should have been higher. This involved some sort of downward scree traverse around the ridge proper to the west side. We then climbed ice on the West side of the ridge directly to Thumb Rock. From Curtis Ridge to Thumb rock was about 4.5 hours. We then climbed left out of Thumb Rock straight to the top of the black pyramid which was variable conditions of water ice, styrofoam and some soft snow. Above the pyramid it was a bit of a slog given the late morning sun. The bergshrund at the top involved a steep slope and rightward traverse to a 6ft step and on up to the Liberty Cap. Time from Thumb Rock to Liberty Cap was about 9 hours due to a good bit of ice climbing and some snow slogging. Colder conditions would have shortend the time a bit. Descent via Emmons 7 hours from Liberty Cap to car. Overall a great climb. If you do it in two days be prepared for 7000 ft of climbing on your summit day. Another maybe better way would be to go to Thumb rock day one or better yet take the standard three days and reduce the suffer factor. Either way enjoy

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We did it as a three day trip a few weeks ago and it was very enjoyable and laid back. The first two days you are into camp by noon or 1pm giving you plenty of time to rest, hydrate, acclimate, throw rocks at each other, etc. Summit day is a bit longer, but you are still back to the cars in the afternoon with enough time to go out and have a big dinner in town. You guys certainly get the suffer points however . . .

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