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first ascent [TR] Rexford- South Pillar of The False Summit -FA - III 5.11 7/2/2006

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Climb: Rexford-South Pillar of The False Summit -FA - III 5.11

 

Date of Climb: 7/2/2006

 

Trip Report:

Shaun Neufeld and I first saw this feature in 2005 from Labour Day Summit in the Slesse Group. Although hidden from many vantages to the north, from Labour Day and points south the pillar stands out cleanly.

 

We first tried the route in August 2005. At that time we ended up climbing three short pitches

P1 : 30m traverse and climb up flakes and ramps to belay ledge, 5.8

P2: 30m, 5.11b? and one point of aid (Shaun) or 5.10+ and 3 points of aid (me) - climb amazing corner after making one aid move at bottom to get past giant sod guarding corner. Crux at top where corner thins to tip size.

P3: 15m 5.10 Climb corner to giant scary loose block. Traverse left to offwidth. Decide it is too hot and the OW looks scary with no #4 Camalot. Set up belay on opposed nuts. Escape by rappel.

 

While rappelling down the face left of the corner we saw this amazing finger crack, and decided to come back and climb it this year.

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Shaun in the corner - 2005

 

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Topo - red line is this year, green line is 2005.

 

So this year we hiked in after leaving Chilliwack at 4:30 Am Sunday morning. we got up to Rexford base camp, kibitzed a bit with other climbers and took a nap.

 

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Slesse from hike in

 

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Climbers on lower west ridge of Rexford

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South Nesakwatch Spire from camp.

 

Around noon-thirty we decided to go and climb something. Somehow our plan changed from climbing something easy as a warm up, to hopping on the pillar. We got to the base around 2.

 

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Descending into the south bowl from the west ridge.

 

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Left view of the pillar.

 

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Right view of the pillar.

 

I got the first pitch which turned out to be an excellent 5.9 up flakes and chimneys. From a perfect ledge belay Shaun took over and jumped on the finger crack which turned out to be the crux of the route, and pretty hard. Shaun barely managed to onsight it, saying it felt like the hardest thing he'd ever onsighted and felt harder than the first pitch of the Daily Planet, but not sure of the grade because he was not in perfect climbing shape. as a guess it would be in the 11b to 11d range. Anyways when I heard it was that hard I decided to follow on prussiks in order to be able to make it up. Prussking in the hot sun is not fun, which is why Jumars were invented. Still I made it up. This pitch has perfect clean rock except for the scary "Caulk Boot Flake" 1/3 of the way up which is barely attached to the wall. You can layback it and stand on it, but don't put any gear behind it, and stay out of the fall line... It's gonna peel sooner or later. blush.gif

 

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Shaun climbing the crux pitch.

 

From this belay, where we met our 2005 highpoint we climbed three more pitches. The next pitch started with a steep (overhanging) offwidth, maybe 10c or 10d, in a right facing corner and then turned into lower angle cracks and flakes with a very weird bulge move to finish. This put us at the base of the "Patagonian Headwall", a vertical wall of clean featured granite with many cracks. The crack Shaun picked went at 10+ or 11a and varied from fingers to offwidth to back-and foot chimney, with lots of strange exfoliation flakes inside the main crack system on which you could pinch, layback, or jam. Again the exit move was weird, chimneying out a flared roof with an offwidth in the back. On both of these pitches, Shaun managed to send them cleanly, and I managed to follow by freeing as much as I could, dogging to rest, and occasionally pulling on gear. fruit.gif

 

The 5th and final pitch took 5.8 corners and got us to the top of the wall. We scrambled up one more pitch of 4th class, and then traversed through a notch, and below the west face of the false summit to gain Rexford's west ridge route and the descent. We got back to camp just at sunset, and spent a while socializing with the other climbers camped up there.

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This morning we slept in until 9. We felt too worked to do another climb and so decided to bail. The other parties that had camped up there all ended up climbing routes on South Nesakwatch that Shaun had put up laugh.gif - two parties on the West Butt and one party on Dairyland - he can be very persuasive when recommending a climb.

 

As we hiked out we saw one more party climbing on the west ridge of North Nesakwatch. We also ran into a pika in the meadows. On the trail down, two hikers warned us about a mother bear and cubs but they were gone when we arrived at the clearcut. We got back to the cars around 1, and went to Vedder Crossing in search of ice cream. Then home to beer! bigdrink.gif

 

 

We couldn't decide if the route name should be "In The Loop" or "Common Knowledge" but both names reference people in the Chilliwack area, and in general, who think that certain crags are their own "secret areas" and get upset when you post about them on teh Interweb the_finger.gif The grade is III 5.11, maybe 11+ but needs a repeat for confirmation. The route consists of 5 pitches plus scrambling but most are about 40m long, the pillar is only about 200m high. Grade III may be pushing it but it did take us about 6 hours to climb the route.

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Full rack of wires (BOOTY ALERT: two nuts left or dropped on the climb)

One 60m rope

Full set of cams to #4 Camalot with doubles up to #1 Camalot - could also use double #2s, and three or four yellow TCU size for the crux pitch.

Five Tricams - won't need these if you bring the extra cams.

Fourteen assorted draws from dogbone to shoulder sling length.

 

Didn't take a stove as there is lots of snow, but finding drips can be hard - better to take stove.

 

snugtop.gifApproach Notes: snugtop.gif

Almost 2wd to Slesse trailhead (saw a 2wd car parked there but it looked pretty beat up by the drive, with grated bumper and bust headlight)

4wd to rexford trailhead

Little bit of snow high on the trail - snow in the boulderfields but approach shoes OK as snow is firm.

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No way man. Bouldering is way cooler than alpine climbing, so my coolest rock FA must be a boulder problem.

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Thanks for the great TR and excellent pictures - just wish some of your scenics were larger! Looks like a great route on nice rock.

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Friggin nice lookin rock!

 

How many pitches total? How long from TH to camp?

 

5 pitches (30-40m pitches, none are full length, even so we were running out of gear) total plus some scrambling (about a pitch) at the top. It would have added about another 2-3 pitches of mid-5th class to coninue up the upper arete directly to the false summit, but we finished at the notch behind the top of the pillar proper.

 

takes about 3 hours from the trailhead (4wd trailhead 2 km past Slesse parking) to bivi sites. takes about an hour or so from the bivi site to the base of the route.

 

despite what it said in the earlier TR I don't think going straight up to the base from the FSR via the drainage below the pillar is all that smart. lotsa bush down there. bears too. maybe in da winter if conditions stabilized this would be the best way to go though.

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cutesy bear pic some hikers we met took on the trail.

Mom was about 6 feet away looking pissed so they cooled it till she took the cubs and headed south

 

For some reason this pic makes me think of a shot in Alpinist of Dean Potter and Timmy ONeill

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