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still_climbin

Traffic on Liberty Bell on Weekends

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Question:

 

How bad is the climber traffic on the Lib Bell/ Concord notch routes on weekends this time of the year? I did the Becky Route two weeks ago on a Tuesday and only two other (guided) parties followed us. Now some friends want to do Rapple Grapple this comming weekend. Is that insane? Would, say, the SEWS South West Rib be a better bet?

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As long as you stay off of the Beckey Route on Lib Bell and the south arete route on SEWS, you shouldn't have too much trouble with crowds. You may have to wait in line for the rappels though.

 

The SW rib on SEWS is an awesome route. Can't go wrong with that one. If you do this one instead of Rapple Grapple you don't have to deal with the Lib Bell gully which is probably the most dangerous part of a climb up there.

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In general, climbing the descent route of the most popular alpine gaper route in the state on a weekend is not recomended.

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SW Rib is pretty popular. You might have to wait on a weekend. Hit it in the afternoon and you should be good.

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If your referring to Overexposure on Lib Bell (the rappel route) I already ticked that one off my list back in the 70's. Also it wasn't really that great a route. I acknowledge the advice on the gully and rockfall. Its bad enough without other parties above or below you.

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I did the Beckey route 3 saturdays ago and would recommend that you either sleep in or get there superearly. We arrived at the notch at 11 a.m. and were able to get on the route immediately...but there was a logjam of four parties ahead of us. We avoided it thanks to our late start, but had we gotten there earlier it would've been a frustrating day.

 

Getting a late start also let us be the last ones down the gully, which was quite comforting.

 

If rapple grapple is the main rappel route, maybe you should consider a night clime.

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I had no problem with the Beckey Route on a Sunday last August, though admittedly there was a party immediately ahead of us and we had to wait a bit for them and, correspondingly, there was a party behind us who had to wait for us. On the rappels, too, there was some "communication" involved. However, I came away with no complaints.

 

Watch out for how other parties may send rocks tumbling your way, try not to bombard the next group, and allow for third party delays, and you'll probably do fine. Its not as bad as the rush hour traffic that you probably deal with every day.

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I went up to do the SW Rib on SEWS a few years ago and found 3 other parties ahead of me on the route....reckon it's becoming more popular due to inclusion in Selected Climbs Vol II, and discussion on websites like this one...

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