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[TR] Mongo Ridge-W.Fury F.A.- VI-5.10- 8/28/2006


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Climb: Mongo Ridge-W.Fury F.A.- VI-5.10-


Date of Climb: 8/28/2006


Trip Report:

Quicky tr to tell about an amazing new route done on West Fury . The SW buttress of Fury proved to be very challenging, but was done in a 5 day solo effeort .


The Trip Report is developing as I have time to write it, It is now located half - way down this page, Enjoy and Thanks, Wayne


Gear Notes:

lots(no porters)

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Wow guys, thanks.


This will be the on-going trip report until I can finish it entirely.

Yes it was way more that I can believe. It put it all out there on the line blah blah ..

It makes a fun story too, now that I think it back together.

It started by looking .. again, at a stupid map .

The coolest quadrangle in the lower US is by far the Challenger . With both Picket ranges and many other cool peaks , it is the winner.

"Mongo Ridge " as it was pre-named, is the South Buttress of the West Peak of Mt Fury. 712Web_Mongo-med.JPG

Its 4000 foot verticle rise is interupted in its mile long rise to the top, by towering monoliths and towers. It competes as one of the largest features on any mountain, anywhere.

There werent many good photos of it and I didnt trust the rock on West Fury at all, but I knew it was there.It was just to be seen whether or not it was a worthy pursuiit or not. It wasnt until Mike and I gaped at it while climbing the Haunted Wall on the west face of Spectre that the hook was set. We agreed it was a monster of grim fantasy , and I even ventured to say it may never be climbed ever , for many reasons. One reason was the approach. Its solution hit me in a pre sleep mode of non-concentration, Beckey even confirmed it was possible to down climb from in between the Furies down the south basin. The approach seemed actually doable now! I would just need to climb a major mountain climb to start a most major mountain climb.

Colins slide show set my blood on fire for the idea.I tried for a couple of days to find qualified partner. The concrete strike wore on, so I had the time. As soon as I got home from the show, I packed and left a 4 am on thursday the next day.

The Ross Lake Resort prefers that you have an appointment I found out. I appreciate though that they can accomadate spontanious jaunts up the lake in their fast boat. The plan was to power the 60 pounds plus to the top of East Fury in 2 brutal days. It was necessary then to get through the brush of Axes(access)on day one(thursday). 712Beesting-med.JPG A bee sting on the left eye lid, the usual brush, and a violent thunder storm with hours of down pour, reintroduced me to the special pain available here in this range. Regardless though, Friday night was spent all alone on top of East Fury... utterly spent it seemed .


One of the many debates renting my space was whether or not I could get back to the summit camp in a day or not. You may be familiar with the saying "If you carry a bivouac, you will bivouac". This was a tightly calulated desision: Could I get up it and back to camp in a day?.I went heavy(45lbs), with everything but return food and my sleeping pad. The route had a psychological advantage, but I had more time to work with what it had offer.

Despite my wishes to stop it, the planet spun around again to face the solar onslaught.

It would show a relativly easy way down to what felt like my ultimate doom.: A route you would only see in the greater ranges of the world, and one to scare the boldest of venturers.

The I-pod played the Talking Heads : And you may ask yourself: My God , What have I done?"

It was apparent the ridge itself was going to be a tough go just getting to its crest. Avoiding slabby seracs and polished granite at the toe was the first obstacle. Finding a way up the complicated 400 foot wall was tedious and difficult. I had to take off my pack to pull an overhang at one point. Knowing the moves would be doable, I didnt anchor in. I just roped the heavy pig up after the 5.8 moves.. Several pitches later I was greeted by a somewhat clean ridge line that never failed to entertain me over the next 2 days.

In the veiws and photos I had seen it appeared to start with 3 major pinnacles, but I soon found there was an extra: Number 1 was a long ridge line of moderate 4th class climbing ending in the first of many deep notches.As I set the first of a dozen rappels , I knew each descent would cut me off further from retreat.

I just kept saying a few mantras to myself:

Every mountain has a way up, I just have to find it..


.. I will just keep going till I cant.( Not knowing what the option after was of course).

And finally:if you live through this. seek help.

All those affirmations were just dandy until I crested the top of #2 and looked across directly over to the vertical,400 foot tall, Number 3! 712Number3-med.JPG

It appeared I would need an Alex Huber for this peak at first. I eventually figured I could traverse right from the notch and climb the amazing ridge soaring above a multiple thousand foot face below.I had gotten away with no net so far on the difficulties, but now it was time to break out the hardware.



After my 4th rappell overall, and second double rappel down as well, I reached the base notch of a pinnacle that could be its own major summit unto itself. The traverse right across the face led to a shallow yet very steep prow of ridge. I was committed to going unroped to save time but after the first section up(5.9), I clipped into the rope and anchors I set to hold in case of a fall. I left my pack behind again now to tackle the narrow exposed rope-length of climbing . Up I climbed until running out out rope , each time returning back down the rope to retrieve anchors and pack.

Looking down the crux on #3712Look_down_crux-med.JPG

The 5.10 pitch made me hope it was the most difficult section of the massive route.Hundreds of tough feet later I finally balanced at the top of an incredible perch in space 712on_top_of_3-med.JPG

Rappelling down the other side of these pinnacles was now becoming routine, but what a routine to have. This particular descent down #3 was so steep, I was left dangling in space for much of the way down. It wasnt easy to get use to such intensity .More was imminent as I looked up at #4 , yet another soaring tower of granite




#4 was also very hard going.Travelling up again, I was only attached to it with hands and feet.As I did another scary traverse left,cramps mutated my hands into arthritic and grotesque shapes. As the climbing went on, the rock was again proving to be of fantastic quality and solidity.It all ended up being some of the best climbing I had ever done throughout my years in the high places. 712Look_back_3.JPG Upon reaching the top of #4 ,I wanted to let up a bit on my concentration level. it became apparent that it was only about half over at this point though. It already felt like I had climbed a Mt Selesse via its direct line.I was at least relieved that I had brought a full camp worth of gear with me .

Time seems to tick away quicker here.. I found myself grappling with one of the more difficult terrain type that exsists. I call it the knife edge -horizontal- traverse. The Rooster Comb section ,as I called it , was an exercize akin to gymnastics. It never lets you stroll across.It eventually dropped away into another double rope rappel . It required diagonal rappeling, which was also very awkward.

Evening was rapidly approaching as I looked to the near final obstacle: Named the "Pole of Remoteness" by a dreaming John Roper. Pre-naming it,He figured it just had to be the hardest place to get to in the lower US. I wasnt going to take up arguement. I was looking ahead for away up and more so, a flat place to sleep now. I was to find neither looking at it from below it. It was the only pinnacle that allowed me a way around it. Very graciously I accepted it over a 5.11 headwall. When I reached its deep up-hill notch however, I had found it to be an accmodating ascent from that side(5.7).It was not to come without its price though. I had an erie feeling "something might happen".

I found the way to its summit easily enough, 712Down_from_Pole.JPG the view was astounding in all directions . 712Top_Of_Pole_Shadow.JPG

Thats my shadow on the tip!


At last, I let out a scream that left echoes behind of these silly names we give these citadels of the wild..


There were no solid ways to anchor in the down rope, but I found a loose block to sling as a handrail/rappel line. On the way down the rope(also,me) sent a rock down that would sever it. Fortunatly I still had the second line.

As the sun set, the dash for a camp was on. Climbing into the 13th hour now, I spotted a small glacier clinging to the south side . The moat between it and the rock would be a place to crawl into for the night. It provided water, and flat rocks to arrainge into my new bed. It was a pleasant night now with the hard part of climb behind me. Eating then sleeping in the dark, I felt like a very lucky person to have worked this kind of adventure. 712Bivy.JPG


In the Morning there was still 500 feet of elevation to do to gain the summit of West Fury. The way relented to much easier 4th class climbing. Tired, but not about to let down my guard, I stood atop West Fury at about 10:00 am sunday. 712Top_of_Fury2-med.JPG

What joy and satisfaction I felt there. No wonder the Picket Range is so revered. In my few trips here,I have renewed my enjoyement of the sport and my appreciation for the truly wild.

The journey still was far from over. I forgot how complicated it is getting from one Fury to the next. It involved still more rappelling and tons of ridgeineering. All that was left to do from East Fury was to retrace the long glacier and ridges to Luna col> That is where I went down in a heap of pain. Spending my last night there, I rehydrated, ate, and cried when a sad song played on the player.

With the rest I got there, it still made for a long day out .It was made better by running into another party from Seattle that were on their way out. We had a great time together on the dock and celebrateing in a restaurant.

Some final stray thoughts: I believe the nature of sport pushes the player to reach for more and continually improve. Everyone who safely does so will see that personal accompishment that Erik desribes as; "the trip you never fully come back from!" Enjoy the mountains and help keep them wild 712snaffle2-med.JPG



Edited by wayne1112
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