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fenderfour

[TR] Wa Pass, Liberty Bell Group - Moderate Enchainment, all 5 major summits 7/12/2008

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Trip: Wa Pass, Liberty Bell Group - Moderate Enchainment, all 5 major summits

 

Date: 7/12/2008

 

Trip Report:

It started like any number of weekends. On Wednesday I sent a note out to my regular partners to see who wanted to climb. I had my eyes on the Northwest Corner of NEWS. Argus was the first to respond. Aside from being the second stinkiest climber I know (I am the stinkiest), Argus is a solid climber and a fun guy to share a belay with.

 

On Friday morning I got a text message from Argus.

"I was thinking we should try to climb all 5 spires tomorrow"

 

…and that's how it started.

 

The idea was to make a rough traverse from North to South from Liberty Bell to SEWS. It worked out pretty damn well.

 

SW Face of Liberty Bell (5.6)

North Face of Concord (5.6)

North Face of Lexington (5.6)

Northwest Corner of NEWS (5.9)

Southwest Rib of SEWS (5.8)

 

We started on the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell. I forgot the camera in the pack, so there are no pictures of our long simul-climb to the summit. I'm sure you are all devastated that there aren't more pictures online of the Beckey route.

 

Argus did get a shot of me rappelling down (I think that's Liberty Bell)

 

wap1.jpg

 

We rappelled as normal and climbed the North Face of Concord. Argus saw a few pins and a rap station and pulled us a little off route. We climbed about a pitch of loose 5.7 before regaining the normal route. More simul-climbing to the summit.

 

Argus Approaching the summit of Concord

 

wap2.jpg

 

We did a double rope rappel off the South face of Concord. We were most concerned about the south face rappels on Concord and Lexington. It seemed like it would work out, but neither of us had looked at them in person.

 

I think it will go…

 

wap3.jpg

 

The next route was the North Face of Lexington. We found a bit of loose rock and kitty litter. IMO, this was the worst climb of the five. Again, we simul-climbed to the summit.

 

Fenderfour on route

 

wap4.jpg

 

The fun traverse to the summit (downclimbing)

 

wap5.jpg

 

Rappelling the South Face dropped us into the notch between NEWS and Lexington. After climbing up a small rise, we did another short rappel and were then able to scramble over to the start of the NW Corner on NEWS.

 

Holy shit is that route good.

 

This is also where we ran into some other parties; three to be exact, all on the West Face.

 

wap6.jpg

 

NW Corner w00t!

 

wap7.jpg

 

The pitch three of the route follows the obvious crack system starting at the lone tree on the right.

 

We ran the first two pitches together. Argus lead the crux under cling pitch. The exposure, position, and moves on that pitch were nuts. A little beta: bring a #4.5 or 5 for this pitch. It takes some of the bite off.

 

Argus starting the crux pitch

 

wap8.jpg

 

wap9.jpg

 

I got to grovel my way up the off width pitch. I didn't do it in style, I didn't do it pretty, but I didn't not do it.

 

Argus took the last real lead and chose the 5.9 option over the unprotected 5.6. Another fun pitch. A short scramble to the summit and another rappel took us to the last route of the day; the Southwest Rib on SEWS. Both of us had climbed the route previously. We wanted to finish up with some easier, but still quality climbing.

 

Goat on the summit of SEWS from the summit of NEWS

 

wap10.jpg

 

Argus, the pissinest guy I know

 

wap11.jpg

 

The chockstone rappel between NEWS and SEWS

 

wap12.jpg

 

We skipped the first two pitches by rappelling in to the 5.8 hand crack from above. It was awkward and funky, but as good as the first time I had climbed it. Argus ran the next two pitches together, saving us a bit of time. I finished off the serious climbing on the bear hug pitch. Instead of bear-hugging, I decided to hump the pitch. Damn I'm sexy.

 

The 5.7 bearhug pitch that I turned into the 5.4 dryhump pitch.

 

wap13.jpg

 

Argus battled some significant rope drag on a looong simul-climbing pitch to the summit. We cheered, we farted, we pissed, we climbed down the South Arete.

 

Two tools on the summit, 2,000+ feet in one day.

 

wap14.jpg

 

I had a flask of Jim Beam at the packs that made the walk out to the car more enjoyable. A sprint to Winthrop had us eating dinner at the Bistro. I don't think they get many scuzzy climbers in there, but they were the only place still serving food.

 

Overall, this was a really fun moderate day out. There were definitely some less than stellar pitches, but as a whole, it was terrific. It would be difficult to find so much easy. moderate climbing that can be done this quickly. We had a huge rack that made the simul--climbing of 4 pitches at once possible.

 

We all know the picure

 

wap15.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Set of nuts, Double cams to #4, one #5 for NEWS, 14 single slings, 4 double slings, Double 60m ropes, crampons, ice axes (unnecessary)

 

Approach Notes:

Beckey Route on Liberty Bell and head South. All of the rappels work with double ropes, just look for stations as needed.

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thanks for the pics.

 

I'm glad I wasn't scratching my ass or adjusting myself.

 

She caught you in one of your good moments.

 

A couple of other things. You definitely want 2 60's to get off the south faces of concord and lexington. There were no intermediate stations and you'd have to leave some gear.

 

A cool thing about this climb is you can do most of the climbing without a pack. You can leave the packs at the bottom of Liberty Bell, SEWS, and NEWS since you return to the base of the climb. You only have to carry over on Concord and Lexington.

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