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first ascent [TR] Mount Sloan - First Ascent South Central (III

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Trip: Mount Sloan - First Ascent South Central (III, 5.9)


Date: 9/13/2008


Trip Report:

Doug and I climbed the central rib on the south face of Mt Sloan on Sunday Sept. 14. We drove up the Hurley on Friday night and camped near the hydro gauge. Woke up to a flat tire on my borrowed Forester and the spare was almost flat too, got it sorted in Gold Bridge and were at the trailhead around noon and at the lake and campsite around 2. Little bit late for starting a route (we had originally hoped to do two climbs in the area) so instead we went bouldering.


Awesome full moon rise over the lake that evening.


Up on Sunday morning and up the talus to the base o the face. We chose the rib directly east of the standard scrambling route gully as it has some white headwalls with splitter cracks I have wanted to check out for years. In the event our route avoided these splitters - bring three or four cams in the thin-hands range if you want to sample them. We climbed seven roped pitches (but two were really more like roped scrambling, 3rd class and 5.1ish) and then did about 250m of scrambling above on the lower-angled portion of the rib to summit.


Route description:


Pitch 1: Beginning right on the arete bounding the gully right of the standard gully, climb cracks and arete to a large ledge (30m, 5.7). Move belay 15m across ledge to next wall.


P2: Climb large corner, avoiding greenery via face climbing up featured right wall. Good horizontal cracks for gear. Belay on ledge above (55m, 5.7)


P3: Cut back left and pull short bulge to gain hanging slab left of corner. Climb slab to arete, then go right and up short overhanging stemming corner to belay above on arete with many blocks (35m, 5.8)


P4: Move belay 30m along low angle arete to base of vertical white wall (30m, Class 3)


P5: Move left and climb arete on good holds but poor pro (small wires behind flakes) for 10m or so until able to stem left to corner system. Continue up to ledge below second white wall. Climb right-hand vertical corner (awkward at first, then good stemming) to belay above (40m, 5.9)


P6: Move right into large corner/ramp, climb to its end (60m, 5.1)


P7: Climb wall left of arete up flakes and blocks, finishing right of fresh rockfall scar. Inobvious route finding but good pro. (45m, 5.7)


From here, 250m of scrambling reaches the summit - either the lower-angle ridge crest or the gully immediately to the right can be used.





On the approach






Moon and fire









Da route, and the headwall with splitter cracks we aimed for and then avoided on the left.












Routefinding on p7. Actual route went up to the right of this.






Doug posing down on the summit



View south to Sampson area



Bridge Gl./Tchaizakan area far to the NW



Google Earth topo showing routes:


Blue is the Southwest Buttress route from 2005

Green is the standard gully route. Although not shown in the interests of clarity, all of the other gullies on the face have been climbed - see BCM a couple years ago (2004?) for details.


Red is the line of our new route.


Orange is the SE Buttress


Purple is the classic NE Ridge.



Gear Notes:

Light rack from small wired nuts to #3 Camalot. Bring triples of red TCU and/or red Camalot size for splitter cracks on white headwall.


Approach Notes:

Ault Creek road is 4wd, need about the clearance of a Forester to make it through - Legacy wouldn't cut it in the waterbars.


Trail to upper lake is well-flagged and well-maintained but meanders annoyingly through bush. Direct approach from clearcut next to creek and waterfall as far as lower lake works better.

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Double 60s were what we used but you could use double 50s and do a bit of simuling. Most pitches are not full length. Linking pitches would involve dragging rope through blocks so short pitches worked better.

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Looks like a nice route, especially the headwall cracks! :tup:


Hopefully the weather on the coast holds out and you guys can enjoy some more climbing before the winter monsoons. :hcluv:


cheers :brew:




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very cool trip. i second Buckaroo's comment re: the pics. looks like some pretty sweet and clean (alpine) rock!

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