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[TR] South Nesakwatch Spire - East Buttress (III 5.9) 6/27/2009

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Trip: South Nesakwatch Spire - East Buttress (III 5.9)


Date: 6/27/2009


Trip Report:

Jesse Mason, Marc-Andre Leclerc and I climbed the east buttress of South Nesakwatch Spire, starting from Centre Creek at 6 AM Saturday morning and back to the car at 8 AM Sunday morning.


We originally went into the area to climb the Nesakwatch Notch route on the North Spire but it was melted out at the bottom and the rubbly dirty chimney to get to the snow in the notch was not appealing. Then we wandered up thinking we would climb the Priest-Coupe couloir but the schrund at the bottom was quite wide. We got on to the rock immediately right of the schrund and climbed 9 pitches to the top ranging from 4th class to 5.9, mostly in the 5.7-5.8 range.


In the 1970 CAJ it vaguely mentions that routes were climbed on the east side of the Spires out of Centre Creek with few details. then in the 1974 Culbert guide it actually shows a dotted line on the east face of the South Spire. However, further guidebooks (Fairley Guide and all three editions of the Beckey guide) have not included any east side routes on the spires aside from the Priest-Coupe and Nesakwatch Notch routes. I'm not quite sure why.


Here is a photo from Sept 08. The route we climbed is in red and the line marked in the Culbert guide is in green.




I'm guessing we climbed a new route but we may have just repeated a 1970 route. Will try to find out more about this...


Anyways it went down like this:


J picked up me and Marc around 4:45 AM. We bypassed the gate via an ATV trail and drove Jesse's truck to directly below the Spires on the Centre Creek side. Crossed the creek on a log and bushwacked and snow-plodded up to the hanging glacier below the spires.


Shwackin' video:


Approaching Nesakwatch Spires From the East


It would have been better to cut over further let and follow the snow lying below the NE Ridge than it was to go up the central gully, which had some waterfalls and open sections that required bushwacking to pass. Anyways, we got to the base of the Priest-Coupe around noon and the schrund crossing was gaping so we got onto rock on the right side, 9 pitches to 5.9 later we ended up beneath the summit block at 7 PM, realizing we werre probably better off to go back down via Nesakwatch Creek than Centre Creek. Marc soloed up the offwidth while I held a rope for him to rap down with. J found the rappels.


Back down to the logging road before dark, and headlamps went on as clouds came in over Slesse and the rain started. We wandered down to by the gate then had an unequipped bivy next to a small fire for 5 hrs or so till it got light and cleared up. I had no hooded jacket so I slept with a scavenged Smirnoff Ice carton over my face to keep the rain off, it worked decently. Then ditched the packs and walked the final 13kms back to pick up Jesse's truck - 26 hrs total car to car.






In the morning








Nesakwatch Notch




On the way to the Priest-Coupe






Mixed scrambling to bypass the schrund





Climbing en route - p2, p2 and p6 respectively



The ghetto bivy setup.




Gear Notes:

Crampons, one ice axe would have been sufficient but we had 2 tools hoping for the Notch.


Light rock rack from small wire nuts to #3 Camalot. Double ropes.


Approach Notes:

Centre Creek has bridges replaced and gate can be bypassed by ATV trail - 4wd/hc to below Spires.


Good log in place to cross creek.


Nesakwatch Cr road is really good shape at the moment - rough 2wd, no gate. Bike stash would have worked well for the descent.

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