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[TR] St Paul - Northeast Arete 7/2/2009


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Trip: St Paul - Northeast Arete


Date: 7/2/2009


Trip Report:

I'm on the tail end of my first summer vacation and I wanted to go do something a touch different. I first saw this arete after scrambling Rock Peak and St Paul peak in 03'. Next thing I knew there was a book out and a route description, sweet.


This will not be a blow by blow TR. However, there are some things that I noticed that may be of use to you/your team when you venture out to do this puppy.


If you own a short wheelbase passenger car you could make it to the trailhead with some very patient driving. Tires that are at the beginning of their life cycle and a spare with air in it would be a good choice before venturing up the road to cliff lake. As of yesterday you could drive to within .25 miles of the trailhead.


The approach to the saddle between Rock and St Paul takes about an hour. I brought rope for the Rappel off the notch, just not enough. A 50m single would probably do it but I had a 20m capability. However, I did manage to make it into the East Face of St Paul by way of 3rd/4th class scrambling. If you had done a nice flat contour from Cliff lake you would intersect the ridge near a point where a fairly wide ledge cuts across the East Face of St Paul. Right now it is covered in snow, ice axe/self arrest pole would've been nice. The ledge eventually peters out in a touch of 4th class downclimbing. This section of rock was slick due to runoff. It would likely be dry in August or later.


Thaddeus Laird's route description is accurate and easy to use. The rock climbing on the arete is fairly straight forward. Typical of most alpine routes, don't get hung up on finding the exact features the author describes. I found that when I was confused I chose the line up that looked the best and was near the crest. The crux pitch, pitch 3, is interesting and can be climbed in mountain boots and looked like it would protect well. I chose rock shoes for the security.


Overall, it took me a couple hours to get up this thing. Pitching it out would take most of the day. If you are looking for a long rock climb that is clean and every pitch is something that you would climb if you encountered it at the local crag, then you best move over a drainage and climb Ojibway. St Paul is an alpine climb, in an excellent position, with spectacular views, and it has all of the associated route finding challenges and terrain variations that make alpine climbing fun.


The crowds will be at Cliff lake sunning themselves. You'll likely be the only one on this route.


Gear Notes:

Extra slings for tie offs. Single set of nuts and friends would be plenty.

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