John Frieh Posted July 8, 2009 Share Posted July 8, 2009 Trip: Burkett Needle - West Ridge "Smash and Grab" (FA) Date: 7/4/2009 Trip Report: Summary: First Ascent of the west ridge of Burkett Needle on July 4th 2009. Dave Burdick and John Frieh: "Smash and Grab" 5.8 M4 IV. Burkett Needle courtesy of the great John Scurlock. The west ridge is the left hand skyline: Alternative view from north; west ridge is the right hand skyline: Itinerary July 3: SEA -> Petersburg, AK -> Burkett boulder -> High camp July 4: High camp -> west ridge -> summit -> rapped South Buttress Route -> high camp July 5: High camp -> Burkett boulder -> Petersburg Burkett Needle climbing history to date: 1964 - North Buttress (5.6) - Layton Kor and Dan Davis. August 9th. (1st Ascent and 1st Free Ascent) 1982 - attempt on the west side by Steve Monks and Damian Carroll. April/May 1995 - attempt on the South Face (V 5.9 A3 difficulty) - Joe Reichert, Gardner Heaton. March-April 1995 - South Pillar (V 5.10 A3+) - Greg Collum, Greg Foweraker, and Dan Cauthorn. May (2nd Ascent) 1999 - Le Voyage des Clochards Celestes (VI 7a+ A3+, ca. 1200m) on the south-east face - Lionel Daudet, Stbastien Foissac. May 29th (3rd Ascent) 2005 - attempt on the South Pillar by Carl and Bill. July 2006 - attempt on the South Pillar by Carl and Kale. July 2006 - attempt on the West Ridge by Dave Burdick and Micah Lambeth. July 2008 - South Pillar ascent to base of final 5.7 pitch by Zac and Nick 2009 - South Pillar ascent with a new three pitch free variation + 1 rappel that rejoins the South Pillar route above the aid pitch (5.10+) - Jens Holsten & Max Hasson. June 10th (4th Ascent) 2009 - West Ridge (IV 5.8 M4) - Dave Burdick, John Frieh. July 4th (5th Ascent) Pictures and prose: This trip was all Dave. Dave had the approach dialed from his last trip in 2006, stalked the daily NOAA updates and always immediatly called the both the chopper pilot Wally and local climbing guru Dieter Klose at the first sign of high pressure. It only took 3 years but he finally nailed a solid window I wasnt expecting a second trip to Alaska this year but the phone rang the Tuesday prior and in a little over 48 hours later I was sorting gear in Dave's garage. We were in Petersburg around 10:45 am on the 3rd... following a quick stop at the grocery story and lunch with Dieter we loaded up the chopper and a half hour later we were deposited at the Burkett boulder. We grabbed enough supplies for a few days, cached the rest and headed for a high camp on the ridge climbers left of the glacier. Drop point; Needle in the background One bag of chips or two? Approach stoke High camp. Radio tunes courtesy of a well positioned MSR windscreen We left camp the following morning @ ~6:30 am and minus a few crevasses to avoid and an almost lost ice tool were @ the base of the ridge with out incident around 9:30 am or so. Fat kids make better post holes Dave drafting; Devils Thumb in the background Can you feel the stoke yet? At the base of the ridge The ridge started with a mixed pitch before leading into clean granite. We changed into rock shoes and started simuling Let's get this party started More please Dave loving it... can you tell? Following a nice simul block we encountered enough snow on the ridge to warrant changing back into boots (this becomes a theme) From hand jams to ice tools A few mixed pitches took us to the top of the false summit. To be completely honest when I pulled over the top of the false summit I wasnt sure if the ridge was going to go. It looked hard... at least to this sucky climber. View from the false summit We rapped in to the low point in between the false summit and the true summit for a better look... from below it didnt look as bad and Dave stepped up to give it a go We changed back into rock shoes yet again It turned out the climbing was significantly easier that it appeared and Dave made quick work of the best pitch on the entire route Dave! Dave was nice enough to let me have the next one My turn Dave following I brought us to the final snow summit where guess what! We changed shoes yet again Boots for the summit 5th Ascent! We rapped the south buttress route per Zac's recommendation and the suspicion Jens and Max had beefed up all the rap anchors. Even though the rope got stuck 3 times this descent is the way to go IMO. We found the south buttress route topo was invaluable in assisting locate the next rap anchor. Hi jinxs Rapping the golden slab The highlight of the descent was rapping the severely overhanging A3+ aid roof pitch. Love the exposure Dave's turn We reached the base just after sunset. Speaking of... Done A quick stroll back down the glacier brought us back to the tent and a late dinner. Headed home The following morning we packed up and headed back down to the Burkett Boulder were we signaled Wally who promptly picked us up and whisked us back to Petersburg. Love the 3 day weekend! Shouting Out: - Dave for putting this together. He made it happen! - Dieter Klose for the beta, a place to dirt bag, rides and letting us browse his black book of climbs and history for the Stikine area. - Emily for the airport service and tracking the spot Gear Notes: We took: 1 tool per person crampons pins picket double rack to a #3 + 1 #4 c4 double set of nuts (one set was burned getting down) 50' of rap tat (used all of it + both our cordelettes) I'd recommend Double set -> 1 camalot + 2, 3, and maybe a 4 c4 double set of nuts (keep one set in the bag for getting down) lots of rap tat tool per person pons picket maybe??? better safe than sorry? Approach Notes: Wally is the man Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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