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Steph_Abegg

[TR] Liberty Crack - Grade V, Class 5.9 - A2 8/2/2009

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Trip: Liberty Crack - Grade V, Class 5.9 - A2

 

Date: 8/2/2009 - 8/3/2009

 

Trip Report:

On our way to go climbing in the Valhallas (BC), Clint Cummins and I stopped at Liberty Bell to climb Liberty Crack. We fixed the first three aid pitches on August 2nd, and climbed the entire route on August 3rd.

 

Despite the sunny and bugless summer weather, we were the only party on this classic line. Another fun climb with Clint!

 

As usual, I've posted a full trip report with lots of photos on my website:

http://sabegg.googlepages.com/libertycrack

 

Here are a few photos:

 

Photo overlay of route:

IMG_4466route2.jpg

 

Clint aiding Lithuanian Lip on Pitch 2:

DSCF2025crop.jpg

 

Steph free climbing 5.9 crack on Pitch 4:

IMG_6377.jpg

 

Again, here is the link to the full trip report with lots of photos on my website:

http://sabegg.googlepages.com/libertycrack

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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With two 60m ropes would it be possible to fix the 1st 4 pitches? Possibly scramble to the top of the 3rd/4th class ledges?

TIA

:wave:

 

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With two 60m ropes would it be possible to fix the 1st 4 pitches? Possibly scramble to the top of the 3rd/4th class ledges?

 

It might work with the scrambling you describe, but I think that scrambling is a little harder than 3rd/4th class. I'm going to change the topo of the approach pitch to 5.4 on the L side. The R side looks harder; maybe 5.6? The scrambling might be easy enough in rock shoes, but in approach shoes with a pack (for easier jugging) it would be trickier.

 

We did reach with one 60m lead rope from the top of (3), anchor at (2), over the Lithuanian Lip, anchor at (1), and then dangle the lead line another 10' below that, so that when we tied in our 8.1mm second rope, it did not have to run over the edge of the stance ledge.

 

p4 is 70' and p1 is 100', so that leaves 30' of rope to reach towards the ground in the R side of scrambling. It's probably about 50' to the ground there, so about 20' of scrambling.

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With two 60m ropes would it be possible to fix the 1st 4 pitches? Possibly scramble to the top of the 3rd/4th class ledges?

 

Here's a photo from the base of the route, showing the low 5th section you could scramble. The 5.11 starts about 3/4 of the way up the photo, at the base of the right-facing shadowy section. When we fixed the first 3 pitches with 2 60m ropes, we had a bit of a tail on the ground (can't remember exactly how much). I think the 4th pitch is a bit longer than the initial scramble, but there is a good chance you would just reach the top of the low 5th if you fixed from the top of the 4th pitch (can anyone confirm this?). Certainly with 2 70m ropes....

 

DSCF2046.jpg

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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Just take a single 60 and climb it in a day, it's not that hard to do. French free the first pitch. The 2nd and 3rd pitch are the only aid and are 30M each.

 

A single 60 will get you off if you need to retreat.

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In a day with one 60m is certainly a good way to do it, if you can drive up the night before, and are fast enough on the aid. That's the way I did it my first time. If you had to bail with one 60m, it looked like the only tricky anchor might be on p5, which is longer than 30m, but there are some slung blocks/flakes to the climbers left of the big corner.

 

Fixing is probably a good strategy if you unsure of your speed on aid. Another option is to do some aid pitches elsewhere to get faster on aid.

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Dare to ditch the pack and the 2nd rope, that's what slows you down and makes it take 2 days.

 

Helly Hansen raingear, single layer impermeable urethane, instead of heavier Gore-tex. Roll up and clip to the harness.

 

the 5th pitch does have a slung flake anchor midway.

 

on your topo the belay you have marked as #7 is a decoy. It's an old anchor used to rap to a bivy ledge. The real anchor is the one you have above that's marked as alternate. So instead of a 25M pitch you get a 40-45M pitch.

 

Practice aiding and cleaning roofs, they are difficult, time consuming if you don't know the technique.

 

the left side of the start is def easier.

 

only 1 pair of aiders and jumars between both climbers. The 2nd jumars with slings on the jumars, then after the aid each carries 1 aider and 1 jumar. The new slider style aiders are lighter and climb higher with each placement meaning quicker and less gear needed.

 

Don't weigh down the rack either. Normal rack to #3camalot, doubles of finger size cams to maybe a .75camalot, maybe a few more small nuts and HB offsets. I've never taken a hook.

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I think that scrambling is a little harder than 3rd/4th class. I'm going to change the topo of the approach pitch to 5.4 on the L side. The R side looks harder; maybe 5.6? The scrambling might be easy enough in rock shoes, but in approach shoes with a pack (for easier jugging) it would be trickier.

 

That's cool, I agree. I used your topo when I climbed the route (and it's good) but had heard the bottom is harder than suggested. When I got there I looked at it... and roped up.

 

It's the Beckey guide that calls it 3rd class, isn't it? They just don't make hardmen like they used to, I guess.

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A single day push was our initial plan when we were looking at it a few weeks ago and got rained out :P

 

We'll probably head out next weekend. Neither of us are aid superstars or have roof experience, and we've lost a little daylight since then. So we were thinking the 2-day option would give us a little more margin.

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Doing it in a day this time of year is assuming you know the descent in the dark. At least from the gully or so.

 

the first time I did it we fixed 3 pitches and still ended up in the dark on descent.

 

at least 2 qts water per person, unless it's a really cool day, if you only take 1 you will be thirsty

 

you can cut quite a bit off the trail if you go straight when it takes a hard left along the hiway. Right as it starts to flatten a bit, if you listen you will hear the cars, road is about 100 yds away, cuts a mile west down to the trail head and a mile back east on the road if you left the car by the pond start.

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It's actually not a bad climb if you know how to be fast and efficient. My husband and I just did it last weekend, did the ascent in less than 8 hour even though we got stuck behind a slower party for 4 pitches. Most of the aid pitch are fixed and bolt ladder and upper pitches are very moderate. Check out our TR.

http://joannestamplis.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/washington-pass-liberty-crack/

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Joanne, you say "Most of the aid pitch are fixed and bolt ladder..." but your web site mentions no bolt ladder. Are there really bolts on Liberty Crack now? Please say "No".

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There's a lot of fixed gear on lib crack, espescially on the lith lip pitch. I also seem to remember a short bolt ladder on one of the aid pitches. 8 hours is a very good time on Lib Crack - nice job Joanne!

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Are there really bolts on Liberty Crack now? Please say "No".

 

Here's a photo of the bolts near the top of the 2nd aid pitch of Liberty Crack. You'll be glad to have them at the time!

 

IMG_6360.jpg

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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lib_crack.JPG

 

I found this to be the best and most direct start some 5.9 face moves protected with some small brass gets you up to where you can traverse right to easier climbing. The corner to the right that Clint shows would be a lot harder than 5.6 I think with no gear.

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Yeah, the face holds on that direct start looked tempting. But with the lack of obvious pro, I knew it would be easier/faster for me to do the 5.4 around the left side. Other topos show the right side as 4th class, diagonalling from lower right to upper left. So maybe that starts further right? I dunno, it didn't look easy or well protected so I've done the left side both times.

 

If the little corner is a lot harder than 5.6, then the concept of "scrambling" up 20' to reach ropes fixed from the top of p4 is probably not going to work out very well. So I changed it on the topo to "5.7?" ....

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Yes, the lip pitch has mostly fixed gear and bolt ladder after the lip. I think I placed maybe 3 pieces total on that pitch. We almost wish someone will retro bolt the 3rd pitch due to the crappy copper heads you have to aid on but I guess it gives the route a character.

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Those heads are really not so bad. A couple of frayed cable strands, no big deal. It's when say 2/3 of the strands are broken that things get interesting! With the fixed pins below and bolt in the middle for pro, you are not even risking much of a fall.

 

The pitch is A3 if the fixed gear is not in place; to have bolts there instead would defeat the purpose of aid climbing. (The purpose in my view is to place or inspect the gear and move up carefully; not just to cheat past the free climbing in the easiest way possible).

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