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Rad

[TR] SEWS - Passenger 8/15/2009

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Trip: SEWS - Passenger

 

Date: 8/15/2009

 

Trip Report:

Rain thwarted our plans to head for BC alpine rock, so we drove East on Hwy 20 instead. We spent a few hours dodging raindrops and getting spanked on Newhalem climbs on Friday. Here's an 11- on the left end of the wall, one of the easiest lines we found.

Newhalem_11-.jpg

 

Clouds gave way to stars overnight, and we psyched up for the Passenger on SEWS. We neglected to print good descriptions from Mr. Tooth and Mr. Sun. Red Fred got us there just fine via the Blue Lake trail instead of from here:

hairpin1.jpg

 

This is a truly OUTSTANDING route, with great climbing on every pitch on very solid rock. Lots and lots of sustained 5.10, but the 5.11 sections are short, protected, and could be aided. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

 

Descend from SEWS shoulder and traverse along the E wall until you get to an obvious large gully. Cross it and traverse the black line to the tree at the start of the route.

passenger_start.jpg

Looking up at the route.

passenger_from_near_the_start1.jpg

P1 is sustained finger crack goodness.

Passenger_p1.jpg

p1 roof (not the crux)

Passenger_p1_roof.jpg

Hoping and groping on the roof on p2.

Passenger_roof_p2.jpg

Wet fingerlocks leading up to a cool slot roof on p3.

Passenger_p3_roof.jpg

Fingerlocks from above.

Passenger_p3_finger_crack.jpg

p3 roof slot

p3_roof_slot.jpg

Slabosaurus.

Passenger_p4.jpg

Knuckle mantle downclimb jingus

Passenger_p4_again.jpg

Smearing and smiling.

passenger_p4_looking_down.jpg

 

 

P4 past the crux.

passenger_p4_past_the_crux.jpg

 

Cold belays bring out the bad dancers.

Passenger_p4_belay.jpg

Traverse entry to the 5.10 ramp - others do the bombay chimney above this, we later learned.

Passenger_p6.jpg

The icing on the cake.

Passenger_ramp_pitch.jpg

Awkward, wet, dirty, and very exposed moves on my lead. Still cool though.

Passenger_p7.jpg

Make a leftward traverse to a tree and then across to the final section. Pray the stacked blocks don't fall out.

Passenger_p8.jpg

The sunshine came out for only a few minutes while we were on route, but we had sunshine in our souls.Silver_Star_and_Wine_Spires.jpg

 

I'd say this is up there with CBR and the Grand Wall as one of the best routes I've done anywhere. Kudos to Burdo. It's totally doable for an 11- climber, particularly if you have a 20-something ropegun to lead the hard moves. Wish I'd drawn some of those leads, but I still had a blast and now have a reason to go back.

 

Gear Notes:

Mostly small gear. Doubles to #2 camalot, with extra finger sized pieces. One #3 camalot is useful for the last moves before the slot roof on p3. No larger gear needed.

 

Approach Notes:

Take Blue Lake trail to SEWS shoulder. Stash packs and approach shoes in tree, and take descending traverse along E wall. A large gully appears and then you cross it to get to the start. See pics

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The Passenger is easily one of the best lines at the pass.

 

Once you climb it, it's a great stand-by if you can't think of something new to get on at the spires.

 

Great to see that big daddy brandon is still getting out.

 

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The Passenger is easily one of the best lines at the pass. Once you climb it, it's a great stand-by if you can't think of something new to get on at the spires.

 

So how does the Hitchhiker compare in terms of quality?

 

Great to see that big daddy brandon is still getting out.

 

Not just getting out, he's getting it DONE!

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The hitchiker is good but not nearly as quality as the passenger. It's definetly a bit forced and wanders around a bit. The 11b trad crux is engaging and freeing the A0 section toward the top of the route is tricky. Good line but not so classic.

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Nice work!

 

We did the traverse instead of the bombay as well it kind of seems like the better option...how hard is the bombay?

 

Also did the right (wide) crack at the section you call awkward and dirty but can't say it wasn't awkward...

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I did this a couple of weeks ago in warmer and dryer weather. I would definetly rank it as one of the best and highest quality WA pass routes!!! Stellar fingers, hands, and face most of the way. I did the 5.10 traverse too, as it looked much cleaner than the bombay chimney. A "must do" and should be on every climbers list!

 

 

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We don't know how hard the bombay is as we didn't do it. It looked crumbly with poor feet and it is short. Climbing the face seemed like a more natural line. It's a bit runout but probably was only one 5.9 move and then easier than that up to the step across, which is protected.

 

Not sure where this wide crack is you mention. The part that was awkward was the wierd ramp with flaring jams and dirt/needles and the sheer drop to the left. One move involved crimping on a small feature, reaching way up to undercling the underside of a chockstone wedged into the dirt, kneeling on sloping pine needles, and then standing up. Actually, it was fine. This just needs some gardening and then it would be as good as the rest of the route.

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Great to see that big daddy brandon is still getting out.

 

 

Thanks Sol, I have been very much inspired by your trip reports. Keep us updated! Thanks again for the great climb fellas. I'll do it again anytime you want Rad. I need some revenge on the 2nd pitch, and you can lead the slab :)

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