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rat

first ascent [TR] pyramid peak - fra ne face--larson/wallace, III wi 5 (1 pt a0) 2/21/2010

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Trip: pyramid peak - fra ne face--larson/wallace, III wi 5 (1 pt a0)

 

Date: 2/21/2010

 

Trip Report:

wayne and i climbed a worthy variation to a minor obsession of mine on the ne side of pyramid peak. wayne was instrumental in getting us off the ground and things fell into place, so to speak, after that. we belayed 8 pitches to the junction with the north ridge then stomped up to the summit from there. five pitches were full value, the other three were change. hard to rate but the water ice crux seemed like a short but steep wi5 and was tough enough that wayne had to take a bit of rope tension to put in a screw and de-pump. the other pitches probably clocked in at snice/ice 4/4+ with some feet on the rock but i decline to give it any m-wtf grade just to keep things simple. expect runouts.

 

on the hopefully attached photo, the route is immediately right of the red line on the lower face and immediately left of it on the upper face. the photo was taken by retrosaurus (mm) on a previous spring attempt in the mid-2000's. we found conditions similar to what is shown on the photo. as you can see, a direct start is still in the offing.

 

i wrote this up as the fra of the ne face but am curious where the cotter-rusch route actually lies. the beckey bible says north face but having started up a route over there one spring, i never saw an chimney with "incipient ice". is it possible we repeated or did a variation to their route? anyone have some insight?

 

pyramid_ne_face_larson_wallace.JPG

 

Gear Notes:

nuts and cams to 3", kb's and la's, a handful of shorter screws and a specter.

 

Approach Notes:

thanks to the party who tramped in before us on saturday morning. you saved us a ton of effort.

Edited by rat

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Very cool guys! That area is so incredible, and I imagine that face must have been stellar. Good call leaving out an M-wtf grade, that M scale has always seemed a little out of place in Alpine routes to me.

 

:rawk::brew:

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Nice.

 

If the red line is not your line, ...what is it?

 

i think what he means is that the line they climbed is "next to" ie. not underneath, the red line (so yo can still see the detail of what they climbed on the photo w/o the line obscuring it)?

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nice work guys. when i was awoken in the tent around 7:30a that morning by the sounds of "OFF BELAY," i thought, huh? is someone climbing out there? unzipped the tent, peered over, and there you were. i could hardly believe what i was looking at. strong work on what appeared to be a daunting and imposing face. i'm glad our prints helped you out. i'll say this... it was tough trodding through that snow. i don't often tire, but i certainly was on this trip. we ended up bailing on our attempt for snowfield because of the traverse beneath the gully. next time!

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Jeez, thanks Iron and friend! Dont know if we could have made a good go of it w/o your huge effort. I am just torqued today as it was.

What a climb.

 

Pyramid1.jpg

Photo: courtesy of "Iron and friend" , pitch 3

 

The plan was so last minute, but the weather screamed for it. I managed to hook up a car pool partnership for the drive from Pullman. We were both not excited about our 3rd drive from there in the last few weekends. The pull of the plan was very compelling though. Beaus team was going after Colonial, and Rolf I and I were headed to Pyramid. Their Trip turned out pretty nice .

Rolfs plan was to go up a ways to the right of a route that I had always hoped to repeat some day. I wasnt expecting something so steep as this however. the intimidation factor was enhanced by the fact that we left a little too early and in the dark the steepness was terrifiying. Did not see much ice either. the first pitch was looking to be near vert the whole way, and to play beyond leaving a back off peice needed to be discussed. After seeing it in daylight however, it looked more doable. I took a whack at it knowing the second pitch was riddled with a couple of overhangs. (evillaugh)

The 2 start pitches set the tone for a heck of a ride as the 4th was a crazy vertical smear of thin ice and snow over rock. Rolf had a great lead on that pitch too. I moved the belay and got the dibbs on the crux icicles. They were undercut by small roofs and filled in with pillow snow. After excavating them away, It was pure campus up to the spot in between the icicles where I didnt have room to swing. I got real pumped after 15 attempted swings . once I pulled around to the first foothold, my arms were done. I remembered an clever trick Tim showed me that involved pulling your rope over the top of your axe to tension into a rest. I used it to place a screw and rest the rubber that had replaced my arms. .

Another stretch of steeps and Rolf got the last real lead to get to the deep snow simo-wallow the the summit. A truly incredible view from that peak for sure. A truly amazing route as well. Sorry no pics from me, but maybe Iron will help out with that.

 

Edit note... It is cool to come full circle. In feb-'03 David and I were coming down from Colonial, just as Bobs team was coming down from Pyramid. Now I helped a party hook up to do Colonial as we are doing Pyramid 7 years later.

 

 

Edited by wayne1112

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i wrote this up as the fra of the ne face but am curious where the cotter-rusch route actually lies. the beckey bible says north face but having started up a route over there one spring, i never saw an chimney with "incipient ice". is it possible we repeated or did a variation to their route? anyone have some insight?

 

Beckey Bible:

 

" Follow the arm through timber to the ne face cirque. Turn the N buttress to its west. A box chimney accesses the lower face near its center. A snow gulley leads to an ice ribbon that connect the lower face with the upper snowfield, the upper snowfeild lead to a final section of mixed climbing"

 

Sounds like they were way around the corner?P1000166_2.JPG

Edited by wayne1112

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That's some goddamn cool shit you done did, gents!! I've been pondering that thing for years, but too lazy to get on it; well done!

 

A friend and I did that N face route a while back. It does indeed start with a chimney around the corner that makes a nice funnel for the inevitable spindrift torrent. Your route is way steeper and cooler looking than the N face for sure.

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Nice tr Iron, just to allay your worries. the snow on the traverse was crotch deep w/o snowshoes. We came down it and could barely get one leg over the other.

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"It ain't over motherfuckes" starts about 300ft to the left, goes through the shaded "ramp" and then straight to the summit (3 harder mixed pitches). Coley, Chris and I did it in February of 2003, so it is a second route on the face (for the record)

3557Pyramid_Peak.JPG35572447pyramid.jpg

Congratulations, but I would like to keep the record straight, that it is not FA of the whole face, but a new route

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it was a poor choice of word ordering on my part. "fra" was meant to refer to the line wayne and i climbed, not the face itself.

 

wayne and marko, thanks for the additional info on the cotter/rusch route.

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Nice tr Iron, just to allay your worries. the snow on the traverse was crotch deep w/o snowshoes. We came down it and could barely get one leg over the other.

 

you came straight down the gully?

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Yes, it was scary from an avvy slope perspective and very deep snow. You made the right call.

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SHHWWEEETTTT!!!

 

Inspired by you guys and the guys on Colonial, took a day up on the N face of Colonial, got these pics of Pyramid.

 

 

PYRA-TREES.jpgPYRA-EAST.jpgPYRA-HWY.jpgPYRA-DAM.jpg3-PEAKS.jpg

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