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elliottwill

[TR] Mint Glacier - Triplemint North Buttress 9/3/2010

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Trip: Mint Glacier - Triplemint North Buttress

 

Date: 9/3/2010

 

Trip Report:

This route is so close and cool-looking from the Mint Hut I thought it would be worth posting up here so more people can experience it (and figure out a better way of descending :)

 

 

Go up the glacier to where you see a gully of loose, light colored 3rd class rubble that goes up to the skyline. Bring crampons and an ice ax. Snow gives good footing for crossing the bergshrund and getting onto the rock. You have to get off the ice and onto the rock up-glacier of the gully, then traverse / climb up to it, to avoid the cliffs and crevasses directly under it. Start climbing at the top of the gully, following the skyline east toward the summit:

 

1) blocky stuff to a mossyy ledge with a nut and sling anchor.

2) first, a system of low angle thin cracks, then more blocky stuff over and out of sight of the belayer, to a little saddle.

3) more blocky stuff. I don't remember this one well but you go to our two nut rappel anchor on the downridge side of a big bump. Then belay your second over this bump and down just a bit into the next saddle with a huge boulder, and set up the next belay there.

4) climb and traverse along the north side of the ridge on light colored rock to get around the steep pillar in front of you, and continue to a smaller saddle— or notch really.

5) an almost vertical (like a climbing ladder against a house) 5.6 pillar with a truly monstrous detached flake at the top. You need a #4 cam to protect the last 12' because you have to sort of stem / lieback up the crack / corner offered by the flake. Continue above that monstrosity to an au cheval ridge, extending a #3 cam to avoid lots of rope drag as you go sideways to the last 6' before the sunny (hopefully), mossy summit.

 

to descend:

 

1) Rappel the route. Look for our nut and sling anchors. Our ropes got stuck twice.

2) Walk down the gully. About 40m from the ice and directly above where you probably left the glacier is a boulder slung for a rappel. Rappel the last 3rd / 4th class part of the gully, rappel over the bergshrund and crevasses, and get as far down the glacier as you can. It would be tricky to downclimb all this but possible; we came down in the dark and didn't want to downclimb over the crevasses, etc., w/o crampons.

3) step from rock to rock, frozen in the ice, to get down to the middle of the glacier. Continue directly across the glacier. Eventually in the dark (or sun, hopefully) you'll see the other side. It has nice rocks and no crevasses. Walk down these rocks, rubble, sand, and boulders 'til you are off the glacier, then head on to the Mint Hut.

 

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

gear: 2 ropes, nuts including little ones and giant ones, cams including a #4 if you have it, lots of cord for rappelling, crampons and ice ax. We didn't sling many horns because most were loose. We started climbing at 10am and were on top by 4pm, so that's probably the maximum it would take. Despite the loose stuff, this was really fun, with a very memorable last pitch. It's 5th class from top to bottom and the last pitch is exposed down to the glacier.

 

Approach Notes:

see photos:

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/elliott.will/NorthButtressTriplemint?feat=directlink

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And a nice route once again! :tup: Congrats!!! Now that you've climbed this and the Montana Norwand what's next?

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Ha! What's next depends on if I can find people to climb with. I'm going to school out of state so I'm home for such short periods. So, ANYONE, feel free to PM.

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