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[TR] WA Pass - E. Face Lexington/Serpentine Crack 8/22/2011


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Trip: WA Pass - E. Face Lexington/Serpentine Crack

 

Date: 8/22/2011

 

Trip Report:

We climbed the E. Face Lexington as a party of 3 on Saturday. Conditions were great and not too many bugs on the route. Snow was soft enough to approach in tennies with a couple of rocks just in case. We started no the right side (thanks Sol!) which had quite a bit of loose rock, but was fairly easy. Then up the 5.7 slabs to some trees. Another short pitch brought us to the beginning of the 5.8 climbing. A long pitch brought us toot he huge roof. Up until this point we had been a half pitch off on everything (ie we stopoped int he middle of pitch 2, then the middle of pitch 3), but had found decent stances anyways. The 5.9 traverse pitch was great, I found it easier to go across with my hands but the other 2 walked across it (hard to remove gear). The offwidth was fantastic and the old rusty bolt in the topo is actually 2 shiney bolts. More fun climbing following wide cracks brought us to a semi-hanging belay and then 2 more pitches brough us to a short scramble to the pass.

Decent: We traversed South past the 2 first gullies to a 3rd (just before the obvious rock face S. of Lexington) which wasn't to bad. We kept heading SW towards NEWS and got on that trail out.

 

Sunday Ben and I climbed Serpentine Crack on Liberty Bell. The approach was fairly casual (the exposed 4th class is only a couple of moves to gain the crest). We started a bit too far left and ended up doing 2 pitches to get to the base of the crux crack. Ben styled the crack and I was happy to only hang twice. It was actually mostly hand jams, just steep and a bit awkward getting into the upper flare. We both agreed it was no harder than .11a/b. I took the .10+ pitch which was great although also soft (we thought .10a/b). Some 5.7-y climbing up and right lead us through a tunnel and then a belay past a couple of 5.8 moves let us simul to the summit.

A great climb that doesn't seem to get much traffic. Great gear the whole way and neither pitch is as bad as the Nelson guide makes it sound.

We brought a double rack to #4 with 3 #3 cams. We placed the #4 once but there was other gear around it, so probably fine to leave it at home.

 

I'll try to post pics later.

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Holy crap, that looks wicked hard (thus very French). Strong work boys and girl!! One of these days I will get back to honing the rock skills, but until then I can live through TRs like this one. 5.11 in the mountains?? Completely silly!

 

BTW Ben, I met your OB boss and co-workers on Eldo this weekend. Small world....

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