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hungryincos

[TR] Mt. Gimli - South ridge 9/15/2012

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Trip: Mt. Gimli - South ridge

 

Date: 9/15/2012

 

Trip Report:

After hearing a couple of friends talk about gimli a trip earlier this summer, I enlisted one my local climbing partners to do it with me.

 

We decided to go lite and do it car to car in a day. We drove up on friday from south of spokane. About 1/2 an hour north of spokane, I ran over a piece of metal and popped a tire so we spent the next hour and a half trying to find a tire place. We got the flat patched and were on our way. After getting a little lost on the road in, and almost not making it over a bad "two wheel drive" road up to the parking lot, we got to the trailhead about 9:30.

 

There was no one else in the parking lot. Though, when we woke up at 6:30 the next morning, 2 other parties had shown up overnight. We talked with them a little while fixing some breakfast. Only 1 of the groups were going to do the south ridge on mt gimli.

 

I was a little nervous as we had a BIG day ahead of us. The hike in is 3 miles with 2200 feet of elevation. The climb is a total of 10 pitches- done in 7 with 3 usually done simul-climbing.

 

We got to the base of the climb at about 9 and I started leading the first pitch around 10 after waiting for the party before us to start climbing the 2nd pitch.

 

We ended up topping out at about 2. The hike down was a little miserable (steep scree fields down and then a hike around and back up a somewhat steep headwall of scree back to the base of the climb where we had stashed our packs). We ended up getting back down to the car by 6 pm. 11 hours car to car.

 

Notable pitches:

 

The first pitch was definitely the most sustained. It followed a crack system up after a couple of slabby moves that went from good hands and fists to offwidth. Everyone said it was a little sandbagged at about 5.8, but I thought that was pretty spot on. The rock was good and we cruised it.

 

The 5th pitch was a pretty stellar 5.6 pitch up to the base of the crux of the climb. One of the descriptions of the route called it the best 5.6 pitch of alpine rock in the country.

 

My partner took the crux pitch- a really good crack in a dihedral up to a roof that you have to sneak around and pull over (5.10). It was a very committing move with your last pro (bomber big cams) below your feet. He crushed it. All trip reports we read said the drag was horrendous on this pitch. I guess if you don't place much gear, then the drag's not a problem.

 

He also took the 7th pitch, which was super airy as you are right on the edge of the ridge with 1000 feet of air underneath you. The moves weren't hard (5.6), but it was very committing and very airy. luckily there was a pin protecting the crux move of the pitch up and over a little hump right on the edge of the ridge.

 

I did want to pitch out the 8th, as it was easy, but still 5.3/5.4. I placed 1 piece and set up an anchor and gave him a hip belay when I reached the end of the rope. from there, we simul-climbed to false summit. Once down in the notch between the false summit and the true summit, we unroped and hiked to the top and down.

 

Of course, our car trouble wasn't over. Apparently somehow my battery died. Luckily there was a ranger truck up there as they were fighting a small fire in the area. We hung out for a while and they showed back up at their truck around 6:30 and jumped the car. We tried to stop off for gas in nelson, as we had about a 1/4 of a tank. We drove around nelson for about 15 minutes looking for a gas station and couldn't find one. So we took our chances and coasted into the next closest town's gas station which was luckily open. From there, it was a long, but uneventful, drive back. I'll post pictures once I get them edited.

 

 

Approach Notes:

The road up was alright except for about a 20 yard section of badly rutted out dirt. Was alright for 2 wheel drive with higher clearance, but would have appreciated all wheel drive.

 

The hike in was uneventful- good trail, good elevation gain, beautiful scenery. 2 hours moving at a good clip.

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It's a nice climb. I found that roof move to be real easy, but whatever, it was a nice position. I took the pitch after the roof and it was definitely my favorite of the climb. Fun times!

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