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Liberty Ridge update and climbing permits issues

Al filo

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We had several TR for this route and may be people still planning to climb it, therefore some updates from the recent conditions (route completed yesterday 01 July):

- Carbon Glacier: from the two tracks on the glacier, take the lower. The upper route soon will be impracticable, we crossed a snow bridge which soon will fall and the route finding will be difficult.

- Thumb rock access: Get there as early as possible (I will recommend before 10am if it is as warm as last weekend), later, somebody is determined in throwing microwaves down the mountain.

- Ridge conditions: the bare ice almost disappeared, with last warm-up even the tracks from previous teams sometimes helping and sometimes even doing difficult to progress due to soft snow, even better to make new track at some point. The upper snow ramp, where previously reported bare ice, now is a perfect stair path without any ice. We used only two ice screws at upper summit cap, above schrund, climbing on the right to give us some fan finishing the route, and two pickets.


And now a refection about the climbing permits:

I arrived to White River ranger Station on Friday at 5:00 pm asking for the climbing permit to start next day, the first response was to deny, reasons no camp spots available, that only it is available permit for !!one person!! and no for two, too many people, he issued all the permits allowed for the route... the rules are the rules... but,… as I am not use or prepared to accept the first response, I asked for consideration, to think that the people is moving, the permits issue in the morning would be for teams spending night in Curtis Ridge and we are one day behind (I conclude it is clear in the climbing permit where it is intended to spend each night at the mountain and the rangers should look at that, it appears that was not prepared to consider). After some conversation and questioning the difference to issue permit for one person or for two, that we can be prepare to make additional camp spot if necessary, etc… I got the permit and I had to thank the consideration.

Result: we were totally alone in the mountain; one day ahead it appears there were four teams in the route but not in our schedule (what I tried to explain the ranger having a hard time).

Conclusion: What it would happen if we accept the first response and we go home?. What it will happen in similar situations with the dreams of people coming from far away to do the route and the rules without foundation spoil the trip?...

One last complaint: When I saw a gel wrapper on the tracks, I thought,… the wind, it happens to all of us,… when I saw the second for an energy bar, I was a bit upset,… when I saw the third, I said, pigs. Please do not litter the mountain; it is not so additional weight for your packs.


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No less, someone left a very large (Nalgene sized) deuce at the poop rock at Curtis Ridge. DUDES, grab blue bags and use em. I don't care if you ate three mountain house and delivered a 2 lb baby to the rocks. Pick your s*it up and take it back to a can, ok? I don't care if you're doing a carry over, take your crap home.


Ok, now that that is stated... It seems that the "camp regions" on the mountain are probably much of the problem you've run into. I was with a guided group on the route last week in the bad weather and we barely made the base of the ridge. So glad you folks got up and over and found some interesting conditions. We had a few issues with the Ranger as well because we delayed a day due to weather conditions. Furthermore, we also contacted the park and told them about the reschedule and thought it was handled. However, the ranger at White River did challenge our permit a bit. I honestly think, and rightly so, that the park is in a constant state of worry about teams in the remote area of the ridge simply because of the percentage of rescues from bad decision making and/or immaturity on the route.


Anyhow, I'm gonna give it a shot again next year with a guided group - it's actually kind of nice to have a guide go to battle with a ranger for your permit. Meant that I could focus on which powerbar wrappers I'd drop on the trail first (kidding).

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I arrived to White River ranger Station on Friday at 5:00 pm asking for the climbing permit to start next day, the first response was to deny, reasons no camp spots available, that only it is available permit for !!one person!! and no for two,

Your best options if there are no camping permits available:

1. Don't camp, do it C2C - in the straightforward conditions as they were over the last weekend, it is doable.


2. Camp in the "Carbon alpine zone" at 8600' by the toe of the ridge instead of the Thumb Rock. On snow, but so what? I was issued one of those permits for that infamous last weekend.


3. Climb the route midweek.

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im sure many people have done it with skis and likely without skis, from C2C, maybe you have no time on your hands, if you like to go fast thats your decision. maybe no the mtn you dont have much time as conditions worsen but what ever happened to taking your time and relaxing a bit, take in the scenery?

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Eiger North Face, done in 2h 28m.

Grandes Jorasses North Face, done in 2h 21m.

Matterhorn North, done in 1h 56m

Shisha Pangma, done in 10h 30m.

Aconcagua from Horcones round trip, done in 15h.

Rainier, recently done round trip from Paradise less of 4h...


Of course can be done many great times, who want to play and enjoy that game, good for them, each one enjoy the mountain as he wants. To me, for running to the Olympic Games and alpinism (since when I started more than 30 years ago) is something different; it is to enjoy the sun set, enjoy with a friend/partner the mountain, enjoy a mutual passion during the weekend, release some adrenalina to go back to work fresh. That is what I mean with good luck, no that can not be done and I am pretty sure that in the area there are very good and well talented climbers as you, Loren able to do. I have a great respect for the people with such qualities, but I need to take my time.

Many TR only pointing the timing done and no the conditions and advises for helping other climbers


We are diverting the subject from the people littering the mountain and the issue with the permits, restricting access, sometimes without clear ground or defined objective. I am leaving in the area and I can come back at any time, but some people is coming from far away and I read that their trip was spoiled (I thought on them when I was in the situation).

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