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diggler

Slesse Northeast Buttress conditions/route beta??

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Anybody know if the Bypass Glacier has slid off this year (yet)? Also, how hard is the direct vs. the bypass start? Last thing, what is the best pro' for the direct (.10a?) crux? Thanks a lot!

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Climbed the NEB yesterday. The Bypass Glacier is mostly gone at this point, though still actively calving. We probably saw it release 4 or 5 times over the course of the day--small stuff, but nothing you want to be caught under. Move fast on those slabs! The N Slesse glacier is calving quite a bit of small stuff too, though unless you take a route to the buttress base underneath this glacier it shouldn't be of any concern.

 

Concerning pro for the direct bit. There are three points on the NEB where you can take the "direct" option. I assume you are talking about the headwall variation. The direct headwall variation had a pitch with some splitter 5.7 hand cracks, followed by some funkiness to a slung horn belay. The next pitch, which Beckey gives 10a, was intimidating looking but never that hard and surprisingly solid. We never found the thin crack crux in Beckey's description. The third pitch was mostly easy with a tricky move off the ledge midway up the pitch (5.9 maybe?). Overall the rock is solid, moves are generally protected, and I highly recommend the Headwall variation over what looked like 4 dirty pitches out on the face. We brought a rack consisting of a set of nuts, cams from blue mastercam to #3 C4 (doubles from .4-1), and ~12 slings. This rack was sufficient to protect everything we felt was hard and run out the easy stuff. Again, we never found a thin 5.10 crack on the headwall, so I can't comment on pro for that. I think we protected the funky move on the 3rd pitch of the headwall variation with the blue mastercam.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Kevin

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These photos are probably worth more than all my ramblings. The first is a closeup of the Bypass Glacier, the second is Slesse from the Memorial. Note that we did not have to get on any snow to access the bypass ramps

 

DSC01093.JPG

 

DSC01097.JPG

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