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Rad

first ascent [TR] Mile High Club - new route near Vesper

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to clarify for everyone else, the injury was simply an accident and not really related to the route itself. the climb seems pretty safe. most of the belays are protected from rockfall and we got rid of a couple blocks since we knew nobody was in the gully. overall it's a great new route. the grade seemed about right, it's well bolted and the pitches are all good enough that you don't need to fight for who gets which (although we did anyway).

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Two simple cautionary comments based on our experience and what I've heard:

 

1 - Top rappel (p7). If you try to rap straight to the p6 anchor from the summit anchor you set yourself up for a short pendulum across the lower face that may swing you into a flake. Instead, rap down to the obvious flake climber's right of the belay, lower yourself along it, then walk left to the belay. Don't un-rope until you're connected to the anchor.

 

2 - Bottom rappel (p1). The ledge at the start/bottom of the route is still several hundred feet above the talus and there are some exposed spots near the base of the route. It might be wise to walk back to the starting bolt while still on rappel. You can pull the rope from the starting bolt position.

 

Be safe. Have fun.

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Based on the length of the pitches and the fact that you specified a 70m rope, I assume this cannot be safely rappelled with a 60m? Was thinking of heading up there this weekend to give it a go, but I think I'll need to find a rope to borrow.

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Based on the length of the pitches and the fact that you specified a 70m rope, I assume this cannot be safely rappelled with a 60m? Was thinking of heading up there this weekend to give it a go, but I think I'll need to find a rope to borrow.

 

You cannot rappel the route with a single 60 meter rope unless you use some variation of tag line techniques.

 

Basically, you tie slings or cord on one end of the rope (in this case you'd need >10 meters worth), tie a knot in the rope at the new mid-point (35 meters if you've added 10 meters of slings/tagline to a 60 m rope). Wedge the knot against the anchor rings (all Fixe ring anchors on this route). Clip the knot to the other strand so you don't somehow pull the knot through the anchor. Clip your rap device onto the full length rope segment (weight to test BEFORE unclipping from the anchor) .Rap on a single strand of rope on the long rope end (not the tagline end)(tie a knot so you don't go off the end accidentally). Rap. Clip into the next anchor. Pull the tag line/sling end to retrieve your rope. Easy. But if you screw it up you could die. You should NOT try it for the first time 6 pitches up an alpine route. Go get it wired in a safe setting and find a better source of information than me. This is a useful trick to have in your toolkit anyway.

 

Or just borrow a 70 meter rope.

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That's what I figured. Thanks for the reply, and yeah, knowing how to use a tag line is a good skill to have for sure. I think I'll just borrow a rope though.

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A great route with thoughtful protection. The rock was mostly solid with some really fun movement. A future classic for sure! Thanks to Darin and Rad for the vision and work!

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Looks like a great line, and a lot of hard scrubbing for both of you

 

I don't want to arm chair quarterback here, but I see in the pictures that there seems to be plenty of spots for gear next to some of your bolt placements. Perhaps a mixed line on such a route might have discouraged eager folks with less experience from perhaps getting in over their heads up there. Pretty committing location for alpine sport climbing, in my humble, unsolicited opinion.

 

 

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I don't want to arm chair quarterback here

 

As I mentioned above, I'll write up more on this route in a separate thread. Feel free to express your opinions there. Thank you for keeping this thread clear of bolting debates.

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I don't want to arm chair quarterback here, but I see in the pictures that there seems to be plenty of spots for gear next to some of your bolt placements. Perhaps a mixed line on such a route might have discouraged eager folks with less experience from perhaps getting in over their heads up there. Pretty committing location for alpine sport climbing, in my humble, unsolicited opinion
:tup:

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3 more ascents today, Oct 3rd. Great time was had by all. Super fun route. We did watch some natural rockfall occur at random from the top of the gully to the right of the route. Exploded all over that approach gully, but all three teams were on the route and safe. Take the FA team's advice and wear a helmet and move quickly through there.

 

And the secret at the top... very provocative and titillating. I'll say no more!

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is there a popcorn maker up there w/ a 2 mile extension cord on it? :)

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Thanks guys for all the work on an awesome route! We were one of 3 parties that summited yesterday (10/4). Given the shorter days we reached the summit just before sunset and had fun rapping down with headlamps!

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glad you guys made it down...we were rambling down the trail after being party number... 5 or 6(?) up Ragged Edge. Saw you guys rapping (pre-headlamp) silhouetted against the sunset.... looked like a long way down yet!

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Yep, it absolutely was a long way down. The raps went pretty slow so it turned into a longer day than we were expecting, but all the stations were easy to find in the dark so it wasn't too bad. I will say that the climb doesn't seem to handle heavy traffic well due to limited space at a few of the belay stations, so if you're planning on climbing this factor in some padding for delays on busy days.

 

Other than that my partner and I had a blast climbing it.

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Here's my trip report for June 2016 (first party up there this season):

https://sites.google.com/a/stephabegg.com/website/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/milehighclub

 

If you are looking for a pretty low commitment day of "alpine cragging," this is a good route to consider.

 

Starting up Pitch 1:

27755585742_4cb45911a0.jpg

 

Climbing en route:

27822675316_43c66155f6.jpg

Edited by Steph_Abegg

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I'm honored and surprised you would dump my route overlays right into your website. But then again I learned everything I know from (imitating) you.

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Nice! The forecast is for 6" of snow on top of Vesper in the next 24 hours, so it might be even more alpine tomorrow...

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Just climbed this today. It certainly scratched all of the alpine itches: exposure, wildness, views, solitude (only party up there). Really fun pitches with the dihedral topping the cake for me. There is still a good amount of loose holds and flakes (P4 flake that you stand on isn't long for this world).

 

It has the alpine weather too. We charged up it while MHB was shrouded in mist and didn't feel a drop of rain through the partly sunny sky until the summit. By the end of the first rappel it had begun to rain. By the second rappel it was hailing and thundering. Third and fourth rappel we were rapping in a waterfall with the sky lighting up within a mile of us. At one point my partner felt a warming in his arms and his hair started to stand. Not my favorite place to be covered in metal doo-dads. The descent gully was also a waterfall and some pretty powerful flash streams washed out some upper portions of the main trail.

 

We made it down fine and with all the storming and drenched rappels we were car to car in 9 hours. 2 hours each way hiking, 3.5 climbing, 1.5 wet rappelling (didn't need the intermediate rappel on P3 either, a 70m got us to the ledge where we could walk to the next station).

 

Thanks for putting this up! It's a pretty stellar route and I really don't think it would make sense as a mixed route. The few natural protections spots are a pretty dicey mixture of unattached blocks and flakes with some excellent cracks.

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Climbed the route a few days ago and had a great time getting into an area I often overlook. Those moves out onto that arete were awesome! Fun stuff, thanks for the vision and hard work.

 

Quick note; a nut on one of the anchor bolts at the top of the dihedral pitch is loose. I tightened it down the best I could with what I had on hand, but it could use a proper tightening down if anyone is heading up that way and is inclined to carry a small wrench.

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