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NDrake

[TR] Prusik Peak - West Ridge 5/29/2016

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Trip: Prusik Peak - West Ridge

 

Date: 5/29/2016

 

Trip Report:

Did the through hike of the enchantments on Sunday with the intention of busting out the west ridge of Prusik on the way. Weather was great all morning, firm snow on Asgard made for easy travel with pons.

 

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Got to the base of the route a bit after noon and the wind picked up heavily. After belaying my partner on the first pitch I could barely feel my hands. I was wearing a thin puffy vest and puffy belay jacket, still climbing in them. The wind was not letting up.

 

PJ had built a belay on a wide ledge system down the north side, before you bump up to the ridge. I led out from here and through some snow from the night before. The crack system had some ice in it, I ended up placing all but two of the nuts we brought, something about cams in icy cracks doesn't inspire confidence. While I was pondering the coefficient of friction between aluminum and ice it began snowing. Lightly snowing, but sideways. I belayed PJ up to the large flat area of the ridge before that last bump to the 7 slab.

 

We both commented on the ominous clouds coming in fast from the west, just then I could faintly hear Kirsten yelling from further back on the pitch. Something about weather is terrible and maybe not feeling her feet (it's way too damn cold for rock shoes, I was really happy to have worn approach shoes for the climb). I wasn't worried about being able to complete the route safely, but I pondered how much the rest of the through hike would be in driving snow/sleet/rain. We agreed to bail. I belayed PJ back to the slung block on P1, he brought me over, and we all did a single rope rap.

 

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The weather never did end up turning, but that didn't make the hike out snow creek any better.

 

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Gear Notes:

Axe recommended for traverse back to pass after rap. Consider pons if cold.

 

Approach Notes:

Snow begins at lake level of Asgard.

Expect snow to remain on North side of Prusik, plan for the steep snow traverse back to the pass after your rappels.

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It should still be there for next time. Thanks for posting, lets everyone know what the conditions are up there!

 

thanks!

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It should still be there for next time. Thanks for posting, lets everyone know what the conditions are up there!

 

thanks!

 

I did the west ridge last year, so it wasn't hard for me to bail. I felt sorry for Remy and PJ though, they were visiting from the bay area. We were trying to give them a good alpine climbing experience.....it's just not the same when you don't hit the summit!

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Heading there next week. Good to know about the condition! Thanks!

Edited by Tim S.

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Tim, how was your trip to Prusik? Thinking about heading up there in a couple of days and would appreciate a quick update on the conditions.

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Tim and Zaher- same here- any updates on conditions are appreciated! Specifically snow on approach- do-able in approach/running shoes vs boots?

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Just did Prusik Peak West Ridge route yesterday (July 2nd 2016). The snow is mostly melted off Aasgard pass, but there is still a lingering snow field that required us to put on microspikes and use our ice axes for safety.

 

To get off Prusik Peak we rappelled the standard North face route with a single 60 meter rope. I counted 6 belay stations, and at the very bottom there is a static traversing rope that someone left behind... of course we noticed this after all of us did the sketchy snow traverse. We wish we had brought ice axe and microspikes for the traverse back to the start of the West Ridge route.

 

Note that one of the rappels was just barely doable with a 60 meter rope and required us to finish that rappel and walk to the next belay station... so 70 meter rope is probably a little safer.

 

Note that for the approach we used running shoes and micro spikes.

 

Strava activity (date is wrong since the watch went dead on me... see the description): https://www.strava.com/activities/628288563

Edited by Brian Maher

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I'll just throw in my two cents for another perspective -- my partner and I climbed the West Ridge and the Beckey Davis routes on Prusik last weekend. We felt fine going over Aasgard in approach shoes and a trekking pole.

 

We also rapped with a single 60m rope and did the 15' of 4th class downclimbing then walking to the one of the stations, as Brian Maher mentioned. To avoid that, take the second rap station to skier's right on the first rap off the summit.

 

After the raps, the snow was definitely steep but quite soft (and between our two climbs/two days, the melt was noticeable) and we used the static line to go skiier's left/west/back to the base of the west ridge route. The static line is wrapped and tied around a block on one side and it's knotted and jammed in a crack in a block on the other -- not bomber IMO. From there, my partner and I scrambled up and then were able to stay on rocks (2nd/3rd class) back to the base of the West Ridge route. The bit of snow traverse that we had to do was OK for us to do carefully -- we didn't feel that traction or poles/axes were necessary for us.

Edited by Alisse

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We also rapped with a single 60m rope and did the 15' of 4th class downclimbing then walking to the one of the stations, as Brian Maher mentioned. To avoid that, take the second rap station to skier's right on the first rap off the summit.

 

 

That rap station likes to snag ropes when pulling. It's got a nasty constricting crack below it. I cleared another parties rope for them, knew I should *probably* just ascend back to the higher tat with the down climb. Thought I'd get lucky. Partner got to lead up/down that stupid face to get ours.

 

*edit* I went back to Prusik a few weeks after this, did not rappel from the summit this day.

Edited by NDrake

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