|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1100', Grade IV|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]|
|FA:||Buckingham, Gues, Page, and Wipple 1958|
|Submitted By:||Dr. Evil on Dec 9, 2007|
|Comments on Buckingham Route (easy version)||Add Comment|
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By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Feb 28, 2010
Getting to the top of the Snowpatch's North Summit, via this route, is a rare event. Rappelling down the east side into the icy chimney/col is extremely committing. The account below mentions leaving a fixed rope here. Without a fixed rope, if a party can not get up the C1 crack, then they will have to rappel Sunshine Wall!
If you make it up the aid crack, and get to the summit, there is no need to reverse the route today. Instead rappel the Becky-Greenwood/Super Direct .
Here is the first ascent story as told by teton guide Bill Buckingham
(FA SFaceDenali = gnarly dude, his friends too), AAJ, 1959:
"During the second week of July, Earle Whipple, Bob Page, Arnold Guess, and Bill Buckingham packed nearly a month’s food to Boulder Camp in the Bugaboos. For the next two weeks we familiarized ourselves with the area and climbed most of the peaks by their regular routes. On July 23 Page and Buckingham attempted the unclimbed north summit of Snowpatch Spire. From the Bugaboo-Snowpatch co1 we examined our proposed route on the northwest face near the north ridge. Starting a few feet south of the col, we climbed several pitches of jam-cracks and ledges towards the base of a smooth yellow tower on the north ridge. Here a small overhang gave access to a large easy chimney which paralleled the ridge for about 200 feet, eventually merging into the increasingly steep face above. From the top of the chimney we continued three more pitches up steep cracks and over thin, precarious flakes to a comfortable ledge at the base of a short, smooth wall. After several futile attempts we finally surmounted this little wall lby using two expansion bolts for direct aid. There followed a piton traverse to the left into an easy layback. There a short scramble brought us to the summit of a subsidiary pinnacle. The narrow gap beyond appeared most formidable, and because of the late hour we retreated, rappelling as we had come.
A couple of days later Page and Buckingham returned, reaching the previous high point in 31/2 hours from the col. We rappelled into the notch, leaving a fixed rope here for use on the descent. A piton traverse to the left brought us to a fine direct-aid crack which was climbed by the use of seven pitons to where it widened sufficiently to permit jamming for the last forty feet. Now at the base of the final tower, we easily climbed a long curving ledge on the east face. A short scramble brought us to our goal. In all we used two bolts and about 25 pitons, most of them for direct aid. After basking in the sun on the summit for half an hour, we descended the same route in ten long rappels, returning to camp at dark. This route was repeated the following day by Whipple and Guess."
Aug 24, 2011
The route and rappel descent was littered with slings and quick links when I was there August 2011. The guide suggests double ropes and we brought them, but I think you could probably make it down fine on a single 60 m assuming that all the stations we saw were sound. Bring a bit of spare webbing incase they aren't. The long raps gave us a lot of trouble with stuck ropes.
On one of the rap stations about 100 m down from the summit, there is a very large loose block held in place with some cord. It's probably a time bomb when that cord wears through.
By Roy Preshaw
Oct 5, 2013
|On 27 July 1990, Nils Preshaw and I rapped off the top into the gap at the top of the Gran-Hudson chimney. We then free climbed a 35 m open book containing old aid at 5.8: from this there is easy scrambling to the north summit, and then as noted above, you can rappel the Beckey Greenwood - which is fun, and offers little chance of rope hang ups. My advice would be never to try to rap back down this route, unless you find the open book iced up.|