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Shark's Nose
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Direct Northwest buttress T 
Direct Southwest Face T 
NW Buttress T 
West Face T 

Direct Southwest Face 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1100', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Fred Beckey, Yvon Chouinard, Ken Weeks 1960
Season: Summer
Page Views: 1,357
Submitted By: Tim Wolfe on Jan 3, 2013

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BETA PHOTO: Tyler follows the wild & airy traverse to the N su...

Description 

Approach: Hike up the talus along the base of the West face to the point where the buttress bends around onto the south face. At this point there is a 10-12 foot wide low angle chimney that leans to the right.
Pitch 1 – Third class: You can third class this chimney for 80 feet or you can walk around the south side and up the gully and then scramble up onto the face at the top of the chimney. From this point continue scrambling up on very loose 3rd class terrain another 40-50 feet to a point where you can set up a belay at the base of a right leaning right facing corner.
Pitch 2 – 5.6 160 feet: Climb the right leaning, right facing, loose corner for another 50-75 feet until it ends. Exit up left onto a low angle face and climb up and left towards more right facing corners until you are nearing the end of the rope and can find a decent belay.
Pitch 3 – 5.6 160 feet: Climb a short distant further to an obvious, clean, beautiful right facing corner that leans left. A finger crack on the left wall takes gear and assists with the climbing. Climb to the top of this corner then work up and left and choose a ledge for a belay.
Pitch 4 – 5.7 160 feet: Look up – there is a roof 200 feet above with a break through it and a thin crack going up to and through this break with a shallow right facing corner intersecting the roof just to the left of the break. Head towards this roof climbing weaknesses up the corner until close to the roof and then traversing on a ramp across the face to cracks just below the weakness in the roof. Belay in a pod.
Pitch 5 – 5.9 140 feet: Climb straight up from the pod to the roof in a shallow left facing 6 inch corner with a thin crack just to its right. Thin moves lead up and slightly right then above the roof in a small crack. Climb a few more moves up and right to another belay in a pod. Small cams ¼ to ½ inch and wires are helpful on this pitch.
Pitches 6 & 7 – 5.7 to 5.8 range: Multiple options exist to the summit. We climbed up slightly, then went left under a roof to a fixed old belay then straight up for 2 pitches. I have also not gone left but straight up in the distant past. The left option brings you to the rappelling at the North summit, the straight option brings up to a notch in the middle summit area.


Location 

Approach: Hike up the talus along the base of the West face to the point where the buttress bends around onto the south face. At this point there is a 10-12 foot wide low angle chimney that leans to the right.
Descent: If not there, climb over to the north summit. Rappel to the west down the NW buttress route in a somewhat complicated fashion with one or two ropes. Rappel 1 – down and left (climbers left) 2 rope rappel (or two single rope raps). Rappel 2 – down and left to a ramp – walk north on the ramp to the next rappel anchors. Rappel 3 – Down and slightly left over the edge and past a rope eating crack on the right – go down all the way to the ramp if possible or third class it down onto the ramp. Rappel 4 – walk down the ledge to the final rappel station and rappel straight into the gulley. If you are in the basin below, descend the gulley and grass ramps down to the lake or wherever your final destination. If you are in the Cirque of the Towers area, ascend the gulley slightly and then traverse up and left across the center of the face of overhanging tower to the notch where you can wrap around and descend down along the base of Wolf’s Head and into the Cirque.


Protection 

Single set of cams including sizes in the 1/4 qand 1/2 inch range up to about 2.5 inches. Single set of wires. 10 long slings help reduce rope drag. A couple short slings or quick draws for the crux pitch are nice. You can do the entire route and descent with a single 60 meter rope if you feel safe in the mountains with one rope.



Photos of Direct Southwest Face Slideshow Add Photo
Sharks nose with the Direct SW face line and the descent sketched onto the photo
BETA PHOTO: Sharks nose with the Direct SW face line and the d...
Looking down the crux pitch
Looking down the crux pitch
Summit shot
Summit shot
Rose is past the crux, Susan is climbing the crux.
Rose is past the crux, Susan is climbing the crux.
Comments on Direct Southwest Face Add Comment
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By nolteboy
Jan 20, 2013

For many years, a casual flip through my Wind River guidebook would always end up in my spending several minutes leering at the description and photo of this route. Now that I've finally gotten in there and climbed it, I don't think I'd bestow it with the hallowed 'classic' status that the venerable Mr. Kelsey does/did. However, that might have something to do with the fact that we started waaaaay off-route (too far to the right, in the 'hideous chute') and basically missed the first 4 pitches of the route proper. After we managed to traverse left and actually get on route, the climbing was enjoyable. The route seemed rarely-traveled.