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Takes the center of the south face of Flathead Spire. Start as for Muscle Shirt, follow this for the first two pitches and its P3 traverse left, and the excellent P4 finger crack. Muscle Shirt goes up from here. Instead, keep going left (P5, 5.6) to a belay under a shallow corner ascending a steep, blank face. Pitch 6 goes up this to a bolt ladder (interspersed with hard-to-see bathook holes) going up and right to a pendy into a left-facing corner system. Go up this a ways to a belay. Pitches 7, 8 and 9 lead first to a big ledge system with blocks and trees and then a blocky ramp (A1, 5.9) above. Angle up and right up the ramp to a left-facing A2 dihedral, up this to a 5.7 traverse back left to the Bomb Shelter bivy. Above this is another left-facing dihedral system, A2 or so, which gains another ledge. Last pitch (11) is supposedly some kind of aid crux but upon reaching the rounded, flared copperheading corner it seemed easier to step right onto the arete and freed climb this, at about 5.9 R, past the aid.
Hard to recall much, we did second ascent, back in 1987; but the old Rick Torre guidebook fleshes out a few more details. The aid we did felt straightforward, even by the old-wave rating standards.
Do recall having a blast. A big-wall climb, with no crowds, no people; a fantastic, remote location.
Blodgett Canyon, north side. Beyond Nez Perce and Shoshone. Long hike in. Descent: from summit, head north then east and get funneled into a vague gully system. Multiple raps from trees as needed.
Back in 1987 we brought a full set of pitons. Hooks, including bathooks. Cams, nuts. Has this gone clean yet?
Me on the pitch 4 finger crack. From 1987, second ...
Looking back across the 5.6 pitch 5 traverse. My M...
Fran Bagenal preparing to lower out from the pendu...
Fran Bagenal, pitch 7 (I think it's pitch 7?)
Fran Bagenal, pitch 10.
Looking down the final pitch. Way up in the air!