|Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie
The obvious major chimney cleaving the southeast face. Named in honor of an unfortunate encounter with the local law enforcement and our friend's narrow escape from their heavy hand. An excellent, sustained route with great climbing throughout, especially the incredible third pitch! Scramble up ledges and corners 50’ to a great flat ledge left of the chimney proper.
Pitch 1: Squirm up the chimney for almost a full ropelength. The crux is a short ways up, with some squeeze moves. Chockstone bulges throughout. Fun and clean! 5.9 215’
Pitch 2: Continue a short ways up, until the chimney pinches down to an offwidth, then make a slab traverse left 10’ into a shallow right-facing dihedral; follow this to a bulge, and skirt around the squeeze chimney via a footledge to finger-hand crack 5’ left. Continue up a hollow flake to a second, easier bulge and small ledge. 5.10a/b 150’
Pitch 3: Stem, jam, and layback the incredible right-facing dihedral with a splitter crack varying from tight hands to 4”. Excellent! Belay on big, blocky ledge. 5.9 90’
Pitch 4: Move the belay about 20’ left, to the base of a right-facing corner with a squeeze chimney start (just left of a clean offwidth splitter). Squeeze and layback the chimney, step right up some fingercracks on a face, then move left into a good fistcrack and up and easy face to the massive ledge beneath the summit block. 5.8+ 50’
Pitch 5: Up the Beckey bolt ladder. A1-A2 100’
This starts about 150' left of the Reid Dowdle Southeast Face route.
Descent: Rap the summit block back down the west face. Scramble around to the north side where there's a cairn. 4th class down a short distance to anchors for the first rap. The descent can be done with either two double-rope raps, or 3 or 4 raps with one 70m rope. With a single 70m: rap from the upper anchor to the upper end of a major gully and either rap again or downclimb easy 5th class to a major ledge. Walk all the way out skier's right on the ledge and a few feet down a chimney to the next anchor. Rap down 35m to a ledge with a slung chockstone. One more rap to the ground.
Double set of stoppers and camalots through #3, one #4. One 70m rope will suffice; it'll entail some downclimbing and more raps, but it's worth it not to have to lug two ropes back here.
Trevor squeezing into the crux of the first pitch ...