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The Retaining Wall
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North Face, Hummingbird Saddle Route T 

North Face, Hummingbird Saddle Route 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Unknown. 2011 by R. Cort, M. Reece, J. McManamen
Page Views: 173
Submitted By: Robert Cort on Oct 24, 2011

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Looking at The Retaining Wall from the summit of T...

Description 

Start directly on Hummingbird Saddle, climb a bulgy arete towards a roof, bypass the roof on the left, climb to the right, then cross a narrow brushy ledge to the left and belay just east of the actual summit. Un-rope and scramble to the actual summit. A (much?) harder variation looks possible keeping right on the narrow brushy ledge and climbing directly to the summit. There is much lichen, and moss (you may have to clean out cracks for pro), and watch for loose rocks once you reach the roof.

Location 

Start almost directly on the top of Hummingbird Saddle.

Descent: Rap back down into Dark Canyon. Or pick your way down to the gap between Minerva's Temple and The Retaining Wall, then either rap or traverse (roped) back into Dark Canyon east of Hummingbird Saddle.

Protection 

No fixed gear. You won't find much for pro on the first 40', so place when you can.


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By Marta Reece
Administrator
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 6, 2013

Continuing to the right after avoiding the roof all the way up makes the route about twice as long but not really harder. There is one steep step, but an easy one, and a couple of slab moves, but generally you just follow the obvious ramp. The climbing is a lot cleaner than the bushwhack alternative and the ramp leads directly to the summit proper. I would give this version an extra star.

Rappel: From the summit scramble west just a few feet and then down to the south. Walk around the rocks westward to a rap station slung around a boulder on the ridge line. It's a single rope rappel.