Wedge is a great climb located on the open slab between Sliding Board and Sea of Holes. The route offers some great slab climbing as well as some low angle face climbing. The route protects well but be ready for a couple of your typical Whitehorse run outs.
[Admin's COMMENT 2015 - The first 2-3 pitches described by the original submitter of this route are those described in the old (1996) Handren guide as the alternate start for Wedge. They are further right than the FA route. The description for the FA route is given below.]
P1. From the starting ledge, head up and left to some obvious clumps of bushes. You can belay your partner here or continue up to a two-bolt anchor. If you choose to continue on to the two-bolt anchor, climb up approximately 15ft. until you reach a comfortable stance at a solution pocket. Place a #1 Camalot in the pocket and have your partner take you off belay, as you will need to simo-climb the last 20ft. to the anchor. [Admnin's NOTE: THIS anchor must be on Interloper, as the Wedge dbl bolt anchor is much higher. ]
P2. Climb straight up the blank slab passing a two-bolt anchor [the dbl bolt anchor of Wedge, see the "Alternate" route description.] and a single protection bolt. When you reach the headwall, clip the old rusty piton and traverse right to a comfortable ledge. You can make a 3-point anchor using the rusty piton, a nut and a small cam.
P3. From the anchor, head up the slab and climb the nice lay back crack. At the top of the crack, clip a bolt and make thin moves up and right to gain a nice ledge with a two-bolt anchor. Do not forget to protect your partner on the traverse to the belay ledge.
P4. Climb straight up to a large pine tree used to rap the route. If you use the fixed gear on this pitch, be sure to use long runners, as you will generate a lot of rope drag if you dont.
Note: Most parties will rap the route from here using the pine tree, P.3 anchor, and Sliding Board belay stations.
P5. If you choose to top out, climb up and left of the pine tree to a large ledge. Traverse the ledge until you reach a corner with some old pitons in it. Climb the corner to the tree ledge above.
Note: The rock will have a lot of lichen on it so be very cautious as you climb the corner to the tree ledge.
P6. To reach the top, find the path of least resistance keeping in mind that you will want to head up and to the right. Stay roped together and protect yourself and partner by slinging trees and or placing gear as you make you way to the top. It is all scrambling/simo-climbing so take your time and be very cautious, there are lots of LARGE rocks just laying on the slab(s) and it is opfter the rope, not the climber, that may dislodge them!
"Route of FA":
P1- START Looking up from the base there are two tree islands left of the base of the Arch. The first tree island is 25 ft left of the bolts of Sliding Board. [These are the first bolts mentioned in the description above.] Wedge starts at the second tree island, about 40+/- ft further left.
[Note the FA party climbed directly from the woods up to the bushes & trees in two pitches. (Those were the days of 150 ft-or-shorter-ropes, and sneakers, which were used on the FA.)
The more modern way starts from the Launching Pad. Go up and left, passing one bolt in the sea of slab (possible belay) continuing up and left to the 2nd tree island left of Arch. 200+ ft 5.3 R
P2- Up the flake, then up the slab to a double bolt anchor. 140 ft 5.5 R, although if you move a bit right, then back left there's a bolt you can clip on the way.
P3- Move up and right from the anchor, passing an old bolt. [If you follow this you don't "climb to the overlap and clip the rusty pin".] Some chose to belay at the small tree (gear) 70 ft 5.5-5.6
[P3 be combined with P2 with a 70m rope, or a "long" 60m ; also, P4 may be combined with P3...but not both!]
P4- Up the obvious corner systems to the crux (new-ish bolt, up high and left). Above crux, continue up a few more feet, then traverse right to a comfortable ledge and new bolted anchor. Be sure to have the follower(s) protected on the crux. 80-90 ft, 5.6-5.7
P5- Up the inside corner system that is just left of the belay. End at a pine tree with slings. 90 ft 5.6, 5.6+ ?
As said above, most will chose to end here and rap (or lower off: it's less than 1/2 a rope length for 60m ropes) back down to the dblt bolt anchor at the end of P5.
Another alternative is to move right and join Sliding Board (if it isn't too crowded) at the end of its usual 3rd or 4th pitch:
To join Sliding Board, from the bolted belay at the end of P4 move up and right gaining the base of the large overlap. Follow this up and right and around its end to 2-3" ledges and an old pin easily backed up with med-large Cams. 100 ft 5.3-5.4 PG-13 /R for both leader and follower You are now on Sliding Board at the belay below the run-out slab that leads to the dbl bolt anchor just below the "headwall" broken by an obvious dike.
From the starting ledge, look for a clump of bushes up and to your left.
2 60-meter ropes
1 Set of Stoppers
1 Set up Cams to a #2 Camalot
4 Quick Draws
5 2ft Slings
- Extra webbing if you need to replace any when rappelling the route.
By Patrick Feeney
From: hartland vt
Sep 11, 2010
if anyone can help me im wondering do you have to repell from the top of the route or is there a trail to walk down,and do i have to use 2 ropes
By Jason Stone
From: Bellingham, MA
Sep 22, 2010
If you go all the way to the top, there is a trail that leads back down. If you decide to rap the route from any point, you will need two ropes.
By Chris Mak
Apr 29, 2012
Agree that the first 4 pitches to the tree ledge are great - beautiful, clean slab. You can run pitches 3 and 4 together pretty easily with a 60m. In its current shape I would definitely recommend rapping at the ledge, P5 is ok, some fun steeper climbing but fairly mossy, and above that is a dirty moss and pine needle jungle for 2-3 pitches until you reach 1 more pitch of decent rock for the finish.
By John Halupowski
From: Intervale, N.H.
Jul 7, 2014
Removed frightenly-ancient tat from P.3 anchor and replaced with new webbing. Did a nice variation that goes up between Wedge P.2 and Interloper's lower crux, protected by a small nut in a flake 5.9