Get Your A$$ to Mars!


Original Post
ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50

[I would like to ask that a new section of the Route Guide be added for this remote but beautiful climbing location]

My partner Curiosity just sent pictures from a recent scouting mission to Mt. Sharp, near the Yellowknife plateau. The approach is a bit long (approx. 4 yrs), but from afar, it's a stunning peak:

Mt Sharp viewed from Gale plateau

How to get there
It's somewhat expensive to make this trip, as it's only accessible by private charter, but the good news is you don't need climbing permits, entry visas or even a passport. Do bring enough supplies for an extended stay, as there are no nearby supermarkets or convenience stores.

Approach
From the Gale Plateau approach, the base of Mt. Sharp is an easy scramble up 3rd class terrain, reminiscent of most High Sierra approaches:

Mt. Sharp approach

(note that there are frequent dust storms and the air is quite thin, so glacier glasses and supplemental oxygen may be required, if not full EVA gear.)

Several passes lead to the Murray Buttes area, where many projects have been identified but yet to be climbed.

pass to murray buttes

It would be a good idea to refill your Camelbak here, but locating a stream may be difficult. You might want to pack extra water.

Once at Murray Buttes, you can just choose a line and start climbing! As soon as you make the first move off the deck, you'll be amazed at how effortless and light you feel.

As noted in a previous TR ( mars.nasa.gov/msl/curiosity…) by a JPL Engineer: "'Murray Buttes' is a beautiful place for exploring. It's like a garden for rock lovers."

sandstone route


The rock is similar to Moab sandstone, but somewhat more frangible, so remember to test holds, and if you're belaying, take extra care to avoid falling objects, as the nearest hospital is quite distant, and there are no medevac services. Your AAC rescue benefits will apply, but may not fully cover the cost of extraction and the return trip home.

overhanging sandstone


The terrain runs from easy low-angle slabs to overhung run out routes. Please note that there are no bolted belays yet, so bring a full trad rack (fat cams recommended). Even though "no one cares about your tri-cams", bring them too.

Curiosity and I highly recommend you make this trip to Mt. Sharp...it's so great you may never return!

LccClimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

Great photos.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

But there was just a thread recently about climbing Mars:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/any-beta-for-mars/112089070#a_112089889

Erik Keever · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 245

Don't forget to bring resistance training gear & hangboard, you're gonna be stuck on your ride there for a while and you don't want to arrive out of shape.

I've also heard it gets pretty cold at night, bring the extra fluffy sleeping bag.

Walter Galli · · Sint Maarten · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 1,956

Man...amazing stuff thanks for sharing.. I just keep looking at those photos and try to feel how can be to get there one day...

Climb Germany · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 2,525

so when will someone make a Mars section of MP? I mean, the trump tower route is on here...

Boots Ylectric · · Chicago IL · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 165

OXYGEN IS AID!

Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 165

why not go for the mars high point and climb olympus mons

NeilB · · Tehachapi, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45
Eric G. · · Saratoga Springs, NY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 70

Looks like Aleppo

Db5504 · · Perryopolis, PA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 950

"What is Aleppo?"
-Gary Johnson

Walter Galli · · Sint Maarten · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 1,956

Ahahahahaha don't ask that question,,, eheheheh ilmao...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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