Better than Love
Avg: 3 from 49 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Gillett? Jeff Bevan, '70 or '71?|
|Page Views:||7,304 total · 36/month|
|Shared By:||Mike Sofranko on Jul 13, 2001|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis route was just recently published in Bernard Gillett's new guide to the High Peaks. This book and its companion volume to the Estes Park region are well worth getting. Both provide previously unpublished routes, up-to-date descent info, grade indexes, and nice presentations. They are very professional and polished books. I like carrying both Gillett and Rossiter route descriptions along, sometimes a 2nd opinion is welcome.
Gillett certainly talks this route up, so I felt I should go and check it out. While I didn't think that it was as great as Gillett obviously does, it would make a good alternative to the well traveled Culp-Bossier (which undoubtedly motivated Gillett's assessment at least partially.) I'm not sure if it's better than Love (haven't done that one), but it's about as good at Culp-Bossier.
From the start of Love Route and Culp-Bossier, step up left to a grassy ledge (left of the huge, right-facing corner). You will see a couple right-facing dihedrals above.
P1 Climb/wander to the bottom of the left right-facing dihedral. (5.6)
P2 Climb the dihedral above. Avoid the roof by climbing the thin face on the left. The upper half is nice stemming and a dirty crack. Great pitch. (5.8)
P3 I tried climbing the headwall directly, but after ripping off a pizza pan sized flake, I got a little freaked, backed off, and stepped left to bypass the steep stuff. I recommend the latter. (5.5)
P4 Climb a shorter easy pitch up to a ledgy area and set a belay at a comfortable spot. (5.4)
P5 Above you should see a large pillar (~100 foot high) on the face. Climb the left side of this to a small ledge at a right-facing and -leaning corner/flake. This is another fantastic pitch. (5.7)
P6 Things get a little confusing here. Climb the flake/corner above to where it bends back left. From here, break out right across the face and belay wherever you can get a good anchor. This is a shorter pitch.
P7 This is the mental crux of the route, and is something of a route-finding challenge. From my partner's A5 belay, I ran it out straight up mostly unprotected and steep 5.7+ ground towards an obvious roof/overlap. I didn't protect the step over the roof because I didn't trust the rock that much. Shortly past this, you will reach a small ledge. Follow a right leaning corner/ramp up to the bottom of an obvious, left-facing corner. (5.8ish, standard Hallett death pitch)
P8 Climb the corner, run it out across a nice 5.8- face, trend left, then hop up a steep left facing corner to the right. If rope drag hasn't stopped you yet, go to the summit. Otherwise, belay, and do one more brief scramble/pitch to the top.
You will cross over the Love Route on P6. The Gillett topo doesn't show the pillar on P5, but the belay point is accurately depicted. His written description of P6 didn't jive with our experience, but our climb pretty much matched the topo. Also, Gillett and Rossiter describe somewhat different lines for the Love Route.
Once on the summit, head east down the ridge for a couple hundred feet. Stay close to the crest, and near the east side of the First Buttress (the route is on the Second Buttress) you will come to a bolted rappel (could use a modern bolt). One rope will get you to a second short rappel, or a 60m rope will get you to easy scrambling terrain. Scramble down the gully for a few hundred feet. Then, head left over a rise, and aim for a scree gully. Follow this to the base of the Hallett Chimney (between 1st and 2nd Buttresses.) If you racked up here in the morning (near the mossy area) you won't need to walk the couple minutes back up to the base of the routes.