Avg: 3.4 from 207 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||unknown by me|
|Page Views:||61,137 total, 306/month|
|Shared By:||Steve Merschel on Jul 21, 2001|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionFrom the Andrew's Glacier trail, you will see the Sharkstooth to the south. Hike up the Gash, which is the large boulderfield between you and the rock. As you get near, there will be a long fin of rock coming off the northeast ridge and heading, guess which direction...northeast. Climb to the east of that and scramble up on some large ledges for the first pitch.
P1. The first pitch can start in several places that are all about 5.4-5.6. I'd say we ran about 160 feet of rope on the first pitch. There are probably several places you could rig a belay.
P2. The second pitch was similar to the first 5.4-5.6 climbing, about the same distance and straight up the northeast ridge. Not a lot of zigzagging on this route.
P3. The third pitch goes 5.6 in the guidebook, but it was probably the crux pitch, in other words, it was more difficult than the first two. The guidebook says startup a left-facing dihedral. Well, I didn't see any of those. I saw a big right facing dihedral and then a crack about 4 feet to the right of that. The dihedral looked tough, but the crack next to it was good. Later on that pitch, you finally work you're way into a good right facing dihedral with some good stemming moves and a small section where I moved out onto the face for easier climbing. The moves weren't hard here, but smearing stems always seem a little unsecure to me, have fun. Somehow, we combined pitches 3 and 4 in the guidebook together and ended pitch 3 on top of a large ledge in the ridge. The ledge is big enough that you can untie, get a good view of the crowds on the Petit and have a snack.
P4. Pitch 4 starts up a wide crack, but I hung out on the face for most this, because I think offwidths are about as fun as getting beaten with a rubber hose. The climbing is a lot easier on these last two pitches. Also, the route is completely obvious here as well. The 4th pitch ends on another, somewhat smaller ledge. More people on the Petit...if only they knew what they were missing over here.
P5. On the 5th pitch, there was little more loose rock and hollow holds, so be a little more cautious. From the top of #5, it's a very simple scramble to the summit. Ok, I was roped up, so what? But honestly, it's probably class 2 to the top from here.
The top has a great view of the surrounding area. Also, a little less comforting, look down through the boulders on the summit on the west side. I swear I saw daylight through there. Anyway, head southeast from the summit and down a little gully to rap rings. There are 3 50-60 meter raps to the top of the Gash here. The rap rings looked pretty good. Don't forget to bring a second rope or you'll be downclimbing. Also, there seems to be a lot of loose rock that gets knocked down when you toss your ropes on each rappel so be prepared to shout "ROCK!!" often to the people below and watch for more of it when you pull your ropes. That's it. Down the Gash to the trail. Hope you enjoy it. Also, I gave this a grade III, because it took us 13 hours, but we took a 2 mile detour by going to the south side first and then backtracking around to the north side. It's probably somewhere between a II and a III.