Type: Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 13 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Don Jensen, S. Petroff, and A. Walker
Page Views: 35,124 total · 216/month
Shared By: Michael Schneiter on Mar 9, 2007
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description

Venusian Blind is another of the great, adventurous arete climbs on Temple Crag. Depending on your climbing tastes and personal experience on the route, this may be a dream climb or a nervous adventure bordering on epic. For my wife and I, it was a little of both as a 3 foot square block she was standing on ripped off the wall while leading the first roped pitch, nearly bringing a quick demise to both of us.

Venusian shares the start with Moon Goddess Arete, thus making it a good alternative if there are already parties on Moon Goddess. As seen in photos, there is one snow chute that is longer and splits the wall between Sun Ribbon Arete and Moon Goddess Arete. Climb this snowfield to a snow and rock traverse to gain the base of Venusian and Moon Goddess. The snowfield is steep enough to warrant crampons or the proper snow conditions and experience for competent parties without crampons.

Approximately 300 feet of 3rd and 4th class climbing will take you to a series of ledges where the wall steepens. It's on this terrain that Moon Goddess splits off right and Venusian goes up left. The beginning of the route is marked by a short, right facing corner where most will want to rope up.

From here the climb ascends the arete for several pitches, sometimes climbing left or right from the arete proper. Depending on rope length and how you piece pitches together, it seems you can do this route in as few as five or six pitches with some simul-climbing, or up to 11 pitches from the end of the 3rd and 4th class climbing.

There appeared to be many options and even with careful scrutiny of the topo, we found ourselves off route, but never in dangerous climbing or difficulty. There are a couple of impasses of note. First, if done pitch by pitch according to SuperTopo, you can go left or right around the arete on pitch 7. Left is reportedly the best way but we went right because it seemed more obvious and it was clean and straight forward. At the 10th pitch, you top out on a small tower and then encounter a 25 foot traverse across a notch with no protection on precariously stacked blocks. A short downclimb is required to get into the notch. On the other side of the notch is a pitch with a couple of fixed pins, thus providing assurance that you're on route. At the top of this pitch is a hidden anchor on the left side of the arete, facing the gully. You can rappel 60 feeet from here into the gully and climb 3rd and 4th class for 20 minutes to the summit plateau. Or, you can continue on the arete for a few more pitches to the top.

To descend, go east on a climbers' trail towards Contact Pass. The trail eventually turns into 3rd class above the pass and then steepens to 4th and 5th class where most climbers rappel 80 feet from slings to the pass. From here, rock slide and glissade back to the lakes.

Overall, this route seemed relatively quick and easy. Alpine rock climbing skills including route-finding ability, being comfortable on fragile rock and the ability to move fast are probably necessary. Hence, it's not the first alpine climb you would want to go on but it's a worthy outing for an experienced rock alpinist.

Location

Venusian Blind climbs the arete left of Moon Goddess Arete, sharing the same start.

Protection

Standard alpine rack of stoppers and cams up to 2" and many slings.

Photos