Standard Route, Sunlight Spire
Avg: 3.7 from 10 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 150 ft, 2 pitches|
|FA:||G. Bell Sr., D. Michael, J. Marshall, 1961, FFA: Jeff Achey, 1988|
|Page Views:||10,625 total · 82/month|
|Shared By:||George Bell on Jun 19, 2007|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionFrom the standard route on Sunlight Peak leave the trail at about 13,700' and head up a steep slope to the base of the summit block. This approach is 3rd class but rather loose and steep for about 300 feet.
A short Class 4 to 5.6 pitch (depending on line chosen) leads to the base of the overhanging crack. This crack is a perfect size for jamming but is rather sustained and made more difficult by the altitude. The start is made easier by a ramp you can work your feet along, but the ramp eventually is too far left. The crack reminded me of Supercrack where every move may be "only 5.9" but it is sustained and difficult to recover, especially at nearly 14,000'. Look for places for wired stoppers and smaller cams to save hand-size pieces.
Near the summit the angle kicks back to vertical which makes it slightly easier. A fixed anchor on top facilitates 2 raps back to the base.
You can also aid the crack at C1, there are now several fixed pieces. The first ascent proceeded up a somewhat different route, however. Instead of tackling the crack from the bottom, my father climbed an easier crack system to the notch NW of the spire. From here the upper part of the free crack is only about 7-10 feet to your right. Climb right, clip a bolt and pendulum or tension traverse into the crack and follow it to the summit. This variation is no longer possible because the bolt is now missing.
This is a decent climb, but it is a long way to carry a rack for 60 feet of overhanging crack.