Avg: 2.3 from 4 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Gary Hicks, Florian Walchak - 6/13/76|
|Page Views:||910 total · 7/month|
|Shared By:||Bill Lawry on Sep 24, 2007|
|Admins:||Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
DescriptionThis is the first of three Gary Hicks' routes I've done based strictly on Hill's guide - the others being Hail Peak's West Face Direct and Ego Boost's Diagonal. In all cases the detailed descriptions were quite accurate.
Poker has four 5th class pitches as described in Mike Hill's guide. Quality of rock is good to excellent. Again, the route description in Mike Hill's guide is good although the 1st pitch warrants further explanation.
Pitch 1 - Knowing the described 1st pitch was long, we scrambled up a bit before setting a belay and roping up. Later, protecting the traverse using a single rope led to tremendous rope drag near the top. Second time on the route we used doubles and belayed midway through P1: much better. We set the mid-P1 belay after returning rightward to above the slot where there is pro at the top of an easy ramp plus more about six feet up and around the corner. For P1, Sarah Councell reports starting "... climbers L of the pictured start, climbed a right-leaning ramp to a smooth steep face to a ledge- very nice."
Pitch 2 thru 4 - In my opinion, pitch 2 is the highest quality pitch and goes at 5.8. Pitch 3 will also get the attention of the 5.8 / 5.9 leader for a few moves; Sarah Councell indicates this pitch 3 is the "crux of the climb- passing the overhang is a 9+ move." It is tempting to run out Pitch 3 when the difficulty eases but suitable anchors become non-existant. Pitch 4 is easy 5th class followed by 150 feet of what for me was unusually enjoyable 3rd class climbing involving ~30 yards traverse to the climber's right; or choose a more direct line up some fifth class rock.
LocationSee the Hail Peak page for approach details and possible summit descents.
The route is located on the west face of Hail Peak. See the below photo. We took the Echo Canyon to West Face approach on the Hail Peak page, hanging bigger packs before exiting the forest at the bottom of Echo Canyon. From Mike Hill's guide, the suggested descent is from the summit by down climbing the North Ramp Route.