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Routes in Andrews Creek & The Gash

Adaptive Methods T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a WI4 M4
Andrews Glacier
Andrews' Tower, North Face T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a M5 PG13
Brain Freeze M5+
Chiropractic Couloir
Chockstones of Unusual Size (C.O.U.S.) M6-7
Circling Sharks T M8+
Flour Power Couloir WI2-
Northwest Gully of Sharkstooth
Ol' Dawg Chimney T M5 PG13
Production, The T M7 PG13
Wham Couloir T M4
Type: Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 800 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Dougald MacDonald & Greg Sievers
Page Views: 2,142 total, 20/month
Shared By: Greg Sievers on Apr 1, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Description

From the rocky ground that separates the lower snowfield and Andrews Glacier (adjacent to Tarn Lake), turn south and scramble up a few hundred vertical feet.

We dropped packs on the eastern edge of the gully (that comprises most of this route).

P1 - climb mixed snow/rock for 200', M3-4.

P2 - we stepped right and climbed a very steep and sustained corner (M5). After 60' traverse back left, and climb the upper chimney.

P3 - very steep snow and M4 terrain, up under the cornice/pillow. At the headwall, we took a hard left to the arete.

P4 - turn right on the ridge - mostly snow. Connect the dots to the Col.

P5 - traverse due west along a very awkward rock ledge and then up (5.3) to the summit block.

Location

This 'tower' lays immediately south of Andrews Glacier just above Tarn Lake.

To descend: downclimb the east snowfields (Alpine snow III) or hike/climb south along the apex of the ridge to the Continental Divide - turn right and retreat by the north snowfield down to the Tarn, or go to Andrews Glacier and then back to the base, and your stash.

I think our descent route on the east-facing snowfields would make a superb spring climb of a very moderate nature, on good styrofoam (if you climb it in the afternoon or a cold cloudy day), and you'll enjoy a really beautiful tower type summit.

Protection

Single rock rack, w/ 3 KBs. No screws or pickets. There are no anchors on the summit and none are needed. Downclimb the easy rock back to the col.
Couple of notes on the descent. Down-climbing the east face is only an option in very stable snow conditions. Stay off this face in warm sun. The traverse along the ridge to the Divide would be the classiest option, but it requires a technical pitch (rock/mixed) out of the notch, and possibly additional technical climbing beyond. Allow a couple of hours for this "descent." The best option might be to establish a rappel route down the steep gully to the west. Looks like you could get down to scrambling territory in roughly three double-rope rappels from the summit. We found two sling anchors (on the east face and on the north face); we believe these were used during summer ascents of the tower.

Also, note that big cornices threaten the north face route throughout the winter and spring. Choose the day for your climb wisely.

Finally, to echo what Greg said about the east face (the blue line in his photo): This would make a great mountaineering route in good snow conditions, with interesting snow climbing, a bit of mixed ground and rock climbing, and a cool summit. A cold or cloudy day in April or early May would probably be best. Apr 3, 2009
Chris Sheridan
Boulder, CO
Chris Sheridan   Boulder, CO
Nice work guys! Looks like a really cool route. Can't wait to get on it.

Chris Apr 3, 2009