Avg: 2.8 from 19 votes
|Type:||Sport, 400 ft (121 m), 6 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Mark Deffenbaugh, Bryan Smith, Jim Ablao, Moira Armen (various pitches)|
|Page Views:||3,882 total · 27/month|
|Shared By:||Sean Ferrell on Feb 21, 2010|
|Admins:||Kevin MP, Nate Ball, Micah Klesick|
As of now (early 2010), the route still suffers from poor rock. On the bright side, some sections of Smith feel as though they will never be clean, but this isn't one of them. With a dozen more ascents (or one ascent specifically for cleaning), this route will likely be solid, and completely amazing. Bring helmets, call "rock", and be comforted by the fact that almost all pitches wander a bit away from the belay. The first pitch may never be very good, but the rest should clean up nicely.
It was a mistake to climb this route in the winter without adequate clothing, but that was not clear until we were high on the wind-whipped wall and psychologically committed to finishing. Retreat was physically possible, but unthinkable.
For us, Season's Change was a formidable route, and worth the time. In better conditions, it may have been enjoyable, but the brutal conditions, and the necessity of rising to the boldness of the route were more than adequate substitutes for joy. A great adventure sport route, with the safety of modern hardware.
All bolt numbers are approximate - bring extra draws and a runner or two.
Pitch 1 (10a): 7 bolts. Make your way over a couple of big lumps, clip at 20 feet, and then execute a miserable traverse.
Pitch 2 (10b): 12 bolts. Step left from the belay, and then launch onto the long, pebbled face with a low and a high crux. The top of this pitch has the only completely seated belay. All others are hanging, or partially hanging.
Pitch 3 (10+/11-): 11 bolts. Straight above the last pitch, power your way through a series of tough moves on difficult to spot holds in a bulge, and then rejoice on jugs on the face above. Finally, work through one of the easier sections of climbing to the base of the fourth pitch. Watts gives this 10c, but the crux moves are harder than that.
There's another pitch that starts up the left side; ignore it and attack the bulge/overhang.
Pitch 4 (11b): 12 bolts. The crux pitch, and unfortunately, it isn't the cleanest. The crux is right off the belay, but it is fairly sustained for another fifty feet. Take care on the easier upper section - this is one of the dirtier parts of the whole cliff, and more than one hold exploded in my face.
If I remember right, there is also a pitch heading up left from the base of this pitch - take the line on the right.
Pitch 5 (10a): 4 bolts. A fun traverse on good rock, with a momentarily baffling crux at the end. Thankfully, the tight bolting makes for a stress-free follow. Awesome exposure!
Pitch 6 (10c): 12 bolts. Another long pitch of pebbling and edging, this pitch could really use some cleaning. The belay at the top is heavenly, with amazing views of the main area, monkey face, and beyond.
The easiest approach: hike past the main area, to the Pheonix buttress. At the Pheonix buttress, follow the cliffline back for a few hundred feet. The route starts vertically, and then on a leftward leaning flake in the center of the face described.
There are three routes on the face: a 5.9 start in a groovy sort of thing on the left, this one in the center, and a 10a R that starts in a crack on the right.
Descent: A couple options here. 1) Apparently, you can hike uphill, around the platform and arrowhead, and then scramble down a scree gully, then back to Asterisk Pass. We couldn't find this way.
2) Make you way downhill (3rd-4th class), back towards Sky Ridge, then look to your left (west) along the ridge for a rap anchor. This is the descent for "Wherever I May Roam". The first rappel passes a line of bolts, and then a pair of naked bolts. Go a little further to a pair of bolts with links, in a little nook in the rock. The second rappel can drop you to one of two sets of anchors (I am told). The ones on the left, on a small ramp, are 1/2 inch bolts. My partner tells me there are better bolts, with links, to the right. One more rappel takes you to the ground. Hike back to Asterisk Pass.