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Routes in Main Wall

Giradelli T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Thin Mint T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Rick Studley & Jeff Benowitz 1995
Page Views: 2,062 total, 39/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on Jul 5, 2013
Admins: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer

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Description

The classic and "most popular" route at Mount Prindle, though I'd guess it sees <5 ascents per season. The line tackles the aesthetic western margin/skyline of the Main Wall (as seen from the approach), and has a number of variation finishes to the final pitches. Rock quality can vary wildly, and bomb-proof belay anchors are in short supply. There is no fixed gear or bolt anchors. If you have any doubts about your ability to navigate through loose/grainy rock, vegetation, gravel, bad or sometimes no protection, and lots of lichen, do not attempt this route. Otherwise, it is a fine quality adventure route for the competent and experienced climber.

P1) Up the low-angle left facing corner to a stance below the large square roof. 5.4

P2) Up and over the roof on it's right side, then follow shallow flaring cracks with a short OW section to a stance at the base of the large left-facing corner. Crux, 5.9

P3) Climb the highly vegetated and massive LF dihedral. Move out left towards the end of the corner to a belay near a short chimney/start of the 4th class. 5.7

P4) 4th class up a grassy gully/LF corner to a large grassy ledge at the base of the steep tower.

Variation finishes for Ghirardelli, including Thin Mint and Godiva (both 5.8), all start at the end of this pitch.

P5) Traverse left on the grassy ledge and follow obvious weaknesses upwards on the west side of the tower. Belay at the base of the steep final headwall. 5.easy.

P6) Climb left-slanting cracks up the headwall to the summit. 5.7. A hundred feet or so of class 3 scrambling will get you to the summit proper.

Location

Towards the left end of the main wall. Locate the obvious LF dihedral system with low roof that runs for nearly 600'. Easy walkoff to either the East or West side from the summit.

Protection

Standard rack including a set of nuts and optional 4" cam.
RW1
Fairbanks, AK
  5.9
RW1   Fairbanks, AK
  5.9
I'd add the caveat "Alaska" alpine, since I've climbed plenty of alpine in CO, WA and even NM where there isn't a 20+ mile round trip involved. Aug 16, 2016
L. Von Dommelheimer   Anchorage  
welcome to alpine climbing RW1... Aug 16, 2016
RW1
Fairbanks, AK
  5.9
RW1   Fairbanks, AK
  5.9
"best climbing in the interior" simply because it's the ONLY (multi-pitch) climbing in the interior.

BLUF, my honest assessment is that it's a really long walk for a few pitches of chossy rock.

From Nome Creek, it's about 10 miles to the rock face. The valley was pretty wet this year due to constant rain, with potentially dangerous stream crossings. You can take the ridges to the north and stay dry, however there's a good bit of elevation gain. The ridges do offer some amazing alpine scenery though, and there's a family of dall sheep closer to Prindle.

This approach (the ridges north of the creek) would be optimal for a three-day trip. One day each for the approach and departure, and a day on the rock. There are streams in the valleys, so water weight shouldn't be an issue.

As for the route itself, with all the rain this year, I'm guessing there has been extremely little traffic on the route. The rock was covered in lichen and moss, which will get extremely slick if wet. Lots of loose and/or potentially dangerous rock as well. A new trad leader would be challenged for sure to find good, solid gear.

The fourth pitch was fairly runout, although very easy climbing/scrambling.

Parties can bail from the fourth pitch with a single rope rappel into the draw on the climber's left; there are several slings and an old piton on the way out.

Definitely an adventure. And like everything else in Alaska, this can't be taken lightly. Potential climbers should think of this as more an expedition than a rock climb and plan accordingly. Aug 15, 2016
Seth Kane
Bozeman, Montana
  5.9-
Seth Kane   Bozeman, Montana
  5.9-
the "were not in kansas anymore" finish is a fun squeeze chimney. Would not recommend the 5.5 pitch after it in the rain however (lichen may be slippery when wet). I thought the first 5.9 pitch was a little soft for the grade in the interior, and definitely easier then the 5.9 squeeze pitch on "were not in..." It is however, an amazing pitch of climbing and pulling the roof is an awesome move. Some of the best climbing I've done in the interior. Jun 4, 2014
I've listed the route name as it's spelled in Stan Justice's guide, but based on the other chocolate-themed routes on the wall, I assume they meant to say "Ghirardelli." Jul 5, 2013