Avg: 2.2 from 22 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 5 pitches|
|FA:||Orrin Bonney with Frank & Notsie Garnick|
|Page Views:||8,004 total · 108/month|
|Shared By:||Bill Lawry on Aug 24, 2014|
|Admins:||Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson|
Climbing East Ledges can make for an easy day of climbing if still acclimating to altitude. And / or it can be an easy way up to then familiarize with descending before striking out on a longer Pingora climb.
Some guides indicate East Ledges can be descended with a lot of down-climbing plus a rap or two; but I agree with some that the rap descent in the vicinity of South Buttress will usually be faster. For a couple of descent options, see the below photo and its' comments.
Rap stations/descent from the summit of Pingora. 70m is best. Could shorten the the number of raps with 2 70m ropes, but the rope snag factor will increase significantly. Photo taken from David Fantle as posted by MP user G. Neely here: mountainproject.com/v/10653….
Alternately, after the four long pitches and at the top of the kind of gully which is below the false summit block, the Bechtel guide shows East Ledges heading more directly up onto the false summit and then rapping off in a direction towards the summit. We also tried this way although some climbing we found was at least 5.7 ... Lie back up a clean right-facing corner for about 20 feet onto a large sloping ledge. Then make a few moves up a large crack / weakness but bail rightward / upward along a smaller crack to a smaller but ample sloping ledge that leads right. Move right and then up a huge chimney / alcove by face-climbing on the left side. After topping out here we found some old rap webbing at a pinch point. Scramble climber's left across the false summit to major weakness and down a few exposed moves to a rap anchor. Rap, down lead, or free solo the descending ramp.
Note about the alternate finish: NOT "bailing rightward" but instead continuing up the large crack / weakness leads up to another large ledge and to the base of an off width that looked 5.8/5.9 to us - takes 4 to 5 inch gear which we did not have. This off width leads more directly to the rap off the false summit but we backed down to the smaller rightward crack.