Avg: 2 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Ty Mack & Kirk Billings|
|Page Views:||608 total, 22/month|
|Shared By:||WMcD on Aug 21, 2015|
DescriptionSeparation Anxiety features several mediocre pitches that guard an amazing 65m pitch of perfect handjams. After the hero jamming, a bit of tricky route finding leads to a difficult last pitch and the proud summit of Lost Temple Spire.
I found this route to be considerably harder and more involved than I expected. Plan for a proper adventure in the alpine.
Note: My experience on this route differed somewhat from the description in the Bechtel guide. I may have been off route, or the guidebook may be vague. Please correct my description if you know better.
Pitch 1: Start perhaps 50' below the LTS and Steeple col. We scrambled a couple meters to a nice belay ledge and then climbed a ledge system that angled up and sharply to the right (see photo). This was mostly easy ledge scrambling, with occasional bits of loose rock and awkward grass negotiations. Belay off blocks at a nice ledge just before the obvious leftward hand traverse (see photos). 5.6, 65m.
Pitch 2: Make the obvious 15' hand traverse off the belay ledge and throw down the 5.8 death mantle (see photo). Perhaps you could wiggle in some micro gear to protect the mantle, but absolutely do not fall here. The mantle leads immediately to a large ledge. Walk left and belay either on the left side of this large ledge, or on the next ledge just above the slot. (NOTE: this very memorable pitch is not mentioned in the Bechtel description. Perhaps the death mantle can be avoided by starting on a flake system left of what I describe.) 5.8R, 20m.
Pitch 3: From the left side of the large ledge just above the mantle, negotiate blocks in a slot to reach another ledge. From here, head up and right to a featured slab traverse. This short rightward traverse leads to a L-facing corner and cracks on the face. Climb enjoyably up these steep and well-protected cracks to reach a very large ledge and the arete. We found no 5.10 climbing through here. 5.9, 20m.
Pitch 4: The large belay ledge wraps around both sides of the arete and allows for several options for the next pitch:
I believe that the original route wraps onto the North face and traverses 20' out a large, thin flake (clenching exposure) to reach an alleged pitch of difficult 5.9 fist jams. After much waffling, I rejected this option.
Instead, I climbed a moderate left facing corner system back on the West face of the spire. This corner had an obvious cairn at the base, was pretty solid, and checked it at perhaps 5.8. From the top of the corner, I made a short left and upward traverse on a loose ledge that brought me around the arete and to the large ledge at base of the handcrack pitch. (35m?, 5.8)
Pitch 5: Climb the truly glorious #2 camalot crack off the large ledge. Pull a couple of bulges on perfect jams and make a cool crack switch to the left. Continue up the perfect 2.5" crack forever. Eventually, a few easy slab moves lead to another great ledge. This was a 70m rope stretcher to reach the ledge. I brought 2 x #3, 4 x #2 and 4 x #1 camalots, plus doubles of other sizes. Be comfortable running out handcracks or bring more gear. On the ledge, you can build a belay with a #4 camalot (optional) and finger sized gear.
Pitch 6: More tricky routefinding. Your goal now is to get back around the arete to the final slot/undercling pitch. I climbed the obvious crack straight off the belay ledge for a short and fun pitch of 5.9 jamming. When this crack ended, I stepped left to a nice belay ledge below a slabby dihedral. 5.9, 20m.
Pitch 7: I climbed the easy but sparsely protected corner off the belay before reaching a small roof and stepping right on overhanging mega jugs to mantle onto the ledge on the arete. Likely off route, but this seemed like the least bad option. I belayed my partner up and he then down led the 15' easy handcrack off the right side of this ledge to get us back on the West face and to the base of the last pitch. 5.9, 20m.
(You may be able to avoid what I am calling pitches 6 and 7 by traversing around the arete from the large ledge at the top of the handcrack and negotiating whatever terrain is over there. Carefully choose your own adventure through here.)
Pitch 8: This pitch is burly. Climb up the obvious low-angle wide crack and wiggle into the slot below the roof. Begin chimneying and stemming out of the slot and clip a pin at the lip. Stem and then layback up the short corner before pulling difficult undercling moves to turn the roof and gain the face above. A couple more desperate moves on the face lead to good gear and a romp to the summit. 5.11, 30m.
LocationSeparation Anxiety begins on the west face of Lost Temple Spire and climbs pitches on both the West and North faces. Hike from the Big Sandy Trailhead to the pond above Deep Lake. Then head straight up the talus (easier than it looks), to just below the Steeple-Lost Temple Col.
We rappelled in the vicinity of the Southwest Arete. A single 70m was adequate. Lots of tatty rappels brought us to a large gully and one last slabby rap. We then hiked skier's left down grass and talus before heading back skier's right to some moderate down slabbing that brought us to the obvious ledge system at the base of LTS. Walk across this ledge back to your packs at the base of the climb.
ProtectionStandard rack + lots of extra hand sized gear. Bring tat and booty nuts to beef up the rappels. We brought 1 x #4 camalot, 2 x #3, 4 x #2, 4 x #1 camalot, and then doubles down to green alien. This rack was adequate but bring way more if you want to sew up the hand crack.
We got up and down with one 70m rope.