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Routes in Sherpa Peak

North Ridge T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1400 ft, 13 pitches, Grade III
FA: Rick La Belle, Pat Derr, 1971
Page Views: 649 total, 24/month
Shared By: Jacob Smith on Aug 24, 2015
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Description

The ridge has three sections, divided by deep notches, most start at the lower of the two.

The first section is supposed to be low fifth but the reality is there is a lot of class 2-4 and if you stray from the crest at the wrong point you can add on more than a couple 5.6-8 pitches. In general you want to stay just on the east side of the crest. Most report simul-climbing this section.

After rappelling or down-climbing to the second notch, scramble around a couple spires and then climb two 5.8ish pitches before a final low-fifth romp to the summit. Each of these are divided by stretches of class 2-3. Best to bypass the large gendarme with the diving board feature on the right.

On almost every pitch above low-5th, we encountered large detached blocks and difficult protection. This is NOT the north ridge of Stuart and the climbing is quite serious for the grade.

Location

From the Sherpa-Argonaut basin, contour up and climber's right to the base of the lower notch, some easy slabs can be scrambled before roping up.

The descent on this one is a little tricky, as best I can tell there is no exacting description available and most parties describe it being somewhat gnarly. What me and my partner did worked fine and so I'll describe in some detail, although a better way might very well exist.
Rappel to the southwest as for the West Ridge descent (established rap station) but do not go to the second, clearly visible, rap station for that route, instead veer skier's left into another gully, directly to the south of the summit. Some down climbing (max class 4) brings you to a bench and another rap station. After this very short rappel, scramble down the remainder of the gully until it ends on a large, vegetated bench. Walk skier's left along this bench until it intersects the east ridge of Sherpa, then begin descending a broad, Cascadian-esque, gully. At a prominent horn-shaped rock veer left again and follow a series of benches, at times descending to stay bellow cliff bands, until beneath the Sherpa-Argonaut Col. It is possible to stay high enough that the final ascent to this col is not more than 200 ft.
Once at the Sherpa Argonaut col, descending two long scree slopes will lead directly to the basin beneath the North Ridge.

Protection

A single rack to 3" with doubles of .5-1" and many long runners is probably sufficient.
A single 60m rope does nicely, but shorter might be better, one could probably get away with a 50m or even a 40m, as most of the pitches are short.
Shoes you can both climb and hike in are advised.

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