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Routes in Humbug Spires

Dogleg Crack T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Exit 99 T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Mutt and Jeff, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Southeast Chimneys T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Southwest Face T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tiny Tim T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Type: Trad, 500 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Donnie Black, et al.
Page Views: 415 total, 24/month
Shared By: Seth Kane on Jun 26, 2016
Admins: grk10vq

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Road closed December 2 to May 15 Details

Description

An excellent slab climb on the left side of the West Face of The Wedge.

P1: Start just around the left corner of the West Face. Climb up to the first bolt at 15' and continue for ~150' past 11 total bolts. 2 bolt belay just above the small roof. (5.10c)

P2: Continue up 20' more slab past two bolts (5.10B) until the face becomes more featured continue up stepping right around the corner on a mixture of bolts and gear (4 more bolts, gear to 0.75 camalot, 5.9). I traversed right near the top of the pitch past a hangerless bolt and belayed in a small alcove below a wide dihedral (5.7) but the Bishop topo shows the route continuing straight up. (5.10b)

P3: Climb the wide dihedral until you reach a large ledge. Follow the line of least resistance to the summit slabs and cruise to the top

Location

climbers left corner of the west face of the Wedge. To rappel follow the ridge (5.4, exposed) until you reach a bolt anchor. One 70m will get you down, a single 60m will be close.

Protection

11+ draws and a standard rack

Photos

Andrew Demaree
Missoula MT
  5.10
Andrew Demaree   Missoula MT
  5.10
A fantastic climb! Slab climbing is not usually my favorite style, but this route climbed really well on some very unique features. I climbed this on 6/10/17 with a friend of mine, and I thought that I would add some information to update what is already provided.

P1: The first bolt is only about 10 ft of the deck and definitely doesn’t require a stick clip, although I thought the moves up to it were the most awkward on the whole route. The bolted anchor at the top of the first pitch is also directly below the small roof, not above it, which provides good gear options for backing up the belay and protecting from an F2 on the way to the first bolt of P2.

P2: The second pitch is a long one! This pitch definitely requires more than six draws (definitely bring a few 60cm slings as well), but I’m not exactly sure how many I used. Towards the top of the pitch there is a lone bolt about 20+ ft above what really should be the last bolt, right as you enter a little bowl between a large fin on the left and the off-width pitch of The Mutt and Jeff to your right. If you clip this bolt you could continue up to a crack that runs along the side of the fin to your left, which would probably accept gear from 0.5 - 1 BD Camelots, and follow this crack for ~ 15 ft to a ledge where an anchor can be built at the edge of the off-width. However, if you want to be able to see your second and maintain verbal communication (it was very windy during our climb), you can angle right of the the bolt towards a bolted anchor at roughly the same height, but on the edge of the off-width. I would not do what I did, which is clip the bolt and then continue climbing up, right, and then down climb to the anchors. There are also rap anchors in the middle of this pitch, that you could probably belay from in a pinch.

While the climbing on the first two pitches is never harder than 5.10c and the gear is definitely good when you need it, I wouldn’t recommend them for new trad leaders or climbers just reaching the grade, as the bolt/gear spacing is rarely less than 10 ft and in many places considerably more.

P3: We climbed the off-width pitch of The Mutt and Jeff (you probably skip ⅓ - ½ of this pitch the normal way), which is definitely a good way to add some variety to the climbing. We brought a single rack from 0.3 - 3 BD Camelots, BD C3s from 00-2, and no passive pro, which was definitely more than enough to make it to the top comfortably, but only if you are fine running it out on 5.9.

Optional P4: I built an anchor at the chock-stone before the upper slab so I didn’t have to sit in the wind while bringing up my second, and so that he could still (barely) hear me. You could go all the way to the top if you want to, but you will be communicating with rope tugs unless the weather is extremely calm. This pitch is 5.EASY slab, with a crack to slot gear in half way up. I wouldn’t waste your time though, as you could literally walk up it in a fully upright position.

Descent: It looks like you could rap this route now, but it would be a huge hassle navigating the chock-stone/off-width pitch and you would almost certainly get your rope stuck. Just do the normal 5.4 traverse (you can clip some old rusted pins halfway through) to the rap anchors and you are good to go. There is a second rap anchor, but with a 70m you don’t need it. Jun 10, 2017