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Routes in Lower Spire

West Ridge T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
Type: Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 94 total, 21/month
Shared By: Mat Brunton on Aug 8, 2017
Admins: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer

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Description

This is a fun adventure climb that most parties will likely do in 4-6 roped pitches. The climbing is choose your own adventure, with opportunities to throw in some fun 5.6-5.8 moves. It can also be done all 5.easy.

Follow the west ridge up from the pass as it becomes progressively more difficult from 3rd, to 4th, to 5th class. Favor the left side of the ridge for upward progress linking tundra ledges. Rope up when you feel the need, but it's reasonable to scramble to ~5840.

From here rope up and climb the ridge to your liking. There are existing anchors, consisting of webbing/rope slung rock, but anchor options abound and bypassing the existing anchors on the way up makes sense for efficiency.

Closer to the top, gendarme like features will require downclimbing, rappelling, or traversing to avoid. Traversing a slab on the right side of the ridge makes sense on the way up. While it may be a crux of the climb it's still 5.easy and avoids the hassle of rappelling or the sketchiness of a very steep downclimb.

For the last 1-2 pitches balance on the knife edge, or au cheval.

For the upper descent it might make more sense to downclimb on belay, rather than deal with awkward rappels. Lower down, rappels and easy unroped downclimbing easily link existing anchors even with a 50m rope.

Protection

Light alpine rack with plenty of cord (as existing webbing and cord is quite rotten).

This is a good route for approach shoes. Climbing shoes would make it sketchier due to the lack of any tread.

We climbed it with a single 50m 7.3mm w/o issue. Pick your poison. The climbing is easy and could be free soloed, but the descent w/o rope would be sketchy. Due to fickle weather and the nature of the route, not having a rope could be VERY dangerous if there's any precipitation.

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