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Routes in Snowpatch Spire

Buckingham Route (easy version) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bugaboo Corner T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
Flamingo Fling T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Furry Pink Arete T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Kraus-McCarthy T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Minotaur Direct T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Snowpatch Route (aka SE Corner/Wiessner's Route) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Southwest Ridge - Direct Finish T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sunshine Crack T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Sunshine Wall T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Super Direct T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Surfs Up T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Warrior Way T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A2
Wildflowers T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wile Flowers T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a R
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1800 ft, 16 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jon Walsh, Colin Moore and Michelle Kadatz 2016
Page Views: 320 total · 38/month
Shared By: Alexander K on Aug 10, 2017
Admins: Kate Lynn

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Description

This route is a direct (and easier) version of Minotaur and follows a number of old aid lines as well as new terrain including the 1st 4 pitches through the large rock scar. Fully bolted belays and easy to rappel, this is a nice sustained adventure up the east face of snow patch. It needs more gardening/scrubbing to reach its full potential, and for a party that has the time fully excavating the cracks on the upper pitches and scrubbing off some of the lichen could make this as clean as Sunshine Crack! Full story of the first ascent and good beta found here: alpinestyle.ca/locations/bu….

P1 and P2: Start off the snow at the base of the wall on the left side of the obvious scoop in the rock scar. Climb up hand cracks (5.10-), cross the scoop (possible gear belay) then continue up the slabby but thinner corner (5.10+) to a two bolt anchor. This can be climbed in 1 pitch with a 70m (60m may work early season). Difficulty and length dependent on the amount of snow at the base.

P3 5.10+, 30m: Climb the corner above and pull through a small overhang. Step left and up a shallow left facing corner, until an easy ramp leads to flakes back right. Hand traverse these until you reach a two bolt belay.

P4 5.11+, 35m: Great long pitch with three distinct crux sections. Pull through a thin section of tips down low that changes into a stem corner, at the top of this corner move left clipping a bolt and pulling face moves onto the arete out left, then cut back right into the corner. A few very thin stemming/ chimney moves (small gear) bring you up to another two bolt anchor.

P5 5.10+, 50m: This is what you (maybe) brought the #5 for. Climb the steep fist crack off the belay and then layback over the bulge with the wide pod. Once you are established above this bulge, look up above you for the bolt, clip it and climb up and left into the right leaning corner above with a nice handcrack. Follow this easier climbing up and right until you reach the big ledge, then traverse this up and left to a two bolt anchor with rings, beneath a rightward trending groove.

These first five pitches are shared with Welcome to the Machine (a route that should definitely be added by someone who has climbed it). The Welcome to the Machine anchors are just to the left beneath the obvious flake.

P6, 5.10+, 30m: climb up into the groove, clip two knifeblades and then face climb up to a two bolt anchor.

P7, 5.11+, 35m: Climb the finger crack, traversing left and then back right into the main crack. Get some gear at the roof and then pull it. Mostly 5.10 fingers other than the roof pull. Anchor to the left on the slab above.

P8 5.11a, 30m: Climb up and clip the bolt, then traverse the slab to the right, until reaching the base of the left leaning, left facing corner. Head up this (micro cams and rps) until reaching two pins. Climb up into the main corner (another pin and 2 bolts followed by gear) and continue up to a bolted belay.

P9 5.10, 55m Look up and right to the steeper, left facing wall with a number of good looking cracks, you are headed to the base of this. Mostly easy climbing with a short finger crack crux. Climb up the corner until just below the grassy ledge. Step right and traverse up on ledgy terrain until reaching a two bolt anchor. This is a nice bivy ledge for those who might want more time to do the route.

P10 5.9, 20m: Climb up the best of the cracks, belay station on the left but easy to link with the next pitch.

P11 5.11a, 30m: Climb the right crack on good hands until it slims down to a thin finish into the alcove and a bolted belay.

P12 5.10+, 35m: Climb up the crack on the left for 5m and then make a reachy moves with some face features to the crack on the right that parallels the arete. Follow this crack up over the lip to a bolted belay. This pitch might feel harder and could use a good scrubbing.

P13 5.9, 30m, Climb the chimney (easy but runout) to the top of the pinnacle. Can link this with P12 with a 70m.

P14 5.11c, 30m: Pull bouldery moves in the thin left slanting crack off the belay, passing 3 bolts. The crack then eases in difficulty and takes you up to a nice belay ledge.

P15 5.11, 30m: This is the pitch that made me want to do this climb. Follow a fist crack up the left side of the pillar, then look up in awe at the splitter thin hands crack through the headwall above. Rest up then punch it up thin jams. You could place 3x #0.75 or #1 camalots on this pitch, but for the strong crack climber a double rack from #0.5 to #1 would be adequate.

P16 5.10, continue up the crack as the angle kicks back and it gradually widens. Step right around the bulge and continue up a groove to a bolted belay.

You could scramble up to the summit (4th class?) or just start rapping the route. 2x 60m required to rap. Not all bolted anchors have rings/quicklinks so pay attention on the way up to figure out which to skip. From the top of P4 a 60m rap will take you to the top of P2, then one more rap back to the snow (note that this won't be where you started, so think about where to leave the packs, we threw ours down onto the glacier to make them easier to get back to).

Location

Locate the obvious scoop in the rock scar on the East Face. Route starts in the cracks on the left side:

alpinestyle.ca/2016/09/02/s…

Protection

Double rack from #0 C3 to #3 Camalot, + 1x #00 C3, Set of nuts and RPs and an extra 0.3 tips piece.

Optional: #4 (may help protect P15 fist crack, placeable but not particularly useful on any other pitch) #5 (may help protect P5 pod moves, can be left at P5 anchor) and an extra 0.75 or #1 for the thin hands splitter, maybe an extra 0.4 for the fingers sections. We could have done without all of these pieces but neither of us fell on lead.

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