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Routes in Mount Tupper

South Rib (full) T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
West Ridge T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 2600 ft, 20 pitches, Grade V
FA: David P. Jones, Glen T. Spellman. July 17, 1972
Page Views: 281 total · 21/month
Shared By: Ethan Berman on Aug 14, 2017
Admins: Kate Lynn

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Description

The clear and obvious line on Tupper all the way from the highway up to the summit. The FA party did not climb the "headwall" of the rib to the summit but rather traversed the big ledge to the West Ridge (5.8 climbing up to this point). We found solid 5.10 climbing up the upper portion.

The climbing is a bit varied and route finding a little tricky. Lower down follow bushy ledges on the left side of the ridge. The crest itself seems to provide harder climbing and we had to rap back to the left at one point after a dead end.

The upper pitches are spectacular with great views of the real Tupper headwall on the right.

Plan for a long day car-to-car.

Location

Park at the Hermit Meadows trailhead and walk along highway 1 (east) until reaching the first snow tunnel. Follow the faint road to above the snow tunnel and ascend the obvious couloir to the start of the route.

Descend the West Ridge back to the Hermit Meadows bivy site and follow the trail back to the road.

Protection

Standard alpine rack to 3'' and single rope.

Photos

Thoughts from a fledgling Mountaineer. For the sake of perspective, I am 53, a little overweight and a 5.10 rock climber without much mountain experience. I'm including these details because, at 5.8, this climb could be an enticing draw for those wanting a full mountain experience at a relatively modest level of technical difficulty. Also, my climbing partner was a very strong, very experienced climber and mountaineer. I never would have attempted a climb like this without someone of his ability.

We climbed as far as the traversing ledge, which we used to access the west ridge for descent. We began the approach at 4:30 AM, reached the ledge at 2:30 PM and made it back to the highway around 9 PM. The approach was a steep, three hour slog up the icy snowshed and surrounding banks. (I invested over 200 hrs of training into this climb. I should have done more.) Once we roped up the climbing was quite nice in places, with some short-roped scrambling thrown in. I found a couple short cruxes strained my climbing ability to the limit - I would put them more at the 5.10 than 5.8 level. Closer to the traverse ledge we climbed a steep gully for two pitches that had some very loose rock, followed by an odd dike of vertical plates of rock that was also very loose. When we reached the ledge, the time (2:30), difficult looking final headwall and my state of mind after the loose pitches dictated exiting via the ledge. Traversing the loose and quite sloping ledge requires care. A single rappel (or very careful downclimbing?) to the base of an obstructing wall leads to easier climbing/scrambling up to the west ridge below the Gendarme. After a half hour of steep, exposed scrambling down the ridge, it eases up to mostly hiking.

To those who are relatively new to mountaineering, do not make the mistake of taking this route lightly. The approach and climb require good route-finding skills. Quick, efficient movement is a must. And 1972 5.8 can feel pretty hard. Mar 24, 2018

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