Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Turiano, Goewert, 1990
Page Views: 743 total · 18/month
Shared By: ddriver on Oct 5, 2018
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

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Description

The appeal of this route is that it offers a reasonably straightforward path to the summit of Mt. Owen without dealing with snow when in condition.  Ortenburger and Jackson list this as one of their recommended routes and offer both a description and a topo.  They also describe an alternate route to the left around the arete (Mas Intrepido).  The description given for Intrepidity is 4 pitches to a feature on the ridge they call the electrode.  Our experience was that the features described in the topo were difficult to find and protection options getting onto the arete were few.  From the block start in the bottom of the gully we chose a direct line up and onto the arete following a series of thin cracks.  This option was on excellent rock and a full rope length arrived at a belay on the arete (also 5.10-).  Once on the arete, route finding is quite easy and a handful of fixed gear may be encountered.  Summit via the Koven Chimney.  Obviously, the number of pitches will vary with exactly how the arete is attained.

Descent is via the West Ledges by following the left (east) shoulder of Mt. Owen southward until a notch is reached.  Downclimb this onto very exposed slabs for the West Ledges descent.  Ortenburger and Jackson show this descent, which has two options up high (See photo 73).  After doing the exposed traverse back at mid-height head back to the same gully at the bottom of the wall.  A wrapped horn rappel may found here, but it is dubious.  Due to the extended length of exposed slabs this route must be undertaken in dry conditions with a favorable forecast.

Location

From the bivy site in Valhalla Canyon use the West Ledges route to access the upper face of Mt. Owen (5.1).  Head for a gully near the right-hand end of the west face and scramble up it for several hundred feet until a dark band and a roof section is reached.  Traverse left here on very steep and exposed terrain (5.1).  We roped this going up and down.  This gives access to slabs which lead up and then left to the prominent arete.  Go slightly up into the gully on its right to rope up.

Protection

Alpine rack.

Photos

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