Type: Trad, Alpine, 1800 ft, 11 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Fred Becky and Hank Mather 1959 / FFA Jon Walsh and Craig McGee Aug 2017
Page Views: 475 total · 33/month
Shared By: Craig McGee on Oct 7, 2018
Admins: Kate Lynn

You & This Route


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Description of "free" Becky/Mather route

The easiest free route up the East face of Snowpatch. 5.12- (or 5.11+C1 for 4 m)

As described this is likely most of the original Becky/Mather route, although for sure there are variations done that are different than the FA.

Pitch 1) 25m, 5.11 Start 5m to the right of the base of the bottom of the “Elephant truck” pillar that forms the first 4 pitches of the route. Start in a short (5.11-) splitter finger-crack off the glacier and follow this up to the right side of a small overlap. Pull around the overlap (5.11) in a small layback wide section and continue up the very shallow right facing crack, until you can step over to the left-hand crack and follow this up to the bolted belay (5.11).

Pitch 2) 30m 5.12- Start up the crack right of the belay (piton) and use the crack and face moves on the left to gain the right side of the first small overhang. Follow the hand crack in the right facing corner on the right side of this overhang until you can you reach the roof. Climb left over the roof and up a slightly right trending crack (pitons) up to the steep finger crack crux. The last 4m is the crux (fingers) and can easily be aided at C1. Bolted belay

Pitch 3) 60m 5.10 Follow the long corner above, a bolted belay is found at 60m, but it is possible to break this pitch into two shorter pitches at one of the many good belay stances and old pitons.

Pitch 4) 45m 5.11- Follow the awesome enduro corner until on top of the “Elephant truck” pillar. New Bolted belay (one old 1/4 bolt found here)

Pitch 5) 60m 5.10+. Step left from the belay and climb up to an Aluminum self-drive (15years old??) then climb up and right on thin cracks and face climbing until you can gain a right trending ramp. At the top of the ramp, place gear in the crack, but face climbs up and left at first, but then back right to the crack 5m above. It is possible (maybe even recommended) to belay here or under the big roof a few meters ahead, although the FFA continued up the left facing corner for another 30m until they could break through the roof (only 5.9!!) and belay on the terrible hanging slab stance above the roof.

Pitch 6) 30-40m, 5.8.  instead of continuing straight up the dirty left facing corner, traverse straight right on the face crack until you can access the fine looking and clean 5.8 hands and fists crack that exits the main left facing corner. Climb this nice crack (old 1/4 bolt) until you can move straight up the face on good ledges and cracks. Many belay options/ledges

Pitch 7) 60m 5.9, (it is recommended to break this pitch into 2X30m pitches) A bit of a dubious pitch. Leave the belay and head up left aiming for a small overlap (5.8) that puts you onto of a small pillar 30m from the belay (likely it is best to belay here to ease the rope drag) from here work your way (any-way) across, up and left to an alcove belay at 60m and directly above the cracks that come from the slab belay above pitch 5. route finding can be a bit dubious. (old wood blocks and old pins throughout this pitch)

Pitch 8) 50m 5.8 head up the left-hand crack until it switches to a shallow low angle left facing crack. a nice anchor can be made on a ledge just above an old 1/4 bolt.

Pitch 9) 60m 5.8 Head up and left through several left facing underling corners, then continue straight up until a stance under a large black overhanging right facing corner/overhang. When below this feature, head up and right on nice face cracks to a left facing short off-width. At the top of the off-width step left on to loose ground and belay on top of a ledge/tower. (top of the Becky chimney that comes in from the left???)

Pitch 9) 60m 5.7. Continue up and left through several ledges and corners

Pitch 10) 50m 5.7 Continue up until you reach and left the trending ramp. Belay at the top of the ramp.

Pitch 11) 50m 5.7 Join the Honeymoon variation from the snow patch route. Head up through small off-widths and ramps until you reach a small roof, head out left on ramps and up to the ridge crest.

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201214529/Snowpatch-Spire-Beckey-Mather-Route-First-Free-Ascent

Location

The route starts at the far left (southern) side of the East face of Snowpatch Spire. Find the large "elephant trunk" pillar and start on its right (north) side.

Protection

  • Double rack of cams to #4 (BD) single set of wires
  • Depending on your ability, extra finger sized cams could be used on pitch 1 and 2
  • Pitch 4 is Enduro, so more medium cams could be used on this pitch too

Photos

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