Avg: 3.7 from 3 votes
|Type:||Trad, TR, 130 ft (39 m), 2 pitches|
|FA:||Taylor Krosbakken, Sept 2020|
|Page Views:||908 total · 75/month|
|Shared By:||Taylor Krosbakken on Sep 29, 2020|
|Admins:||Kris Gorny, K Ice|
When in doubt, you can inquire about the closures at the State Park Visitor Center (5702 Highway 61, Silver Bay), via email (email@example.com), or by phone (218-353-8800).
Starting on a cozy ledge just a few feet above the frigid water of Lake Superior, chimney up the water polished rock and out above the lake, eventually committing to an overhanging hand and fist crack on the right side of the chimney. Once at the horizontal roof, traverse out right through a finger crack with some key feet. Pull the lip continuing up the steep finger crack dihedral to its end where you can traverse left to a decent sized ledge ending the first pitch. The second pitch climbs the much easier but still engaging dihedral to the top.
Rock quality is poor for the first 30 ft of the second pitch without a ton of pro options and is PG-13. Climbing is 5.9ish. The entire first pitch including the hard climbing protects very well.
Some fine print on this logistical nightmare:
This route is a lot of work before you even start climbing. Whether you are TRing or leading, you need to get to a belay ledge that is 2 feet off the water and 20ft in from a plumb line rappel under a big roof. For TR you HAVE to have directionals (or you could fall into the lake) so you horizontal/down aid while rappelling, clipping pro for directionals.
If leading it makes sense to do 2 pitches and end the pitch at the mid route ledge as your rope drag is getting pretty heinous due to the roof and subsequent traverse to the ledge. Originally led as one pitch with some double rope shenanigans.
Best Logistics for Top Roping
TR solo is a must due to, rope stretch with low crux, mega rope drag, and lack of communication with the top. Rap down the upper dihedral (no directionals needed) to the obvious ledge. Move out right to the steep/slightly over hanging dihedral. Place a .3 at head height and rebelay/clove hitch this piece to reduce rope stretch through the low crux. Continue placing a couple more directionals down this over hanging dihedral. Once you reach the horizontal roof you will need to aid across it and eventually down the steep fist crack clipping your rope to pieces for directionals as you go. If someone else is TRing after you, leaving pieces in place makes it much easier for subsequent climbers. Doubles .3-3 needed for directionals.
Best Logistics for Lead
Boat approach: Yep this is the easiest way. There is a small parking lot off of Highway 61 about a half mile north of Palisade where you can walk a canoe or raft down to the lake and paddle south.
Rappel approach: Getting to the belay ledge for leading is a bit easier than for TR since you don't need to place directionals and can go on the left side of the roof which is a little smaller. There are some slight variations to this, but this will likely be the easiest. Rap down do the obvious ledge at the bottom of the dihedral. Set an anchor here and pull your rope. Then do the following
1. Fix one end of your rope to the anchor and start rappelling hard left.
2.Place a .75 in a horizontal crack on the left side of a small dihedral at the same level as the belay ledge you just left and clip your rappel line to this as a directional (you will be able to reach down and get this from the belay ledge later).
2.Rap down until slightly below some obvious jugs on the left side of the chimney and the fixed nut (see pics). Tension traverse in using side pull crimps and eventually the good jugs to reach a fixed nut with a carabiner on it. Easiest to PAS to the nut and then pull slack to clip your rap line.
3. Lower down level with belay ledge while swinging in. or tension traversing in the chimney. Have some cams ready to place for your anchor. Set anchor on the ledge using .1-.4 cams.
You have used less than 25m of rope to get down there, so you will use the remaining part of your rope to lead up the right side of the roof. Once back at your anchor, end the pitch and untie the fixed end and your belayer can pull the rope down through the fixed nut to retrieve your rope and you can reach down to clean the .75. You could also double rope rappel in and pull your rope if you want a much more committing experience. Also definitely use a gri when tension traversing in, its a 2 handed affair. Your second should probably TR solo although from the mid route ledge you may be able to top belay.
The roof crack seems to stay pretty wet in the spring even if it hasn't rained for several days. Bone dry in the fall though.
I’m pretty torn on the grade. On one hand it isn't very technical, but it's a burlfest that doesn’t let up. So please let me know what you think when you get on it.
The belay ledge is only a couple feet off the water, so if there is a NE wind, with even medium sized waves, you are going to get wet. Its all a part of the experience!
Hike north from the parking lot following the cliff line. Once the talus ends and the cliff goes straight into the water (Poseidon), go another ~400 ft and stay higher when the cliff drops down. Look for the baby pine tree on top of the dihedral. It is a few dihedrals to the climbers left of Northern Exposure, (which is located on the prominent point before the cliff line heads west to the beach.) It is a pretty open area with limited trees. You cannot see the beach yet from the top of this climb.
To stitch it up:
Pitch1 : Doubles .3 to 3. Optional #4
Pitch 2: Singles .3-2, Doubles .4,.5 and some medium/large nuts.
Top Anchor. Quite a bit of cord is needed to reach some good trees and set this one up. You can use the tiny tree but I certainly wouldn’t rely on it too much. And there are very few cracks around.
TR directionals needed: doubles .3-3