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Ptarmigan Towers
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NE Corner T 
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NE Corner 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Tom Gries and Larry Hamilton, August 1975
Page Views: 919
Submitted By: L. Hamilton on May 21, 2003

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BETA PHOTO: NE Corner route on Ptarmigant Tower 4.

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Except for its crumbling crux, this Tower 4 line is clean, consistent and well protected. The following description is from the FA.

Just below and right of the summit of Tower 4, as seen from Lake Nanita, are two deep, overhanging 200-foot chimneys. The route ascends a line a few feet left of the indistinct NE edge of the face, and finishes in the right-hand of the two upper chimneys. Start by third classing any of several short, 5.7-ish left-facing dihedrals, and on up right a few yards to a stance below a vertical 50-foot dihedral.

1) Climb this vertical 50-foot dihedral to a ledge; walk right to another, longer dihedral and continue to a ledge at its top. This second dihedral is fairly prominent from the ground, and is to the right of a very large but less promising dihedral that leads into overhangs halfway up the face.

2) Go up a ropelength to belay on a ledge below a blocky 30-foot pillar.

3) Avoid the rotten pillar by moving left into a clean and steep left-facing corner. This corner has an awkward move past a thistle at its bottom, and an overhanging hand crack at its top. Continue up easier rock to a belay.

4) Initially easy climbing leads up and a bit left across some headwalls to a ledge with a cairn.

5) Continue up and left to reach the base of the final chimney, which begins with a tight, overhanging crack. Belay higher on a sloping ledge.

6) Climb the widening chimney past some rotten overhangs (crux), and on to its top.

7) A few moves above the belayer lead to scrambling and Tower 4's summit.

An easy descent can be made by going up to the scree gully running S from the uphill side of Tower 5.


Gear to 3".

Photos of NE Corner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Larry Hamilton approaching the summit chimney on t...
Larry Hamilton approaching the summit chimney on t...

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By Meredith DB
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 15, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The upper part of this route is interesting and fun. When I climbed it, I got pretty lost on the first couple pitches - I don't think I was on route, as the climbing was loose and scary.

We definitely did do pitches 4-7 as described, and they were great. The cairn at the top of pitch 4 is still there. The crux section does have some rotten rock, but it is pretty obvious where the rock is solid and where it isn't. The crux overhangs are well protected and fun.

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