This route is shockingly clean for having never seen traffic (that we know of). Josh and I finished up high grinning ear to ear for having stumbled onto so much good, clean climbing. The route clocks in at approximately 1150 feet and has two distinctly different flavors of climbing. Due to incoming weather, for the last 3 pitches we simul-climbed to the ridge left of obvious terrain that would continue at a moderate but more consistent level of climbing to a higher exit. Like Hallett, there are any number of ways to go up there on mostly homogenous terrain.
P1. Identify a minor gully to the left of which is an obvious, right-facing corner with black rock on its right face. There is a good photo on the Upper Wall
mixed route page of this feature where the black portion is a sheet of ice (center of photo, climber at the base). About 40 feet to the right across the minor gully, you will notice twin seams that meander up a clean, granite slab towards a nose at the top of the granite. Head up these seams for 150 feet, and belay at the base of the nose on a #1, 2, 3 Camalot combo. A nut tool in the leaders hand will help clean up some additional gear placements, 5.8 PG-13, 150 feet.
P2. Head straight up and left off the belay and place some #0.4 - #0.75 Camalot gear in a shallow crack about 20 feet off the belay. From here, either head straight up the seam (5.8 PG-13) and find pro as you go, or at an easier but more runout grade (5.7 R), climb the featured, wavy slab to the left that is next to a closed corner system. After about 25 feet, there is a perfect #2 Camalot in the corner. From here, head up and right to an obvious, large, grassy ledge. Use a combo of #0.2 - 0.5 Camalot sizes for the belay, 5.7R or 5.8 PG-13, 100 feet.
P3. Head left then straight up, weaving through the breaks in the roofs/overlaps, eventually coming to a left-facing hands to fingers, left-facing corner. After 20 feet, you will be below the final roof. Surmount this, and belay from slung boulders on the large terrace, 5.8, 70m/230 foot stretcher. You could break this into 2 pitches.
- *Terrace break - move the belay up and left to the right-facing corner 20 feet LEFT of the obvious, large, seeping, right-facing corner. This is almost part of the large right facing, seeping corner and is characterized by dual, right-facing finger and hand/fist cracks. Straight up from this dihedral is an obvious horn/finger of rock sticking out from the wall. The wall becomes steeper than the previous 3 pitches here and changes to gneiss.**
P4. Head up the dual finger/fist crack dihedral on steeper terrain towards the horn/finger of rock about 120 feet up. Just below the horn/finger, cut left and head up towards a great, grassy ledge and belay off of small stoppers and a yellow Mastercam-sized piece. This pitch could be broken into 2 pitches with good belays. As we did it, it was 5.8, 180 feet.
P5-7. It appears that the ridge is just overhead from this belay, but there is about 500 feet of moderate climbing left. Head straight up off the belay, staying away from the gully to the left and going up and right where appropriate. One could probably head up and right off of the belay and stay on more interesting terrain with intermittent gear. There are available belays if you pitch it out, but you will have to seek them out, 5.7 with an occasional harder move, 500 feet.
Doubles from micro-Camalots to #2, a single #3, an optional #4, RPs, and Stoppers.
Walk East down the ridge. There is a possible descent down the Northeast Gully
with a little bit of down scrambling or a potential rappel. The Rossiter 2015 guidebook has good photos of this feature. I believe there is a cairn marking the top of the gully.
Otherwise do as we did and continue down the ridge and attempt to identify East Gully (also described in the Rossiter 2015 book). This will be a mellow gully with a short section of 3rd class then a brief talus slope back to the lake. If, while approaching, you headed around the east side of the Loch to access the south shore/talus slope, then consider dropping bags and racking up here to avoid walking back to the base of the climb.