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South Ridge 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Peter Koedt, James Hamlin, Peter Rowat, Nona Rowat, Greg Shannan, 1973
Season: Dry
Page Views: 6,087
Submitted By: Ken Trout on Dec 28, 2010  with updates from Peter Rowat

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South Ridge, First Pitch Photo by Peter Rowat Fami...

In 1974, a Vancouver expedition hiked in on the Mulvey Creek Trail with enough friends to climb everything worth climbing. Three children and a sitter came in by chopper. This route was attempted, and Peter Koedt, Peter Rowat, Nona Rowat, and Greg Shannan did the first two pitches before weather forced a retreat. That September, Peter Koedt and James Hamlin returned to finish the ridge.

Peter Rowat and company made the first one day ascent of Mt Gimli's South Ridge during the early seventies. What follows is Peter Rowat's route description from the Kootney Karabiner, Volume 16, 1973:

"...The climb takes the crest of the ridge all the way. 1 The most southerly point of Gimli, the start of the ridge and hardest pitch of the climb, consists of a curvaceous jam crack at the back of a 120 ft high steep wide chimney capped by an overhang. Can be well protected with nuts and exits right at the top to a stance beside the overhang. 2 Go straight up 6 feet then back left onto the ridge crest and climb easier ground to the first notch. 3 Go up to obvious flake, aim for the obvious crack but traverse round corner to right. 4 Continue to big flat step. 5 Continuous 5.6 for 200 ft going right occasionally, to stance. 6 Continue up circumventing overhang on left. 7-10 Ridge rounds off gradually, scramble to top. Rating: 5.7. Gear: 6 pins from small horizontal to 1 1/2", 12 nuts."
Rock Climbing Photo: GIMLI SOUTH RIDGE

High quality gneiss is climbed directly up the fin shaped southeast ridge of Mount Gimli. Since we use the Yosemite Decimal System, I like to use Valley routes for comparison. My crack-hating wife thought the crux first pitch to be much harder than Bishop's Jamcrack (5.8) and much easier than pitch two of the Central Pillar of Frenzy (5.9).

Start climbing left of the pack-stash ledge, up delicate but easy slabs, 20 feet left of the main crack system. Climb the excellent white corner passing a roof with good holds and strenuous pulls out right. 35 meters up, there are about ten slings, with rings, around a flake for a rappel anchor. Better to belay on the ledge a few feet above the slings. Anchor in the main crack on the left. Beware of the hollow horizontal crack that appears to anchor the better part of the ledge.

The second pitch climbs up to the ridge using thin cracks and dark gneiss band holds. About 5.7 to start, then easing up to a notch/Gendarme belay with a slung chockstone.

Pitch three climbs more gorgeous, steep, and tricky banded gneiss. End at a tree and nice ledge on the ridge (5.7, see photo).

Pitch four is again steep and beautiful, with a hard lieback move. End atop the grassy and comfortable "Lunch Ledge" (5.6+, 60 meters).

Pitch five is again fun and exposed for 60 meters to the base of the notorious roof pitch (5.8).

Pitch six starts with a short corner up the the roof move. Left around the roof up to a small ledge (5.10a move).

Pitch seven is the last of the fifth class climbing. Two hundred feet, with more nicely sculpted rock, up to a belay below the "diving board" (5.7).

A long stretch of class III ridge leads to Mount Gimli's sub-summit, then a notch, and finally a class II scramble to the true summit. Go to the Mount Gimli page for descent beta.

More good beta for the Valhallas can be found on
sTePh aBeG's site.

Good pictures in this 2005 Valhalla trip report from Idaho.

Pellucid Wombat posted a trip report for Gimli on Supertopo

Photos of South Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Maurice de St Jorre .. on route 1999
Maurice de St Jorre .. on route 1999
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5, the best 5.6 pitch anywhere
Pitch 5, the best 5.6 pitch anywhere
Rock Climbing Photo: On the approach to Mt. Gimli
On the approach to Mt. Gimli

Comments on South Ridge Add Comment
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By ddriver
From: SLC
Aug 5, 2014

By Hans
From: Squamish, BC
Jan 23, 2015

First I have to say that Ken did an amazing job with this page. This is the standard for what a route description should be. Great job. I wish the rest of MP was like this.

Second, this route is fantastic.

Third, there are a lot of goats up there. And there are really a lot of annoying bugs, though once you are on the route the bugs go away. The goats don't. I saw two of them on the summit, and they followed us down.
From: Keswick Cumbria.UK
Aug 14, 2017

Great climb with my old friend Maurice de St Jorre in 1999...he followed in great style in heavy Mt boots.... We both are X Brit climbers from way back in the mid 1950's

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