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Snowpatch Spire
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Super Direct 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Nils & R.M Preshaw, 1992
Season: summer
Page Views: 4,116
Submitted By: harihari on Jul 30, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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The first pitch Super Direct. First ascent 31 Jul...


A superb and varied trad line with bolted rappels on the West Face of Snowpatch Spire. I am putting this on here because
(a) it needs more traffic
(b) we cleaned P2 and it's awesome now
(c) the guide is vague on gear
(d) I have slightly better pitch beta, which is as follows:

P1 20m 5.9 corner to gear belay where crack divides. You can see the final rap station to climber's right across from you, under a small roof-- pins and slings.

P2 55m 10c lieback with good feet and lots of gear. Gear belay atop corner where things ease off. This pitch was cleaned in July 2010.

P3 20m 5.8 Go up about 8m, go right past one 5.8 move, and up to a bolted belay (rap station) which is about 5m left of the corner.

P4 5.6 ~45m Go up the broken gully past another rap station until you find a steeper block that looks like it could be liebacked. Belay under this on gear.

P5 5.8 50m Pass the lieback block, and fire up the stembox in a long pitch until you get to a sling belay off a horn at the base of the huge white wall. Very cool pitch.

P6 5.10c 50m Traverse the finger-ledge slightly up and right in superb position past a rap station (clip for pro), clip an ancient bolt, then fire right, up the arete/crack and back left to another rap station where you belay.

P7 5.10+ 50m Traverse down 10m left, then head up the awesome right-facing corner, liebacking, stemming and body-jamming, exiting either up and left or up and right to fixed belays. Many long slings. This pitch has some burly moves but there is tons of good gear in all sizes.


West Face of Snowpatch Spire, topping out between N and S summits.


2x camalots from .3-#2, 1x #3 and #4, nuts, long slings, a couple of extra finger-sized pieces for P2.

Photos of Super Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowpatch -looking south from Bugaboo Spire. West ...
Snowpatch -looking south from Bugaboo Spire. West ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Super D
Super D
Rock Climbing Photo: Super D
Super D
Rock Climbing Photo: Super Direct
Super Direct
Rock Climbing Photo: Here is a topo picture of the route.
Here is a topo picture of the route.

Comments on Super Direct Add Comment
Show which comments
By Eugene Kwan
Aug 10, 2012

Great route! Should get done a lot more often. The line is amazing and reminded me of Yosemite.

Additional beta:
- route can be rappelled with one 70 m rope; should also be possible with a 60 m, though there might be a small amount of downclimbing
- extra medium nuts would be useful for P1 and P2
- the route is cold in the morning. The sun hit the route around 12:30 (Aug 9/12) and we didn't head up until then. Don't bother with an early start.
- The traverse on pitch 6 is a bit spicy, but I would call it 5.9, not 10c.
By Tim Banfield
From: Calgary, Alberta
Sep 10, 2012
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

Kind of thought that the 2 last pitches were a bit serious for the 2nd. They were a bit heady for the leader too.

- We took 2 ropes so that we could rap without the intention of using our tag line on the climb. I was super stoked as the 2nd to have the tag line on the last 2 pitches. Sam was able to tag the 2nd line up and protect me on the traverse from above.

- We also thought that for additional gear we would add 2 sets of cams below .3". I was certainly glad to have them on the second pitch leading at my limit.
By Jtetzlaff
Jun 21, 2013

We linked the first two pitch's, superb.....When I do it again, I would let the Sun hit it first it was cold. Lots of finger sized gear and bigger cams #4 BD for the upper pitches.
By Roy Preshaw
Oct 4, 2013

Historical note. First ascent 31 July 1992. The original Beckey-Greenwood meandered across the face to gain the central gully, and bolted and nailed to exit the right wall. We felt Fred Beckey had missed the beautiful initial crack.
At the old aid section (P6 above) we strung small wired stoppers on direct aid bolts for protection and were surprised to free the slab easily. If these bolts are corroded out this slab will be a little more serious. As above, both leader and second are at risk of falling out the final crack.
We don't know if this qualifies as a classic, but certainly the upper and lower thirds are pretty nice in the afternoon sun. Wildflowers wilts by comparison. We're sorry to hear the first section needed to be cleaned - it was pretty clear in 1992 (see photo).
It's also neat that you can rap right down to where you left the boots used on the glacier.
Nils and Roy Preshaw
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Sep 3, 2017

hmmm not really worth doing IMO after doing a several more 'cragging' routes. The second pitch is cool!... but after 50' it gets a bit monotonous.

The middle pitches are gully slumming, and completely unremarkable.

The top pitches are insecure on the traverses, and a little uncomfortable on the ups.

Maybe I was just having an off day. At least the raps are bolted and low commitment.

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