West Ridge Bypass
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BETA PHOTO: Google Earth image.
This is an improbable but easy way of getting from the Chief's Head/Pagoda col to the summit of Pagoda, or vice versa. You wouldn't do it as a climb in its own right, but it's a useful alternative to Pagoda's West Ridge if you're doing the Glacier Gorge Traverse (mountainproject.com/v/glacier-...
) or Rossiter's "Walk in the Park" (mountainproject.com/v/a-walk-i...
) and you don't want to solo 5.7 or carry a rope. It's entirely on the South side of the mountain, which helps if it's cold or icy on the North side.
From the Chief's Head/Pagoda col, traverse right across 3rd or 4th class slabs to the start of a 2' wide grassy ledge. Follow this ledge 2/3 of the way across the South face of Pagoda, about 0.25 miles. Where the ledge ends, move up a few feet to a rubble-strewn ramp that leads back left towards the West ridge. Follow the ramp, but don't go all the way to the West ridge. Instead, after about 500', head up to a short corner at the back of a shallow bowl. Climb the corner (one or two easy 5th-class moves), and continue up easier terrain to where the rock steepens just below the summit. Traverse 100' right to gain Pagoda's SE ridge, and hike the last 200' to the top.
There's a downloadable GPS file at caltopo.com/m/180A
None is required.
BETA PHOTO: GPS track. Also available for download at caltopo....