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West Ridge 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 400', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: 1963(?) F. deSaussure, R, Thomas, R, Ingraham, G. Goedecke
Season: Any
Page Views: 369
Submitted By: Robert Cort on Oct 15, 2011

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Here's Marta, coming up to finish our 3rd pitch (c...


The route starts at a huge Juniper tree at the base of the west ridge of The Cwm. Ingraham calls it "hard 4th class", but based on my experience with Ihgraham guide ratings in the Organs, that could mean anything less than 5.6 by today's standards. I called it 5.5. It can be done in fewer than 4 pitches with some scrambling at the top, but due to the meandering nature of the route, rope drag might be an issue. There are also harder variations (one in particular appealing variation climbs as a slab or crack climb and stays more directly on the ridge but establishing in the crack was spicy). The easiest route goes far left on the large ledge below this slab and climbs on good holds. To do it in two pitches, try this: On your first pitch go far west and belay as close as possible to the end of the ledge system; P2, climb left after the steep section, past a two bolt rap anchor, and belay on a large ledge; Un-rope and scramble to the summit plane.


The route starts at a huge juniper tree at the base of the west ridge.

Descent: Normal Cwm descent or optional north side descent. The normal Cwm descent is approximately 2/3 down the summit plane on the south side. Rap off of a horn, into the brushy gulley between NRE and the Cwm (1 rope), then rap the chimney's in the gulley (1 rope), and descend the remainder of the gulley. Or, from the base of the summit plane scramble down to the two bolt rap anchors on the north side (these anchors appear solid, but based on the age of the webbing have not been used in recent times). This rap appears to leave you right on the Cwm/Last peak saddle with a two rope rappel (but I didn't try it).


No fixed pro, but there is a good two bolt rap anchor about 50' below the summit plane (north side of the ridge).

Photos of West Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sorry 'bout the fingers in the picture, I couldn't...
Sorry 'bout the fingers in the picture, I couldn't...
Rock Climbing Photo: Marta Reece leads out on our second pitch after le...
Marta Reece leads out on our second pitch after le...

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By Marta Reece
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 15, 2012

Both the crack and the slab mentioned in the description do go. They head directly up and connect well to the route higher on the ridge. Both are well above the 5.5 rating, but they do remove all the meandering and make the route easily doable in 2 pitches.

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