Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Crumbly Fun

Went out for a little alpine fun on Turtle mountain the other day with my buddy Aaron. Climbers right of the Frank slide is a small gullythat leads up and hangs a right to a tree island which in turn leads to the ridge below the north summit. I noticed the line a few winters ago as some snow melt had froze on the rock bands creating a thin ice line. Worried about the snow in the gullies I put the route off. Free of snow now I figured that it would be a fun line for summer time. We were not able to finnish the route as the last gully that leads to the trees proved to be far to commiting for us. So if anyone feels like climbing rock that looks like stacked pick up trucks with fridges glued to the tail gates, I'll give a brief route description.

Park at the Shell station in the town of Frank.

Follow the river to the east, contour around the beaver dam until you reach the power line clear cut.

Go up the clear cut, when you bench out head east on a quad trail. This quad track turns to single track and leads across the bottom of the cliffs and gullies of turtle.

Follow the trail and bush wack until you enter the slide its self, up track thru the slide and look for the water worn gully to the imidiate right of the slide.

Scramble the first 20m of gully.

You will end up in a tiny ampitheater with a black watermark up the middle and a crack system to the left.

Climb left hand crack for 45m 5.6ish. Scramble the last 10m into the gully.
follow the gully up towards the red ampitheater.

Once in the next ampitheater look around and see if you got the guts to climb any line in there and then chicken out to the left like we did.

About 15m around the ridge to the left are two pitons that we used as a bottom station. from here head up the corner system over a small wave like slab and up the next corner, around a roof and belay from a good vertical crack below some loose fridges and big screen T.V.s. the next pitch will head up and over the loose kitchen appliances, follow the weakness to the top of the buttress. First pitch was about 45m, 5.6ish rotten and scary. Just dont step on anything or grab anything and you'll be O.K. the second pitch has about 30m of climbing but its another 15m to a slingable boulder on the ridge and its about 5.4ish rotten and scary.

From the ridge head up the gully sticking to the rock on the left. The gully bottom is slab covered in loose scree.(eeeck). The gully will eventually hang a Right and thats where we stopped. There are some lines heading up but no obviouse weaknesses and the rock looks like crap.

To get out of the gully we scrambled down until we could traverse west into the trees. we rapped 50m down a slab and into the next level of trees and headed more west. Watch out for the lower cliffs as they are big and come up fast thru the trees. Two gullies over or so we were able to down climb thru the cliff bands eventually heading down and west thru the trees and ending up on the traversing trail.

We brought a medium sized trad rack and a set of 60m double ropes which seemed adequate. A few knife blades would definatle help the cause.

Have fun, hope the mountain doesnt fall over while your up there.
Chris M


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