Saturday, March 31, 2012

Routes to the left of Beeline

I made it out today on the hump.  It is always so easy to forget how warm it gets up on that face.  Despite a fair bit of snow in the townsite and tonnes in the mountain, the face felt like summer.  I wandered up just to the right Right Warm  (5.3) and yet further right on another scramble (5.3 or 5.4).  Both were actually pretty nice routes that would take decent gear.

 I think I've done the one furthest right a couple of times before, but can't remember which one "Right Warm" is.  It doesn't have a very good description in the guidebook.  From the Bear's hump topo (#8) it looks like Right Warm is on the same face as Warm Up.  That means I was wandering between Right Warm (#8) and Beeline (#7).

I guess I might as well describe them, since they were actually much better than they looked.  The rock was solid, and while they were on the edge of a scramble, both had 2-4 moves that would warrant a rope for an average 5.7 climber.  My opinions may be off a bit since I was wearing a pair of hikers.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera.  I'm sure lots of people have wandered up these routes before.

7a   5.3

Rock     ***-
Gear      ***-    ??
Moves   **-
Setting  **-

About 15 feet to the left of Beeline, there is an indistinct arete.  On the left side of the arete there is some solid looking dark grey rock that is at a fairly low angle (60 degrees).  Scramble up this rock with the occasional gear placement.  The fun, slabby scrambling ends at the white molar tooth limestone.  Here the rock has a couple of large rounded blocks (fridge size).  These are fully adhered to the rock. Either go left (watch rope drag?) or right.  A couple of 5th class moves are required before things settle back down to 4th class terrain.  The rock is quite solid.  The gear probably isn't consistent enough to make this a good first lead.  However, I thought it was a pretty decent route that felt funner than it looked.  The route starts in the pleasant grove of trees.

7b  5.3

Rock     ***-
Gear      ***-    ??
Moves   **-
Setting  **-

About 10 feet to the left of 7a is an even lower angle and easier looking section of rock.  It is about 15 feet to the right of a right facing corner scramble.  The rock is a bit more featured and has an occasional pocket.  Scramble up this rock until you get to a low angled fist crack formed by a big block.  Things are a bit mossy here, but the moves are pleasant and well protected.  You can avoid the crack by stepping right onto a pinnacle, but the gear isn't as easy.  Plus it is always nice to take advantage of a pleasant crack when you can.  The crack sets the route's grade.

The image shows the unclimbed dirty grove (left) and the nice scramble up through the slabby white/grey rock in the center.

Anyone scramble up these before and have some thoughts about them?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Banner Water Year

Looks like this spring may be a repeat of last year - tremendously large snowpack and the potential for cool weather due to a delayed winter.  Here's the snowpack for Waterton.  It may be a while till I get climbing up on the hump....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Graphs of Route Difficult Distribution

I've been putting in quite a few hours getting the climbing app ready.  This is lots more work than one would think.  I suspect it will be on the order of 200 - 300 hours when all is said and done.  Layout work is time consuming.  As part of this process, I whipped up an excel sheet to chart first ascent history and index the routes.  Here is a graph of route distribution by crag.  It omits some of the crags with just a couple of routes.

I put 9's and 10a's together.  With the grade softening that is happens in sport areas, I figured the old separation between 9's and 10's isn't as dramatic as it once was.  Without this, I would have to put 6's and 7's together as opposed to grouping 7's and 8's together.  The latter seems like a better fit.  Grouping the 9's and 10a's together also cuts the "10" pile down so comparisons between the number of routes in this pile and those with the other piles are more sensical.

Other ideas are welcome.

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