Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sun May 08, 2011 8:33 pm

crossfitter wrote:
tmathews wrote:The group that attempted the east ridge had a lot of pro and ropes, but it didn't matter. I'll let one of them fill you in if they want to.


It was scary.


Chris, was the loose stuff more manageable with snow? Or worse?

Were you guys able to summit?

Modest interest in this route, so any info helpful.

Thx. - Jim

User avatar
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby crossfitter » Sun May 08, 2011 9:05 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:
crossfitter wrote:
tmathews wrote:The group that attempted the east ridge had a lot of pro and ropes, but it didn't matter. I'll let one of them fill you in if they want to.


It was scary.


Chris, was the loose stuff more manageable with snow? Or worse?

Were you guys able to summit?

Modest interest in this route, so any info helpful.

Thx. - Jim


We reached similar conclusions as to Nesiha3. I don't have photos to post right now, but Darrin and John have great ones of the problem section. The traverse over the first bump was very exposed on both sides, but I think we all agreed that the snow helped cement the choss together, so loose rock wasn't a problem at first. Things got substantially harder once we reached the first headwall, of which there seemed to be four main options:

1) The "standard" route drops below the first buttress on climber's right but consisted of loose, wet snow/ice on rocks and seemed relatively impassable.

2)A relatively clean-looking and dry, but steep, dihedral running up the middle of the buttress. From the ground the options for pro looked sparse and I can't comment on the stability of the rock.

3) A steep, exposed snow slope on the south side of the ridge. From my understanding in summer conditions this can be used as a bail options to bypass the harder sections. The snow was baked very soft and we did not trust moving on it.

4) A shorter, open book dihedral around the left side of the tall, main dihedral. It initially appeared to be the easiest climbing, but we couldn't see the terrain above it. It took a few awkward stemming moves in boots, but was passable with ok but not great placements. The ledge above this dihedral consisted of loose, wet snow on thin alpine ice on loose rocks. Just about every hold broke off whenever I touched it, and the pro options I found were marginal at best with the light rack I had. A more experienced leader with a better gear selection may have found something workable, though that's pure speculation on my part. Due to the conditions of this upper ledge things became sketchy real fast and Darrin made the wise decision to call a retreat. I left a nut on a belayed downclimb of the dihedral so there's some booty to be claimed. I would not recommend trying this option, however.

We had initially hoped that the snow would help consolidate the choss, but this stuff is every bit as nasty as Roach describes. Blocks which seem attached pull off in your hand, especially the lighter yellow/orange colored rock. In my opinion the quality of this stuff is considerably worse than the bells. While there isn't as much rubble hanging around as the elks, the rock is insanely brittle and breaks easily so it is scary to trust all but the most solid of holds. It's possible that if you hit it in the right conditions you could climb consolidated snow to bypass the difficulties, but the timing would have to be good. As of right now, it is too melted out. I think the best bet is to wait for the ridge to melt out completely and attempt it in approach shoes.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sun May 08, 2011 9:18 pm

Shoot. My original idea was next winter. But the choss is not going to be better then, and in winter there's usually not enough snow to hold things together. If it didn't go now, I doubt it will go then. :(

Thanks for the beta. And congrats for manning up to the attempt. =D>

User avatar
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby crossfitter » Sun May 08, 2011 9:31 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:Shoot. My original idea was next winter. But the choss is not going to be better then, and in winter there's usually not enough snow to hold things together. If it didn't go now, I doubt it will go then. :(

Thanks for the beta. And congrats for manning up to the attempt. =D>


Yeah doing it in true winter would be spooky without a consolidated layer. It might be okay if you are very comfortable with mixed climbing, but I am not and the pro options are probably still poor. I have no doubt that there are plenty of skilled people out there that could pull it off, but I just can't imagine the snow ever making this one easier than if it were bone dry unless you had a really nice, solid snowpack.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


User avatar
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Western Kansas

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby kansas » Tue May 10, 2011 7:59 am

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:Shoot. My original idea was next winter. But the choss is not going to be better then, and in winter there's usually not enough snow to hold things together. If it didn't go now, I doubt it will go then. :(

Thanks for the beta. And congrats for manning up to the attempt. =D>


Jim, here are a few of the pics I took on Saturday. The main difficulty we had was the fact that the snow was too soft to offer any support. In these shots it looks like you could simply climb the buttress via the snow, but in reality, its only about 8" deep and completely saturated. This is one of those rare cases where the pics make it look easier that it actually is.
Attachments
225216_1605743597502_1653514437_1156217_321272_n.jpg
225216_1605743597502_1653514437_1156217_321272_n.jpg (71.3 KiB) Viewed 1053 times
223415_1605745917560_1653514437_1156226_666601_n.jpg
223415_1605745917560_1653514437_1156226_666601_n.jpg (119.47 KiB) Viewed 1046 times
222787_1605747717605_1653514437_1156236_7015401_n.jpg
222787_1605747717605_1653514437_1156236_7015401_n.jpg (88.14 KiB) Viewed 1049 times
Last edited by kansas on Tue May 10, 2011 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

User avatar
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Western Kansas

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby kansas » Tue May 10, 2011 8:01 am

And one more to show what it takes to arrive at the difficult climbing, this pic is taken where the ridge meets the first buttress.
Attachments
229498_1605746797582_1653514437_1156231_7288052_n.jpg
229498_1605746797582_1653514437_1156231_7288052_n.jpg (96.44 KiB) Viewed 1035 times
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

User avatar
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:35 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby jam6880 » Tue May 10, 2011 11:54 am

Kansas did you ever read roach's book on how to do this route?

User avatar
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby crossfitter » Tue May 10, 2011 12:02 pm

jam6880 wrote:Kansas did you ever read roach's book on how to do this route?


We did, and the route as described by roach was impassable due to poor snow conditions. Roach's descriptions, especially for nonstandard routes, are often vague and unhelpful but "so rotten that it is relegated to this author's nightmares" seems pretty accurate.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


User avatar
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Western Kansas

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby kansas » Tue May 10, 2011 12:07 pm

jam6880 wrote:Kansas did you ever read roach's book on how to do this route?


Yes, but the ledge system he used to bypass the first buttress was not in. There was a sheet of ice on the slabs and the class 4 section used to ascend the "white band" was covered with melting snow and ice that wasn't exactly suitable for supporting any weight, same story for the dihedral above the white band...Some of the pictures make it look like the snow would make the ascent a breeze (that's what I was hoping for anyway), but in reality, the snow was horrid.

Did I miss some obvious class 2 workaround? :lol:
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

User avatar
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:35 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby jam6880 » Tue May 10, 2011 10:43 pm

to the right of guy that had his snowshoes on his back looked pretty good. what was wrong with that way?

User avatar
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Western Kansas

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby kansas » Wed May 11, 2011 7:46 am

jam6880 wrote:to the right of guy that had his snowshoes on his back looked pretty good. what was wrong with that way?


If we were to go back, it may be worth exploring a little further but there are a number of reasons we didn't attempt it:

1) At best, I am a low class 5 trad climber. Kris could have monkeyed up it with his eyes closed, but for me carrying a full winter pack while wearing mountaineering boots with crampons, it was a tall order. I saw no need to push my climbing threshold at 13,600ft in deteriorating snow on sh*tty rock...I have kids.

2) As stated above, Kris felt like the options for pro were sparse at best.

3) There was enough rotten snow in it to make things interesting. (see pic)
226992_211004248920043_100000314072037_723538_3084895_n.jpg
Better pic of the right side dihedral
226992_211004248920043_100000314072037_723538_3084895_n.jpg (92.55 KiB) Viewed 651 times


4) That dihedral, would put you on a pinnacle on the north side of the first buttress, too far from the white band for a traverse. The best way off of it would have been a rappel into the rotten snow gully at the base of the white band. (see pic with route)
Dihedral.JPG
Dihedral.JPG (92.84 KiB) Viewed 656 times


I know you have done this ridge, but things were less than ideal up there last Saturday.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Spring Gathering: Missouri Mtn

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed May 11, 2011 11:07 am

kansas wrote:
Dancesatmoonrise wrote:Shoot. My original idea was next winter. But the choss is not going to be better then, and in winter there's usually not enough snow to hold things together. If it didn't go now, I doubt it will go then. :(

Thanks for the beta. And congrats for manning up to the attempt. =D>


Jim, here are a few of the pics I took on Saturday. The main difficulty we had was the fact that the snow was too soft to offer any support. In these shots it looks like you could simply climb the buttress via the snow, but in reality, its only about 8" deep and completely saturated. This is one of those rare cases where the pics make it look easier that it actually is.



Thanks for the photos - very helpful. Did you find that staying directly on the ridge (if technically more difficult) afforded greater stability of the rock? Or was it still quite loose? Thx.

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JeremiahG and 4 guests