Peak(s):  Pettingell Pk  -  13,553 feet
"Citadel, The"  -  13,294 feet
Date Posted:  09/23/2019
Modified:  09/28/2020
Date Climbed:   09/22/2019
Author:  thurs
 Pettingell to Citadel: 5.4 Ridge   


Starting from the parking lot, we proceeded to Herman Lake at a sweaty pace in just under an hour. The spur up towards Pettingell went quickly but the pace began to drop in the midst of the talus and loose scree torturefest on the upper half of Pettingell. We hit the ridge as soon as possible and summited on pleasant terrain. We then proceeded towards "The Citadel" near the spine of the rolling ridge. A few Class 3 sections were avoidable but fun to climb, and there was surprisingly little required scrambling leading up to the crux pitch despite the ruggedness of the terrain.

Crux Pitch

The crux pitch in all its glory. If you were really scared you could probably drop low and find a dirty Class 4 gully to bypass this, but is that really any less sketchy?
The seam at the right side of the dark chimney seems to be the most consistent weakness. It goes at 5.4 at the most.
Yeah it's pretty vertical. The rock itself is solid but unsurprisingly there is plenty of loose stuff to knock onto the heads of your comrades.

The crux pitch was the start of serious climbing (though we warmed up on some contrived Class 4 terrain before the pitch). The 5.4 climbing began right off the deck and is really only sustained for 20-30 feet at a near-vertical angle, with gentle exposure (though deadly consequences). The rest of the pitch (50 more feet at the most) was Class 4. The chimney is the obvious weakness and the seam on its right side provides plenty of features to work with. The rock is of reasonable quality though as typical for the altitude there is plenty of rubble and detached nonsense to be wary of. Just stick to the cool, protected seam and enjoy the solid rock. There are no committing moves if you are moving properly, as expected for the grade. This feature would certainly eat up pro but the utility of hauling a rope all the way up there for that short of a pitch is debatable if you are comfortable on that grade.

Climbing is fun.

More sustained scrambling followed the crux pitch but nothing particularly exposed. Plenty of loose rocks and routefinding options kept things interesting and we tried to choose the most aesthetic line possible (i.e. the top of the spine). We didn't really know the actual route to the summit of "The Citadel" (or which one was the true summit) so we just climbed the most interesting looking face of both peaks, sat on top of their highest stones, and called it a day. Getting down via the proper route was a bit of an experiment and probably should have been researched. Of course, there is great cell reception up there!

Stick to the ridgeline for maximum fun. This block is not attached and you should definitely not do this.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Nice TR
09/23/2019 13:08
Good work! But I must say, just a few days ago someone posted a TR of soloing the crux.

And I'm pretty sure I've read lordhelmet, Monster, and marmot72 soloing that years ago.

Oh yeah
09/23/2019 13:13
Ah thanks, I didn't look at the one due to the title. I'm certainly not claiming to have the first TR of doing this, but I haven't been able to find one easily via google. I'll make a note about that

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