With the sunny weather we have been having the snow is pretty much gone from the ledges. This route would now go over loose rock and cliff areas for significant distances, where protection would be very difficult. Rockfall hazards would also be high.
Gibraltar Ledges - June 27
The ledges is melting out fast. I was able to look down on it this weekend, and it looks like the middle of the Ledges is all rock. Getting on and off the ledges is still snow. This rock section would be very difficult to protect and very loose in the warm weather. I think that there are a few hearty souls out there who would still have fun on this route, but be prepared for a technical challenge with lots of loose rock.
Last week on Wednesday, Stanislav Zinkov climbed the ledges and had this to say:
- Andy Anderson - Photo by
"Conditions were great. There were steps kicked in and visible for about half of the route. The Ledge itself has melted out a lot. Weended up walking on rocks with crampons on in several sections."
Gibraltar Ledges and Gibraltar Chute Route Conditions - June 11th
Several climbers made it up Gib ledges last weekend, and a team of rangers climbed Gib Chute. Here is climbing ranger Arlington's account of his climb of Gib Chute with Hannah:
"We began the climb in clear weather and calm winds under a full moon. We approached the Nisqually Basin along the west side of the Cowlitz Cleaver with a very firm crust underfoot. We made our way to the base of the chute staying far climbers right. I found this to be a nice, fairly direct high line that avoids the large crevasse field in the runout of the chute. The snow was good until we reached the hourglass, where it became generally rotten. Above the pinch, the snow conditions improved. After a short rest at Camp Comfort, we continued on a direct line towards the summit. The crevasse issues along the way were minor. The snow bridges were strong and easy to scout. The 'shrund at 14,000 feet did not pose a problem. The weather on the summit was clear and calm and after a brief rest Hannah and I strapped on our skis and snowboard for a speedy descent off the summit via the Ingraham Direct route."June 6th
This report on Gib Chute came from the climber on the Kautz Glacier...
"My original plan was to ski Fuhrer Finger, but I was unsure of the exact place to begin dropping down. Instead I headed for the biggest landmark on that side of the Mountain, Gib Rock. The turns up high were fairly firm with the occasional bumpy rimed section, but overall quite good for the upper slopes.
The upper [Muir] Snowfield was awesome corn that gave way to sticky glop below Pebble Creek.June 1st
Once at 12,600' I decided to have a look at the Chute if only to appease my curiosity and found that it didn't look overly difficult. The top few inches of mush threatened to slide, so I began sidestepping down the steepest section and through the hourglass ( which was almost exactly the width of my skis). I set off a small sluff that crept partway down, and then made easy turns on good snow all the way to the bergschrund, at which point I traversed high along the Cowlitz Cleaver staying above all the cracks.
Not much new to report, but here is an image to provide inspiration.
Numerous climbers have been ascending and descending this classic line. All have pretty much said the same thing, "What a great route, and it's in GREAT shape." They are reporting firm snow conditions and excellent cramponing. A few have commented that there is little to protect the thin traverse, which is roughly 1/2 way up the ledges. Also, there is a great boot track up the Cowlitz Glacier from Camp Muir. Most teams are now descending the DC.