Gibraltar Ledges & Ingraham Direct April 23, 2006

Two solo climbers ascended Gibraltar Ledges. The first report is from Loren. Loren operates cascadeclimber.

The main boot track across the ledges takes a wrong... a downward turn at the second balcony (for lack of a better term), where it should hug up against a curving, incut section of Gib Rock. I climbed up from the track and went the correct way, but I suspect my track won’t be particularly obvious to others. The exit chute is in great shape, as is the upper mountain.
The second report comes from Mizuki Takahashi. Mrs Takahashi is preparing for a solo ascent of Mount Hunter in the Alaska Range over the next few weeks. These are her photos, I editted some of her information.

There were steps already in to the Beehive; from there it was soft and powdery up to Camp Misery. The other soloist caught me around 11,000ft... so I let him kick steps.

The ledges had some steps, but the snow was soft. About the half way, the steps went down the slope rather than staying close to the rocks. I don't know who made those steps, but they seemed to go the wrong way? (see Loren’s comments above). Gib chute was in perfect condition! Not too soft, not too icy, PERFECT.

From 12,600ft to the summit, the snow conditions were again perfect. There were a few crevasses to negotiate, but not too bad.

Loren skied down from summit trough Gib Chute and Mrs Takahashi descended the Ingraham Direct, which was reported to be quite soft… perfect for descending, difficult for climbing.

Ingraham Glacier Direct

Two Portland climbers ascended the Ingraham Glacier Direct this weekend. They reported post-holing through 8" - 12" of soft snow all the way up the Ingraham Glacier. Climber, David Reinhart said that they had two major crevasses crossings, one which was quite dubious. He questioned whether it would last over the next few weeks.

Once the team gained Camp Comfort near the top of Gibraltar Rock, the snow conditions improved dramatically. From there up, they reported perfect snow/ice conditions to the summit.

All of the teams reported comfortable temperatures on the ascent, yet warm conditions on the descent.

April 11th 2006 - Liberty Ridge

A few teams have taken a stab at Liberty Ridge over the past few weeks. One of them successfully ascended it.

Both teams skipped the lower ridge and climbed directly to Thumb Rock, see image. The direct line offers some benefits, in that it seems to be more direct and therefore a bit faster. A downside, however, is that it also requires an ascent into the basin below Liberty Wall... And as you ascend, you're also hanging out below Thumb Rock which does dump rock from time to time. Depending on temps, this variation could be a likely area for rockfall. On the other hand, lower Liberty Ridge is notorious for rock fall injuries too... So...

A few tips for climbing Liberty Ridge:

  • move quickly, be in the best possible shape, so that you can move expeditiously through hazardous areas
  • wear helmets
  • this will sound contradictory, but it's wise to plan for an extra day. many teams need the extra time as the route turns out to be more demanding than anticipated.

As it stands, we still have NO reports for other routes. As soon as we do, we'll post. Photo by Pandora

April 1

A few parties attempted the mountain this past week, but none reported success. As it stands, we have no new reports for the upper mountain.