I'm looking for any beta, preferably current, on the approach to the buttress both direct (lower) and via the Bypass glacier. It seems as if, especially earlier summer (ie now'ish) beginning the route at the lower buttress mitigates ones exposure time to the obvious objective hazards. Any advice? Has anyone been up the buttress this season?
Is there anyway a new forum heading could be created accommodate 'non squamish' related posts?
May 24th 2009 conditions
http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthr ... _Couloir_5
The good news is that you don't need to worry about seracs on the Bypass Glacier. What you do need to worry about is how you are going to get across a large patch of slushy snow without A) going for the big ride when a chunk of it decides to go sliding off the glacier into the cirque below or B) getting smoked by slides and debris from above. After getting to the base of the NE couloir and ascertaining it's unclimability (wet and decidedly lacking in the white stuff for the bottom half), we hiked up to Crossover Pass for the view. Several times each hour, the serenity of the placid landscape was rudely interrupted by stuff (think big heavy "I'm gonna squash this puny climber into pulp!" stuff) falling, sliding and being otherwise pretty hyperactive. It was sunny and warm, so in all seriousness, a really really early caffeine fuelled sprint from the notch over to the Buttress would in all likelihood be a totally great way to go.
So would the direct line from the cirque down low. Walked right past it from the memorial. It looked good, just a bit damp in spots. Lots of rocks laying around in the snow though (hmmm, where did THOSE come from?), so Slesse is definitely shedding her winter skin. Heard lots of rockfall, more than later in the season for sure. There's also the remnant of a fairly recent large slide that seemed to have come from below the Frase Ribber and that area. All the slab below is bare. Likely culprit.
The NE Buttress itself looks like it's in great shape...not too much snow apparent on it even now, at least on the surface. The things I would be concerned about now would be (and this is in order of importance):
1) How wet is the rock from snowmelt and is it going to make all that black licheny stuff deathful?
3) Can I actually get an early enuff start to get across the glacier safely (Consider things here like "should I bivy at the cairn and bring an espresso maker?" " Do I want to hump said espresso maker up climb?" "Are werewolves or grouchy partners a viable threat at 2 am?")
2) What's the descent gonna be like? Rap slings hidden in snow? Descending steep drop-off runouts in five tennies? Dodging sluffs in fleece?
4) Who gets stuck carrying the espresso maker? Do I bring a grinder too, or bring pre-ground? Mugs? What about MILK?
Or, you could just wait until the end of August when the probably won't be a glacier or it will have been reduced to somewhere pleasant to refill your water bottle, the rock will be bone dry, and you can score booty from the previous 2 months ascentionists!
Whatever you decide, good luck! Oh, and if you find a grey siltarp, it's the one I dropped last summer from the bivy. You can have it.
My bad, your right its slushy glacier chunks you need to worry about not seracs..I always get those two confusedThe good news is that you don't need to worry about seracs on the Bypass Glacier
What you do need to worry about is how you are going to get across a large patch of slushy snow without A) going for the big ride when a chunk of it decides to go sliding off the glacier into the cirque below or B) getting smoked by slides and debris from above.
Help is most welcome. I haven't yet planned a specific date. But I'm thinking about some weekend in July. I'll make a post once I've settled on a date.
I assume that the upper N. Face Couloir is still in fine condition right now, you'll just need to climb the N. Rib on the lower portion. The N. Face Couloir and the N. Rib are almost completely interchangeable - it seemed to me like you could easily climb onto or off of the N. Rib all the way up the couloir.
Anyway, you should have rock shoes for any trip to the N. Face Couloir so that you can finish up the last six pitches of the N. Rib to the summit. Anything less than that is an attempt, right?
And, Jer, I think I Crossover Pass trail would be a nice addition, but what Slesse really needs is a zip line off the summit.
It's time to put aside all this cheap talk and get down to some bush-cutting walk. This Saturday. Slesse's Crossover Descent. The trail begins. My wife and I would love any help...
more info and "sign up" here
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