Mount Slesse Sept 30 - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 12Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default Mount Slesse Sept 30

Details:
I climbed Mount Slesse via Southwest Buttress on Sept 30.
Access: drove Chilliwack-Slesse FSR to a major washout, most junctions signed, keep right if not. End up on road with overhanging trees, clear but obvious not used much anymore. There is a pullout on right side of road about 50 meters before road ends at a washout. Easy to turn around here.

Old roads: left truck at 5:00 am, easily hiked roads by headlamp, washout easy to cross, pick up old road on other side. Keep right at all road junctions. Took 1.5 hours at slow(due to weak headlamp) pace to get to junction with climbers descent trail. Old road continues so watch for trail on left heading up, there was an old broken plywood sign at base of tree and a pair of gloves on branches of tree.

Trail: once on climbers descent trail, still dark but no troubles by headlamp. Very steep, was gaining 100m/10 minutes. Arrived at knoll at 1850m, view of route ahead. Lose a bit of elevation after knoll, and continue on ok trail all the way to large gully at base of Slesse summit. Climbed loose gully, at top traversed on ledges out right and geared up for climbing.

Climb: One pitch off ledges that I had to rope solo to regain easier ground, would call it low-5th class, but I was wearing rock shoes, which I wore most of the way to summit. Traversed farther right to black lichen covered rock that were lower angle and soloed up, 4th class. A major rap anchor is found at top of this section. Down into a gully and follow trail in scree around farther right. Another major gully splits main summit with south, I kept to solid rock on left side of this gully and paralleled it to col with south peak, 4th class. Left turn here and picked way up rock to summit, low 5th class. Reached summit ridge, far point looked higher so dropped down left and traversed back up to highest point. Found summit register(needs new plastic bags, old ones torn)

Descent: traversed back towards route up until I found a rap anchor, there are many choices of varying age and quality. Some sketchy anchors were used but they all held, I think I did 6 raps plus down climbing and traversing to get back to pack at top of gully. You should be prepared to replace rap tat or be comfortable with sketch. Once down climbing section it's just a long hike back down. Descent on steep trail went at 100m/5 minutes!! Ouch. Old roads hiked in 1 hour with daylight.

Was 12 hours +/- car to car.
Alpine Select rates the route at 5.6 but I don't think it's that hard, many of the better scramblers here should be able to complete this route.
It was the most epic day I've had soloing.

Jason.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	p3.jpg
Views:	310
Size:	900.2 KB
ID:	180753  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p2.jpg
Views:	308
Size:	685.3 KB
ID:	180761  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p1.jpg
Views:	276
Size:	615.6 KB
ID:	180769  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p5.jpg
Views:	221
Size:	1,008.3 KB
ID:	180777  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p6.jpg
Views:	211
Size:	340.6 KB
ID:	180785  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p7.jpg
Views:	245
Size:	841.6 KB
ID:	180793  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p8.jpg
Views:	240
Size:	297.5 KB
ID:	180801  

Click image for larger version

Name:	p9.jpg
Views:	277
Size:	625.9 KB
ID:	180809  


Last edited by Wandering Tree Frog; 10-05-2016 at 12:35 AM.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 11:15 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
thecamel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,789
Default

That second pic is a great shot of your invisible belayer...nice work, definitely some old looking slings.

My hiking career: a selfish pursuit or a pursuit of self?
thecamel is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thecamel View Post
That second pic is a great shot of your invisible belayer...nice work, definitely some old looking slings.
My belayer was a cord tied around a rock. Not ideal, but it worked. It was interesting to put the theory of rope soloing into practice. I now know it works, but won't be rushing out to repeat it.
guntis and gdt3 like this.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 02:41 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
5thhorseman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aldergrove, BC, Canada.
Posts: 441
Default

Nice to read an actual account of this route and the estimated difficulty. Have had this one on my radar.
5thhorseman is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

I decided to write the story, to help me remember what I did. It's long, I don't recommend you read it.
Mount Slesse via Southwest Buttress Sept 30/2016 solo

Mount Slesse, where do I begin the story? I could go back to my first attempt, probably 20 years ago, as a young "climber" (hey I owned rock shoes AND a rope), I thought it's 5.6, I can do that. Luckily that one failed early, I only got as far as the knoll on the steep approach trail. Or my failure last year, when I dragged a partner up the crossover descent route, thinking we could reverse the descent and climb the peak. We failed on the ridge when we realized just how far away the peak was, plus the wet black lichen was treacherously slick. I've talked Slesse with many people, the NE arÍte is famous.

Or I could look back over my year, 25 new peaks make it the best one in a while. And some good ones in there, the long "days", Ossa, Shields, Castle Towers. The fast days, Cassiope/Saxifrage, Capilano, Fissile. The Tolkien group triple in a day. Mt Hood in the wind. Cirque went down much easier than anticipated. Maybe I'm looking for a big peak to finish out the year?

I left work on Thursday, stopped to load up on bars and dumped all my gear on my floor. I was still half packed from an attempt on the east ridge of Matier the previous Saturday and I needed to change out the winter gear for rock. I've done enough trips that the packing went quick. A few late evening messages with a '"responsible friend" to leave a trip plan and instructions as to when to call in SAR and off to bed with a 2am alarm.

Luckily my internal clock is well calibrated, as my alarm didn't work but I awoke at 2 anyway. Once I got moving, it was on. There was very little emotion all day, no anxiety, no fear, even though I knew what I was attempting was very serious. The drive went fine, I arrived at a washout in the road at 4:30am. It meant a longer walk than the old parking, and I decided the best thing to do was have a 20 minute nap before I started. I've never slept well before a big mountain day before so the fact I was able to nap was interesting.

At 5am I started hiking the old road. With the dim light of my headlamp, my hearing took over, an owl was heard in the dark morning, the rustle of fall leaves as I walked and the distant sounds of Slesse creek. The old road made for easy walking, it was mostly flat and smooth, and around 6:30 I reached the junction with the climbers descent trail. Alone in the dark and bored, my thoughts were to turn back, come back with a partner, I'm not sure I can do what needs to be done today.

But my legs kept moving, usually it the mind pushing the body, today the body went into autopilot and kept me moving up the hill. I distracted myself by watching my altimeter, trying to keep pace, 100meters of gain every 10 minutes, not because I'm fast or strong but because that's what the trail wanted. My pack felt heavy, I'm sure the weight of 5 failures on this peak was dragging me down, but like a husky harnessed into a heavy sled I put my shoulders into the straps and pushed.

I made it to the knoll at 1850meters and took a break. I could see the summit and most of the route ahead. It seemed so far and so hard. There were clouds swirling around the peak. I couldn't yet visualize how to climb it, but was determined to go until stopped. I had weak cell service here, I could update a few people.

After the knoll, the route drops a bit and the trail is less distinct. Still easy to follow and you can see where your going so up I went. Then traversing an open slope aiming for a large gulley coming off the left edge of the summit. Up the gulley and below the dark imposing rock of the peak. Searching for a line of weakness on the rock walls on my right.

At the top of the gulley, still looking for a route, I drop my big pack and gear up. Harness on, my merger rack on one gear loop, some slings and cord on the other side. I have a smaller pack for the summit push and move over some warm clothes, food and water. The best line up the rock also has a large rock at the base, perfect for an anchor for my rope solo. I tie a cord around, clip in one end of my climbing rope. I pay out a bunch of slack and clip in with a hard knot and also put a prussik on the rope and clip it too. The wall is near vertical, I'm careful but confident, I keep my rock shoes on good holds. I move a ways before I stop to place gear, a cam goes into a good crack, it inspires confidence and I clove hitch it into the system. The prussik doesn't auto feed and I waste time sliding it up the rope and moving the hard knot a few times. I move up and left, stepping over an overhang, the good foothold here doesn't look attached so I use one that's just ok. With the exposure below me now, I stop to sink a good nut, realizing I forgot my nut tool and this piece may be staying behind. Totally committed now, up is off so that's where I go, the angle kicks back and I see a rap anchor ahead. Tie the rope off to the rap anchor, clip my pack in and switch my self belay into a rappel.

Rap right back down, cleaning the gear, the nut was stubborn but I got it out. Untie the ground anchor and climb back up. It doesn't seem any easier a second time, ever with a fixed rope to belay off. Back at the rap anchor, coil the rope and find the route. Nothing looked good out left so I trended right. When I ran out of right, I had to go up. Dark black lichen on the rock, but not vertical so up I went. I reached the top of this step to find a large solid rap anchor. A trail in scree could be seen descending slightly into a gulley and wrapping around right towards the south peak.


I stay on the solid rock in the left side of the next gulley, in rock shoes it goes fine, but there are definite "moves" required. As I come up parallel to the top of that gulley, I'm forced to turn left and go straight at the summit. Real climbing in here, route finding around where I need to. The summit is getting close and soon I'm on top.

The summit is a ridge with a bunch of high points, the farther one looks higher so I traverse over. A direct line doesn't work so I drop down left and climb back up. Once I'm satisfied I've hit the highest point, I take a break. There's no real excitement on making the summit, I still have a serious descent to deal with.

I've seen many rap stations along the way on the way up so I start descending off the summit. The first one I reach looks ok, I can see a better one farther right but getting to it looks exposed so I just use the first one. It drops me 28m to a small ledge with overhanging rock below. An old rusty piton and some bad slings are all that here. I debate about adding a cord to backup the old tat, but 1 sling looks decent so I just trust it. Probably safer to get down quick than hang out on this small ledge. A fast but soft and light rappel and I'm back on easier ground.

A bunch of scrambling, down climbing and a few more rappels and I'm back at my big pack at the top of the gulley. Off the technical section of the trip I can relax a little but it's still a long way back.

The hike down was uneventful, other than losing the route a few times high on the ridge, but you can see the knoll your aiming for most of the time so I just headed for it. The long steep trail reminded me of the one off place glacier, I wondered which one is steeper. Then the boring road back to the truck and it's done.

I told a few people about my trip, after. No one seems to understand what I did, they just assume I went hiking again. But I feel different, which is the only thing that matters.

Jason.
gdt3 likes this.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5thhorseman View Post
Nice to read an actual account of this route and the estimated difficulty. Have had this one on my radar.
Definitely not as bad as it looks. Rock shoes were worth their weight. 60m rope for the raps. Don't know why it took me so long to get it done. It was my nemesis for so long.
Mr. B likes this.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 01:44 PM
Dru
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Climbing, a mountain, Canada.
Interest: climbing and spraying
Posts: 16,175
Default

If you are rope soloing and using rock shoes, and rappelling on the way down, then even if the climbing felt easy, it's no longer scrambling.
Dru is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru View Post
If you are rope soloing and using rock shoes, and rappelling on the way down, then even if the climbing felt easy, it's no longer scrambling.
And I said in my first report that the climbing felt low fifth class. Slesse sw buttress is not scrambling. The guide calls it 5.6. But I've done nearly 100 Matt Gunn scrambles and I know what kind of terrain the experienced scramblers get on. This is only slightly harder. A next challenge for those who have the experience. I wouldn't recommend anyone solo it, unless they know what they are doing, but the line out here between scrambling and mountaineering is not sharp. Many Matt Gunn routes have rap anchors on them.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 05:05 PM
Super Moderator
 
KARVITK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
Posts: 17,919
Default

Jason, an outstanding feat. Admire you and all climbers who do these things.


Great writeup, wonderful detail in sharing how you progressed.


Thanks,




K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
KARVITK is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 05:36 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
5thhorseman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aldergrove, BC, Canada.
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandering Tree Frog View Post
I told a few people about my trip, after. No one seems to understand what I did, they just assume I went hiking again. But I feel different, which is the only thing that matters.
Indeed it is. Hard to share these feelings in a meaningful way.
guntis likes this.
5thhorseman is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:31 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Smurf Village, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, exploring, reading, random shiny things
Posts: 2,451
Default

Quote:
I told a few people about my trip, after. No one seems to understand what I did, they just assume I went hiking again.
I know just enough to know this is beyond my comfort zone. But then, my first time on the West Lion years ago, I was pretty nervous. I've done it several times since. Experience pays its dividends after a while.
guntis is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:03 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 747
Default

Nice work!! this one was on the list for this year but never got the chance to pull the trigger on it! Glad to see a report on it .. I definitely want to get up this one! 12 hours is crazy fast! Love the pic of that fang spire. Did you carry a GPS? would you be able to share a map of your route? Did you go up over the cross over side?
MatthewBaldwin is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewBaldwin View Post
Nice work!! this one was on the list for this year but never got the chance to pull the trigger on it! Glad to see a report on it .. I definitely want to get up this one! 12 hours is crazy fast! Love the pic of that fang spire. Did you carry a GPS? would you be able to share a map of your route? Did you go up over the cross over side?
After seeing some of the things you did this year, I'm sure you'd have a good day on Slesse. Hard to say if 12 hours is crazy fast unless a bunch of other people get on this route so we can compare, speed ascent wasn't what I was going for, I spent quite a bit of time on the rope solo pitch. Marc leclerc soloed 3 routes on the other (big) side in a day, No way I'll ever touch that kinda speed.

Didn't carry a GPS. The trail is obvious and once on the climb, 2 feet either side of where I was would be a completely different route so it wouldn't help you much. I said in the report I didn't go up the crossover side, I tried that last year, if you want to, go for it and good luck. The Slesse creek side is the fastest, easiest approach in my opinion.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:40 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 747
Default

Aah I missed that first part at the top. Ahh.. the Slesse Creek side. West side of Slesse all the way! the road must be way better now. In the past I heard that it was a monster bush wack and the road ended nearely right away. Thanks for the info. Need to get in there soon! Wonder if the top is getting snow this week!
MatthewBaldwin is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:45 PM
Dru
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Climbing, a mountain, Canada.
Interest: climbing and spraying
Posts: 16,175
Default

Quote:
Old roads: left truck at 5:00 am, easily hiked roads by headlamp, washout easy to cross, pick up old road on other side. Keep right at all road junctions. Took 1.5 hours at slow(due to weak headlamp) pace to get to junction with climbers descent trail. Old road continues so watch for trail on left heading up, there was an old broken plywood sign at base of tree and a pair of gloves on branches of tree.
There's actually one junction where you need to go left, but the road to the right is so overgrown that you probably didn't even notice it. I was just up there a couple weeks ago and I only found the overgrown right fork on the way down.
Dru is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1