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Route Synopsis – Moby Dick

  All information is relevant to having a base camp at Houston Lk, which is the headwater of Houston Ck. The camp was at an elevation of 6600’. Refer to Map 82K/14, Westfall River. UTM reference is 713431. Information source – Guides and Leaders, 1999 ACC GMC.


Ψ               Mt. Moby Dick – (10,460’/3170mtr) UTM –

FA – July, 1959 – D. Anger, F. Riley, S Silverstein

v     GMC Route – Ascend gently to the E, crossing scree and numerous creeks Follow rib up to easy slab, which will take you to the glacier. Continue angling to the E aiming for easternmost couloir. Couloir is narrow, 400’-500’, 45o snow and ice with good belay horns if necessary. Exit the couloir and ascend the E ridge to the E. summit. One rap/lower off the W end of the E summit will leave you at the col between the two peaks Scramble 5.0 rock to the summit.

Descent: Scramble back down to the col, angle left to right until reaching prominent rock band. Traverse to the left, E above rock band until you reach the steep slope, which will lead you back down to the main glacier. Follow ascent route back to camp.

Variation – Aug 1999 - B. Harrison, J. Gastonguay, R McKeon, J. Walker, I. Stolz.

v     Route - Approach as for normal ascent. Upon reaching the tongue of the descent route, head N. and W and ascend 45o snow couloir that leads to the col just W of the Center Pk. Traverse the Center Pk on the S side staying even with the col. Ascend back to the ridge top after circling peak Follow ridgetop, negotiating some difficult but short pitches (up and down). Depending on groups comfort level up to 4 pitches may have to be negotiated. There are lots of good horns Carry on the ridgetop to the summit of Moby Dick

Descent – as per normal route

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of 4/ Variation – Rope teams of 3

ό      Equipment Required – helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, long slings / Variation – add 4 small cams and #4-#7 nuts 3 large slings

ό      Length of Trip – 10 hours

ό      Highlights – 2nd highest peak in the area, very esthetic couloir on the approach. Best views of the complete Battle range. Descent is quick and relatively easy. If the snowpack is significant insure that you are past the cliffbands before the late afternoon.

 


Ψ               Redburn – Proteus Traverse – (10,660’/3220mtr) UTM –

FA – U/K

v                 GMC Route – As for Moby Dick, upon reaching the glacier begin angling to the left, W Cross bergschrund on the E side and ascend enjoyable couloir. Cross rockband to the E part way up the couloir. Follow this couloir to the col, work up short rock pitch to crest. Good anchors to sling for a belay are available. Drop down slightly on the N. side on snow and with big exposure. Cross col and climb snow or rock to another good belay station. Easy scrambling from here to the summit of Redburn. Follow ridge crest until steep step leaves you at the Redburn-White Jacket col. Good horns are available to lower/rap or downclimb into the col. Ascend E ridge of White Jacket, low 5th class, very nice Cross summit of White Jacket and descend via easy downclimbing into White Jacket – Proteus col. Traverse ridge to small spire before reaching E ridge of Proteus Good climbing up E ridge of spire and excellent horns to rap/lower or belay down the W side of the spire Follow ridge proper to the summit, working in and out of small ledges and staying on the ridge crest the majority of the time.

Descent: As via normal Proteus descent.

ό      Party Size- Very dependent on experience of members Difficult to protect more than two guests on ridge tops. Rope teams of three.

ό      Equipment required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, long slings, two small cams and four nuts (4-7)

ό      Length of Trip – 10 hours

ό      Highlights- This is a classic granite ridge traverse Safe with lots of exposure, good rock and typically good ridgetop views the whole way. Good climbing on the rock steps.

 


Ψ         Proteus (10,660’/3220 mtr) UTM –

FA – July 1947 - N. Brewster, A.J. Kaufmann, E Kaufmann

v     GMC Route – Ascend to Houston Pass, contour W past the rib of rock that separates the S ridges of Harpoon and Escalade Climb snow slopes and work E and S of Harpoon Pk After passing Harpoon Pk head E to the rock col. Follow the easily short-roped rock ridge to the summit of Proteus.

Descent - Retrace route

ό      Party Size – Unlimited

ό      Equipment Required – ice axe, harness, crampons

ό      Length of Trip – 9 hours including ascent of Harpoon.

ό      Highlights – Highest peak in the area, yet technically very easy. Great views, a good peak for a large group of moderate climbers

 


Ψ               Typee (9550’/2865 mtr) UTM -

FA – July 1970 - G. Andrews, L. Andrews, H. Kruszyna, R. Kruszyna)

v     GMC Route – Contour E from Houston Lk across the moraine and work S of Forecastle’s SW ridge Cross gully, find weakness in the cliffband and follow a lateral moraine to snow field. Work NE up to the summit rock ridge Scrambling through loose blocks leads to the W summit. Descend E to col and follow another blocky ridge to E and higher summit. Gendarmes are easily bypassed.

Descent – retrace route

ό      Party Size – Unlimited

ό      Equipment Required – A short rope for less experienced or nervous people on the summit ridge

ό      Length of Trip – 6-8 hours

ό      Highlights – Good poor weather alternative and/or good for inexperienced folks

 


Ψ                 Fafnir (9250’ / 2835 mtr) UTM –

FA –July 1970 - L. Andrews, H. Kruszyna, R. Kruszyna

v     GMC Route – Ascend to Houston Pass, contour W to a steep snow gully near the base of the S Ridge of Escalade. Climb R. side of 45o gully and exit W onto glacier. Ascend N. to col, easy scrambling but loose Short rope up to short 5.1 rock step. After rock step follow snow to summit.

Descent – retrace steps

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of four

ό      Equipment required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, long slings

ό      Length of Trip – 8 – 10 hours

ό      Highlights – Good, moderate scramble Easy day with some great views, decent rock

 


Ψ                  Claggart / Billy Budd Traverse (9240’ / 2790 mtr) UTM

FA – July 1970 – G. Andrews, L. Andrews, H. Kruszyna, R. Kruszyna

GMC Route – July 1999 B. Harrison, C. Oliver, T. Palechuk, L.Palechuk, D. Austin, A. Yew

v     Route - Cross Houston Ck just below lake and ascend snow slopes to N. facing 45o couloir. Ascend a very nice line 400’ and exit R on rock. A couple of 5.2 moves find you on a blocky ledge system. Scramble to the next snow ramp and follow continous snow to summit of Claggart. Descend S side of Claggart working through blocky and loose rock, traverse to Claggart/Billy Budd col. Follow ridge W towards Billy Budd, ascend 100’ of snow to summit. Continue on ridge, very pleasant walking until you reach sharp notch just S of large step. Follow W ridge down to col. Negotiate mud and loose rock traverse, working E towards snow slope. Traverse snow slope back to Vere summit ridge and onto Houston Pass.

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of four

ό      Equipment required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, long slings. Pin in place to exit couloir

ό      Length of Trip – 8-10 hours

ό      Highlights – Nice ridge walk, very esthetic couloir, nice long circle tour. Great views of the Battle Range

              


Ψ   Pequod Mt. (9750’ / 2960 mtr) UTM -

FA – August 1958 – D. Anger, B. Mitchener

v     GMC Route – Leave camp as heading for Moby Dick, after passing under E couloir ascend to col. From col contour on S side to second snow gully. Short rope gully until it steepens. Ascend 35 mtr corner/slab, 5.5 to rappel station at base of alcove. Good horn. Stem through blocks to top of the alcove and belay on N side. Traverse L along ledge, step down and around corner, traverse towards snow/rock rib. Follow it upwards, step R onto ledge, then a short move to a large ledge. Short rope to summit.

Descent – Retrace ascent route

ό      Party Size – 3, it is very loose so rockfall is a concern

ό      Equipment Required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, 4-6 long slings, #1,2,3 camelots, set of wires.

ό      Length of Trip – 8-10 hours

ό      Highlights – Nice exposure to the W, good views of Ahab and Butters. Short but challenging rocks pitches

 


 

Ψ  Benito Cereno/Moby Dick Traverse – (10,460’/ 3170 mtr) UTM

FA – July 1970 – G. Andrews, L. Andrews, H. Kruszyna, R. Kruszyna

v     GMC Route- Ascend as for Moby Dick. Upon reaching the glacier head N to Benito Cereno/Redburn col via a ramp on the upper glacier. Ascend L to R to the left-hand gully below the col. Follow the ridge crest up and over Benito Cereno. Descend E side until reaching the slabs. Down climb to sling on the ridge crest, one 45 mtr lower/rappel leaves you at the Benito Cereno/Moby Dick col. Cruise across the col until gendarme forces you L down to some loose ledges. Stay on ledges for 25-30 mtrs then climb back to ridge crest and follow it to the very exposed W ridge of Moby Dick. Work right to avoid steep rotten bits. Traverse around first step on the S side. Follow the ridge crest to the Center Pk. Traverse the Center Pk on the S side staying even with the col. Ascend back to the ridge top after circling peak. Follow ridgetop, negotiating some difficult but short pitches (up and down). Depending on groups comfort level up to 4 pitches may have to be negotiated. There are lots of good horns. Prominent buttress can be traversed on the S avoiding the ledge to the horizontal chimney (easily seen) that is described as the airiest pitch in the guide book. Follow easily scrambled ridge to summit.

Descent – normal Moby Dick descent route

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of three

ό      Equipment Required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, 4-6 long slings, #1,2,3 camelots, set of wires.

ό      Length of Trip – 10-12 hours at a good pace

ό      Highlights – Very committing if weather is marginal. Very few spots to get off the ridge. Rain would make the black lichen slick and extend the time by 2 to 3 hours. Classic traverse, extreme exposure but reasonably easy climbing. Rock is rotten in places, particularly on some of the exposed spots. Great views. A satisfying route.

 


 

Ψ           Escalade (9680’/ 2950 mtr) UTM-

FA – July – K. Langballe, P. McIver, F. Thiessen

GMC Route –Head towards Houston Pass, Traverse and ascend snow as for Proteus. Head towards Escalade/Harpoon col and up to 1st pitch just W of the col. Ascend nice clean granite 5.7 to belay ledge after tough mantle. Belay ledge is broad with a good chockstone on E end of ledge. Climb down behind a large block and traverse an outward sloping ledge under a bothersome overhang. (variation – traverse on face underneath the large block, 5.7, avoiding difficult moves underneath the overhang). Once around the corner, climb thin cracks, 5.7, to a station 50’ above the original belay ledge. Interesting scrambling along the ridge crest leads you across a granite sidewalk to a large feature blocking the ridge. Belay from there, traversing around corner (one giant step) and climb up 5.6 cracks to rappel/belay station. Scramble from here to summit, either traversing 1st summit on the S or an airy trip over the top, down to a col and onto the summit proper.

Descent – same as ascent. One rap at the highest pitch, short rope down ridge and one double rope rappel will leave you back at the col. If you have a single rope, rappel to 1st belay ledge and then one more rappel will leave you at the col.

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of three

ό      Equipment required - helmet, ice axe, harness, crampons, .5, .75, 1, 2 cams/ #4-7 nuts, three long slings

ό      Length of trip – 8 hours

ό      Highlights – Nice clean rock, good challenging pitches with a very enjoyable ridge to the summit. Lots of exposure on ridge. Quick descent.

 


Ψ         Forecastle – (9650’/2930 mtr) UTM

FA – July 1970 – G. Andrews, L. Andrews, H. Kruszyna, R. Kruszyna

 


Ψ         Ulysses - (9600’/ 2915 mtr) UTM

FA - July 1999 - J. Gudjonson, G. Savard, D. Findlay, D. Cousins, R. Baricello)