Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bugaboos- Lentils or TVP, Eh?

After a week of climbing in the Bugaboos, our rope was starting to look like a furry caterpillar.  Concerned that our rope could core shot at any moment, we decided to skip repeating another established route and focus on establishing a new route.

Cool pattern in the snow.
After hiking around East Creek Basin for a couple of days, we decided to establish a route on the Pigeon Feather Spire.  The short approach, and obvious line made it a logical choice.

Ben at the base.
 So up we went into the unknown.  The first pitch was a great 5.8 corner, with a tricky right trending lieback to an amazing belay ledge directly below P2.

Ben on P1.
Ben below the crux of P1.
 Pitch 2 was a great 5.10- with a perfect hand crack start and a thought provoking stemming crux right at the end.  This pitch also ends on a ledge.

Taylor ready for P2.
Taylor on P2 hand crack.
Taylor below the crux of P2.
The 3rd pitch was a scramble up and left to the edge of the huge corner system and below a steep, lichen covered wall.  At first it's unclear where to go, but after a moment we realized that we had to traverse right along a huge handrail for about 20 feet, and then follow a left trending crack up the center of the wall.

Taylor on the airy traverse of P4.
The position, and exposure were amazing, unfortunately, the entire pitch was covered with lichen.  I made the traverse and started up the crack without any issues but about 20 feet up, a huge block that was wedged in the crack shifted as I tried to climb past.  With Ben in the rock's fall zone, I gently climbed past the loose block, and set up a belay in a small nook when the rope drag got ridiculous.  Ben followed cleaning the loose block.  The steep pumpy nature of this pitch probably warrants 5.10-.

Taylor in the middle of a lichen sea on P4.
Pitch 5 follows an easy ramp/crack to the base of a short 5.9 off-width and then continues to the ridge.  Once again, a belay was set up when rope drag became an issue.

Ben on P5.  Lots of lichen...
Ben past the OW section of P5
 The last two pitches follow the ridge, staying on the right side when large features block progress.  The view is amazing!

Looking back along the first pitch of the ridge traverse.
 An easy rappel gets you to the base of Crack of Noon where you can reach the glacier.  We decided to call it Lentils or TVP, eh? for reason I won't get into.  We both agreed that pitches 1 and 2 were excellent and the route as a whole was fun and would only get better with some traffic- especially pitches 4 and 5.

A view of the ridge from the glacier.
With rain in the forecast, and our rope on the verge of a coreshot, we decided it was time to leave.  So the next day, we gave away as much food as we could, packed up our stuff and started the grueling five hour hike out.

Packing up.
One more picture of the BC

Our lives got progressively better as we got closer to the car.  The crampons came off, the shorts went on, water was easier to get, and  solid ground allowed our progress to speed up.  I was ecstatic when we reached the car.  Flip flops and sitting in a car have never felt so good!

5 hours downhill + 80lb pack = not psyched!
 Here are a coupe of Topo pictures of Lentils or TVP, eh?

From ECB Campground.
At the base of the route.
More info on this route can be found at http://www.mountainproject.com/v/lentils-or-tvp-eh/107748316.

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