OverviewThe Joker ascends the middle of the west face of Hail Peak.
Getting ThereSee the main page of Hail Peak.
Pitch 1Start climbing at the highest point reached below the wall onto a right leaning slab. Finger-sized pieces will fit to your left as you ascend. Turn the corner at the top, which requires a bit of an undercling. Continue up the dihedral until you see semi-horizontal cracks that will lead you to the left up to the tree, which will be the first belay station.
Ascend the ledges to the base of a small tower that has two parallel cracks. The left crack becomes off-width at the top with scary chockstones, some of which are loose. 2 BD Cam #4s were used in the crack on the left.
Once on top of the tower, there is a choice between the off-width in the corner and the fingers and hands crack to your right. With only 2 #4 cams already in play, the crack on the right maybe the only option.
Ascend to the ledge above. Some horizontal cracks in the wall on the far-side of the ledge served fine for an anchor requiring 3 finger-to-hand-sized cams.
Work the dihedral directly above to the crux about 20 feet up. The rock looks unstable but proved fairly solid though the leader didn't take a fall here. A small, angled crimp for the right hand was the ticket out.
Continue on easy terrain to another ledge. A couple cracks on the far-side wall worked fine for a belay though about 20 feet above the cracks was a black overhang that took #4 cams.
Pitch 4From the last belay, climb straight up to the black overhang and veer left. Continue up an additional 50 feet before turning right. Climb to the end of the rope (to a gully with a 8-inch diameter tree). Belay from the tree.
Pitch 5Either continue right and up from the mouth of the gully on loose rock or push throw the brush near the tree and ascend the left side of the gully. Once out on top of the gully, veer slightly right to the summit ridge where plenty of trees will serve as possible anchors.
A 40-foot, 4th class down-climb to the north from the summit will bring you to the north end of the peak. The rappel station is on a small ledge on the east side, which requires a third class move to get to.
Rappel onto the ramp and down-climb skier's left the rest of the way. If uneasy, there are several trees from which you can wrap. Keep in mind that these are single 60-m rope raps.
Essential GearStandard rack with doubles of fingers and hands recommended. Also might want to include 2 #4 BD Cams or comparable pieces. Some extra webbing or cord for the rap station since this is an infrequently climbed peak.
Bring plenty of water (at least 2 liters).