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North Face

 
North Face

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Object Title: North Face

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)

Number of Pitches: 3

Route Quality: 
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Page By: BKW

Created/Edited: Oct 26, 2012 / Oct 27, 2012

Object ID: 822029

Hits: 845 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Overview

The North Face of Kangaroo Temple is a nearly vertical wall of granite interrupted by a dispersed system of ledges. This makes for short stretches of climbing up to 5.6 interspersed with ledge traverses and convenient belay stations. The granite has a different flavor than that found in the Liberty Bell Group; in many places the constituent crystals are unevenly worn, making it rough on the size scale of gravel. While this can be useful for friction moves (of which there are approximately zero on this route), it can also be hard on the hands, especially when trying to jam them into cracks.
The route consists of three pitches which take you straight up the lower two-thirds of the North Face to the base of the vertical or slightly overhung block that forms the sharp north corner of the summit area. From here two short pitches of mainly traversing take you around a sharp corner to the west face of the rock on ledges. This section features the centerpiece of the route: the blind corner. From the top of the third pitch there is a short and simple scramble to the summit. The descent is made by rappelling off the corner of the afore mentioned block on the north corner of the tower.

Approach

 
Approaching the base of Kangaroo Temple
Looking up the gulley from the approach to Kangaroo Temple.

See the Kangaroo Temple and Kangaroo Ridge pages for a detailed approach to the base of Kangaroo Temple. You will gain most of the height of the tower scrambling up the loose gully to the saddle separating Kangaroo Temple from Little Finger, which is obvious just to the north. The last section of this scramble is treacherous with lots of loose rock and a little class 4. The main concern will be party-induced rockfall. Wear a helmet.

Route Description

 
Setting protection for the blind corner...
Setting pro for the blind corner.

AN outline of the pitches on the North Face route are shown in this page's primary image. Here's a pitch-by-pitch breakdown:

First Pitch,
The first pitch is the longest and most technical. Climbers start by moving to the climbers left up an angled crack easy visible from the top of the approach gully. Advancing up the mountain climbers will find several ledges with convenient gnarled shrub pines for anchoring. Several of these have permanent anchors built on them. The longest stretch of sustained climbing of the day will be found on the upper portion of this pitch. From the last obvious ledge the climber can go up a left leading crack or a right leading crack. The left crack will lead into a shallow depression in the wall at the top of which is a rusty piton suitable for making a belay station. The right crack is more direct and leads to the ledge at the base of the large north corner block. A climber who takes the left crack but passes up the piton to move right to the ledge can pull this off with less than ten feet to spare on a 60m rope.

Second Pitch
This is a short pitch that traverses across a ledge system. There are a few spots where technical climbing is required to pass from ledge to ledge. This pitch ends before the blind corner, where the ledge system appears to abruptly end at the corner of a large block. There is a wide ledge here for making a belay spot.

Third Pitch
The third pitch starts with a gutsy but non-technical step around a blind corner. This move is very exposed as you look straight down more than 300 feet. This move will be natural and simple for some, awkward and nerve racking for others. The corner can be protected by a cam in a crack on the floor of the ledge. Once around the corner a narrow and very exposed ledge leads out onto the center of the west face. Again, protection must be places at ground or shoe level. The ledge ends at a crack sloping up and to the right. There may be an awkward move here for shorter people but the climb is simple to the top of the crack, where the last belay station can be made on one of those convenient scrubby trees.
From here there is an obvious scramble line to the summit on loose dirt and blocks.

Descent

Descend by rappelling off the sharp north corner of the summit area. The sharp edge and low established anchor points general require a sitting start. Enjoy. Rappelling down the entire North Face requires three separate rappels. If you have two ropes you can combine the first two into one long rappel. Note that the top corner is sharp so it may take some effort to pull down your rope. Intermediate rap stations are found on the ledges you passed on ascent.
Some choose to rappel down the top class 4 section of the approach gully as well. This might be a wash safety wise because you can knock rocks down onto yourself when the rope drags over the rocks. Use your best judgement.
Looking Down from the top of the rappel
Looking down from the north corner.

Essential Gear

Bring the normal stuff: 60m rope, harness, helmet, rock shoes. Protection is mostly hand crack-type cams but we used a few small nuts here and there.

Images

North face Route on Kangaroo TempleExposed TraverseSetting protection for the blind corner...Looking Down from the top of the rappel