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North Ridge, 5.7, 6 Pitches

 
North Ridge, 5.7, 6 Pitches

Page Type: Route

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Object Title: North Ridge, 5.7, 6 Pitches

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)

Number of Pitches: 6

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes
 

 

Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: May 18, 2006 / Mar 28, 2013

Object ID: 194748

Hits: 1657 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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Overview/Approach

 
Wasootch Tower, 4th Pitch, North Ridge
 

This is a 2200’+/- ascent day. The ideal time to climb Wasootch Tower is during the spring, summer or fall. Follow the Wasootch Creek drainage southeast for no more than 2 kms before taking a perpendicular drainage to your right that obviously heads up to the Wasootch Tower. You will pass the popular Wasootch Slabs en route on your left. Follow the drainage up to the west side of Wasootch Tower. This trail was in decent shape in May 2006. It followed the rocky streambed some but mostly stayed to the left.

Shortly you will come to a fork, where the left drainage ascends steeply into a slabby steep basin on the west side of Wasootch Tower. Snow filled this drainage in May, therefore, we kept climbers right and traversed back to the left of the snow and ice further up. Continue up this drainage until close to the steep rising bowl. Depending on snow conditions you can vary your approach here. We ascended a rib to the left that started out with loose rock and turned into nice slab with plenty of features. We soloed this stretch where some might be more comfortable pitching it out. Snow and ice on slab kept us from ascending anything further right. As you top out onto the north ridge from this approach, there is a piton above a narrow section of ridge in which to set up the climb.

Route

 
Mount Lorette-Wasootch
 
 
Wasootch Tower, North Ridge
 

We only pitched out 4 of the 6 published pitches of the North Ridge route up Wasootch Tower. The first pitch looks challenging at first, but the steep section is overcome pretty quick and it just meanders left eventually coming to a tree where some might set up a belay. I clove hitched two long slings which gave me just enough rope to continue up nice slab with features anther 10 m stretching this section a full 60 m. As soon as I topped out on the ridge I found a piton with a belay ring in it.

The next pitch can be a variation. We had notes that discussed descending into a gully on your right and ascend rock bands through grassy ledges. We opted to stay on the ridge which proved to make sense in the long run. The second pitch seemed uneventful for the most part. The third pitch found a chimney/corner on the left side of the ridge which offered a little entertainment via exposure and a few places for gear. The forth pitch had maybe the most exposed move on it (photos) over some nice solid slabby rock and led to yet another plateu where we removed our ropes and scrambled the remaining ridge over past the first summit cairn to the true highpoint on the southeast corner of Wasootch Tower. There was a summit register in May, 2006.

The rap is just west of the summit cairn. It was practically brand new in 2006. We had two 60 m ropes, so one rappel is all we needed. Beware of causing rock fall on yourself on the rappel. There is another rap station just below. This rappel takes you down to the southern col and a trail descends at a western angle (left) before it descends down a gully that eventually leads back to the fork in that drainage where you turned up left to gain the north ridge.

Essential Gear

Single or double ropes if three people. Doubles work better with the Reverso so the leader can bring two in along the ridge at the same time and there is plenty of room for this. Harness, helmet, full set of nuts, some cams, nothing needed beyond 2.5”, several long slings. You can get by with good approach shoes for the climb.

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