hgrapid wrote:I am preparing to climb Split Mountain on July 21. Just how bad is the descent? Very loose? Very dangerous? Or pretty reasonable in daylight?
Assuming you'll be following the popular, standard North Slope route from Red's Lake I'd like to share two notes of caution.
First, on the section from the Split/Prater saddle until you gain the North Slope, you'll be making a gradual ascent along a ridge, crossing above some chutes. This section is very loose talus and small boulders. Use appropriate caution here as it would be easy to trigger a rock slide that could drag you down.
Second, you'll emerge from the ridge onto the North Slope, where you'll turn left (east) and head toward the summit. The North Slope is a broad, vast inclinded plane and this part is very straight forward as far as route finding on the way up. But, turn around, look back and make note of where you'll need to enter this chute on the way back down it would be easy to miss when headed down. Three people in my group thought they were really making good time on the descent only to find that they'd gone too far down and had to climb back up a few hundred feet to enter the correct descent chute.