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Rappel rope length for traverse South Teton to Nez Perce

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Rappel rope length for traverse South Teton to Nez Perce

Postby Jared_j » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:46 am

Thinking about the traverse from South Teton to Cloudveil Dome and Nez Perce (but not doing the steep west face of Ice Cream Cone) in mid June. I am anticipating snowiness making some of the class 3/4 tricky, and planning on bringing a rope in the event I want to rap sections of descents. I've read there are fixed rap stations on the east ridge of Cloudveil. Are these spaced for a 60m rope? What about Spalding? It would be nice to get away with a short rope (like 30m) if possible to save weight. Most trip reports I read are from folks doing the full Grand traverse who presumably have a 60m with them anyway.
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Re: Rappel rope length for traverse South Teton to Nez Perce

Postby seano » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:03 pm

I did this a couple years ago in late June (trip report), and don't remember fixed rap stations on Cloudveil. However, I didn't have a rope, so I wasn't really looking. The trickiest part of that traverse, IMHO, is finding your way off of Nez Perce (where there *is* a fixed rap station). Most of the snow will probably have blown off the ridge, but you descend the north side of Nez Perce, and snow on various ledges can make things tricky and non-obvious, and cover the sometimes-useful cairns.
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Re: Rappel rope length for traverse South Teton to Nez Perce

Postby Jared_j » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:15 am

Seano thanks for the reply. I've come across your two blog posts on this area in the course of my research on the route. My take is that good route-finding decisions and familiarity can make it such that one wouldn't need to rap any of these ridges if one was comfortable with the exposure. But besides your reports I've seen a couple of other reports of folks having trouble finding ways down the east ridges of Gilkey, Spalding, and Cloudveil that were simply class 4 or under.

Thanks to your blog I'm also considering a hit of the Skillet Glacier; mid-June should be a good time for it.
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Re: Rappel rope length for traverse South Teton to Nez Perce

Postby seano » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:27 pm

Jared_j wrote:But besides your reports I've seen a couple of other reports of folks having trouble finding ways down the east ridges of Gilkey, Spalding, and Cloudveil that were simply class 4 or under.

I believe the east side of Cloudveil was a bit tricky route-finding-wise, since it's kind of wide.
Jared_j wrote:Thanks to your blog I'm also considering a hit of the Skillet Glacier; mid-June should be a good time for it.

You might be able to ski most of the way down to the trees this year. Note that the route-finding through the woods from where the trail ends is non-obvious, and you can easily get yourself into a hellish bush-whack. I was fortunate to do the Skillet with someone who already knew the way (basically, don't head up too soon; stay low until you get to a sort of ridge).
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