|The West Ridge descent route requires 4 single-rope rappels to get off of technical terrain. Going down via the South(east) Buttress requires approximately 10 single-rope rappels. Both routes contain about equal distances of non-rappel traversing/downclimbing.|
Two teams of two (us and one other) left the summit at around the same time. We descended the West Ridge Route while the other two went down via the South(east) Buttress, which we had both come up. We made it back to the upper basin at the rendezvous location about an hour ahead of them, and they were not inexperienced climbers. Ergo, a descent via the West Ridge is faster though not necessarily as pleasing to the bones due to the scree and talus slope getting back to the flat of the basin.
It would also be advisable to descend via the West Ridge if 1) others are still coming up the South(east) Buttress since the rap lines are often in line with the climbing lines, and 2) no one is coming up the West Route. From the summit, you can pretty much see the entire West Ridge Route so can gauge whether or not there is any activity on it. Nothing's more annoying for climbers than having people rapping down where you're going up.
|Posted Sep 8, 2003 4:37 pm|