West Ridge, 2nd Gully
This shows the 2nd Gully in the afternoon Sun on our way down. Be warned, this is a very loose, difficult, but not entirely impossible route to protect. Not rated very difficult, but it has exposure in combination with dirty ramps and ledges making it a challenge. We thought we'd breeze our way up it when we started, but ended up taking our time like we ususally do to keep it as safe as possible. We ran out the 60 meter rope twice to find adequate belay stations, plus a half rope length lead in the middle of the two long leads. There was a second team that chose not to follow us into that gully with the rocks that we could not stop knocking loose. They went up the first staircase to the route we descended which takes you to the West Ridge much earlier with a very exposeed but easier, safer route right along the ridge top with great views. Both initial routes lead to the same notch where the ramp/ledges traverse on the north side of the summit block and much better quality rock.
Climbing here is much easier with higher quality rock. Very enjoyable way to summit. The ledge/traverse is easy but very exposed to base of summit block where good climbing continues with great pro placements, although little is needed. We are almost there. Route is easy to find too. I will include several photos of our climb at the end. Note there are at least two descents off summit for West Ridge descent. Downclimb the route right off the summit with one good rappel station on webbing or our choice was to rap off two bolted chains just lower and west of true summit about 20 feet from highest point. We used two ropes, mine was a 60m and the other team had 50m. This did not allow us to end right on the ledge/traverse, but close enough to down climb to ledge/traverse, then back to notch. I did notice a second rap station with the same bolted chains half way down this summit rap, so a 60 meter single rope would do fine, but pay attention where you throw your rope, keep it to the north side of ridge off summit, because you can not see the second rap station from summit. Hope that makes sense. Traverse to notch, then follow the West Ridge right on the top down. You will find two more bolted rap station that will take you to easier ground to down climb to scree and back to the basin. Easy from here back to cars in no time. Water was abundant in this basin. Another good climb with Nick.