This was a great scrambling and "easy climbing" route in a beautiful part of the park. We didn't see anyone else out throughout the entire 16-hour day. We soloed the first three towers, did one roped traversing pitch on the fourth tower, and then remained on 4th class terrain (at the highest) the rest of the way up the Blitzen ridge to the summit. On the descent we got suckered into a gully off Donner Ridge that ended up cliffing out, hence the long day.
Soloed the first three aces. roped up for the 4rth and headwall. Great day out. solid rock. and did I say this is an amazing climb?
The climbing was fun and easy but the up and down nature of the aces and the low angle terrain caused rope management hell for us relative newbies to alpine climbing. My favorite part was the 1000+ ft of 3rd to low 5th class scrambling on the ridge crest above the headwall, although I wished I didn't have on a huge pack full of climbing gear. The only scary part was the building clouds but the weather miraculously held all day. Started at 2:20am, summitted at 4:20pm, and finished at 9pm. One heck of a day! Great learning experience.
wow this is a killa climb.... left lawn lake trail head a little after 4... base of the ridge
8:30.....we soloed so able to move quickly.... the downclimb off 2nd ace got the heart goin a bit.. reached the summit at 12:20... i loved this ridge ...quality rock...incredible views... transversed all the way around the top of the corniced stuff at the top...
i dont think i would want to glissade this even if i had my axe...lots and lots of
rocks...seems your ass would see a rough show.. decended ridge on the other side
back to lake... ran full speed the 5 miles back to the trailhead.. big day...climbed with JC... johnny v hiked with us to lake..
Went with a partner and another rope team. Fun and long, not to hard though. I think it would be wise to solo the first three aces, tackle the 4th and headwall roped up, and then put it away again. Long day, but great views.
We climbed the lower portion of the Y, then traversed out to the Blitzen Ridge on an easy, but exposed ledge system. This variation avoids the "Four Aces."
We think this was a first ascent of this variation.