Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.59060°N / 104.715°W
Additional Information Route Type: Classic Crack - Aid
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Grade III, A2, 5.8
Sign the Climber's Log


Follow the Standard "Shoulder Approach" to the Durrance Route. In the middle of the South West Face you will find the Centennial corner system. It is 3 cracks right of Runner's World which is readily identified by the only prominent ledge on the SW face (about 1/3 of the way up). Sramble up to a clump of low trees, with several ledges, which is a comfortable belay for the first pitch.

Route Description

This route was first climbed by a couple "locals" and is the First Route done up the imposing South West Face, proper. On June 10, 1978 Terry Rypkema, Steve Gardiner (now guidebook author) and F.Sanders made their way to the top via 4 pitches. Their ascent was punctuated by an afternoon rainstorm, but they hung-in there, summiting in the dark and, of course, with out headlamps. Today it is convenient for parties to do the route in 3 long pitches. The South West Face Rappel Route comes down just to the left of the route. Aspiring climbers are afforded a "preview of coming attractions" by it. Most all of the unstable rock, that so characterized the last pitch for the first ascentionists, was trundled and tossed when the SW Rap Route was established. Todays climbers are afforded a pretty stable and choss-free last pitch. This last pitch has also been top-rope, free climbed at about 5.8. While the route has yet to go "clean", there is certainly that possibility. Hammerless aspirants should be advised that the grade would be significantly harder than C1/C2. Although the first two pitches of the route has yet to go "free", they have certainly been attempted, and have some degree of potential....

Pitch 1. (A1/A2, 165 ft.). Scramble, then aid up the thin crack. It is a long, steep pitch which takes you to a 3-Big Bolt hanging belay. Splendid!!!!

Pitch 2. (A1/A2, 160 ft.). Continue up the crack, about 45 ft. to where a traverse, to the crack to the right, affords you better placements. Follow that crack up to the overhang, where a traverse back to the left crack allows you to bypass the bulge and offers you clean, choss-free rock. About at your ropes end, there are several alternatives for belay anchors (if you are setting your own) or you can swing left and employ the 2-Big Bolt station of the SW Face Rap Route.

Pitch 3. (5.8 or aid, or both, 180 ft.). Jam or aid ,or both your way up this now wide crack, to the Summit, Lecture Tours and Book Signings. This last pitch, anyway that you do it ,requires a good number of larger pieces and some degree of clever problem solving.

This is a Great Route to get your "aid-game" together on. It offers very long and continuous pitches, on steep rock, with secure belays and Amazing Views.

Essential Gear

Standard aid rack. If you are using a hammer take extra Bugaboos, LA's and Baby Angles. If you intend to Pioneer the Hammerless Frontier many, many,small, small stoppers will surely be required. The last pitch will employ many larger pieces whatever way you choose to do it !!!!