The Mountaineers Route
Here is what I took for a rack on the Mountaineers Route
BLACK DIAMOND CAMALOTS
Full Set of nuts
Shoulder length runners (12)
Double shoulder length runners (2)
I consider myself a safe trad climber who places a fair bit of protection. I used all of this rack and didn't need anything more.
We did the route from the Saddleback lakes in 11 hours.
COMMENTS ON THE ROUTE
Every belay stance (if you do it in 8 pitches) should put you on solid ground with a good belay (EXCEPT FOR PITCH 3, under the triple roofs). So climb until you get to a comfortable spot on every pitch.
I did a varation to the left of the gully. It was fun. Choose your own adventure!
In the Chimney and to the Mantle.
The mantle has a good divot to grab on the right/top of the ledge. There are good feet below the mantle. The protection is at or a little below your feet.
Up a dihedral, traverse to finger crack to a hanging belay.
Super fun finger crack! Great pro! The traverse out to the finger crack is protected by a #3 cam and not difficult.
The triple roofs, then up the arete to the gully.
Took great protection. Lots of options for your feet as you traverse under the roofs. Out on the arete is wild. It doesn't ease up right after the roofs and the arete, but eventually does when you get closer to the top (gully). I set up the belay half way up the gully.
Up the face on the right side of the gully towards the arete.
I set up the belay about half way up the gully, from there I went up about 3/4 of the gully and headed up. Pro was there after 10-20 feet and the climbing was not difficult. I did not go up directly under the diamond and climb the dihedral. The face looked better. The climbing meanders out left towards the arrett and then back towards the dihedral towards the top of the face. Climb out of sight of the belayer and climb till you run out of rope in a comfortable spot.
Up a dihedral to a sandy belay porch.
This is a short pitch that puts you below the crux of the route, on the left side of the diamond. There is a fixed TCU along the way.
The crux. Hand jam crux.
Great belay stance at the bottom. I climbed the face and made my way towards the dihedral after 30-40 feet. I took the crux on the right and the pro was excellent. It wasn't a finger crack (might be 3-4 feet over to the right), but more of a hand jam on a semi-tilted crack system. It does ease up after you pull thru the crux significantly.
Super quick and easy 5.0 climbing.
The Walk Off.
You climb around the back side of the summit via the easiest route. It should be 4 class in some sections and 3rd and 2nd class on the rest. Head towards the low spot to the south (?). You will see the descent gully from the low spot. MIght take 10-20 minutes to get there.
The top part third of the descent gully is awesome rock to walk and scramble down. The last 2/3rds is not fun. Think ball bearings. There were two trees to rappel from...one on each side of the descent gully at the bottom.
We started around noon and were back in camp at 11 PM. Not the fastest, but we had a lot of fun and watched the sun go down over the jagged Sawtooths from the top of the 7th pitch (SPECTACULAR!). We used the moon light and one headlamp to get down when necessary.
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