Having never been there but planning on going, what IS the steepness you mention? My desk depth perception isn't helping me out on this pic.
Hi Deb, as I recall reading, humans are notoriously inept at manually interpreting (i.e. eyeballing) slope angles. While some people might be able to disprove this, I certainly fall into this category. I would say somewhere between 50 to 60 degrees, but am not certain. Given your experience rock climbing (& from your profile pic it seems that you've been ice climbing too), I think if you're reasonably proficient w/ an ice axe, you should be fine (just don't slip- some places would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to self-arrest). If you're going to do it this season, hurry up! Snow conditions are good now, but I don't think it will last long this year.
Maybe I'm just a sandbagger, but when I did it last June (after a big snowstorm) I thought it was more like 45 degrees. Conditions vary, of course. Daggering my axe and frontpointing with one foot while flatfooting with the other (pied a trois) seemed sufficient.
Given said limitations in measurement accuracy/ability, I'm fairly certain that the uppermost (i.e. if you look at the final short section before/at the notch in the pic) section is 50 degrees or more (slope leading up to it is noticeably less steep). Snow conditions influence the route difficulty greatly here- we didn't even cross the Catwalk as it was completely snow-loaded (no room to walk), instead opting to walk over the rock to its L to where it ends. When you go there, bring the slope reader & let us know (I'm curious)!
The steepest part is directly below the notch. I'd guess that it's about 45-50 degrees. It seems usually steeper than it is though. The bottom line is, if you slipped there and didn't self-arrest immediately, you'd probably end up on some rocks 1000-1500' below.
I recognize this spot, and when I climbed the ridge, the slope entering the photo from the left was far steeper than the slopes at the notch. My estimate is 50-55 degrees for the slopes to the left, and 45 degrees for the slopes leading to the rocks above and through the chutes. Similar steepness on the knife-edge section above the Catwalk.
Seemed fairly steep to me (used dagger technique to get up it)! A lot of exposure (to climber's L) there, too! Glad to hear you got up this, Mark!
Third time's the charm - this time not even bruised ribs could stop me!
Most route photos I have studied show the chute in the center of the image as the typical route. Curious about the chute to its right closer to the ridge crest. Does it go? If so, steeper, similar, or lesser slope? TIA