Rappel options on Starr...
Rappel options on Starr King's SE Face. Most trip reports seem to use a combination of rappeling and downclimbing to descend the face, but it is possible to rap the roped portion in its entirety, as described below. Normal belay anchors and Bob's described route are shown in blue (anchors 1, 4, and 6); additional rappel anchors (existing slings) are shown in red (anchors 2, 3, and 5). Anchors 2, 4, and 5 are slung flakes (#5 is a bit dodgy--there's an established sling pinched securely between a flake and surrounding wall, with seemingly no way of rotating it, backed up by a questionable sling around the flake); anchor 3 is two equalized slings from two old pitons, and anchor 6 is the slabby rock outcropping found at the top of the roped climbing.
50-meter rope (4 rappels): Rappel anchor 6 to 5, a short rap from 5 to 4, 4 to either 3 or 2, and then a final full-length rap to anchor 1.
60-meter rope (3 rappels): Rap 6->5, 5->3, 3->1.
It isn't possible to rap the whole way from station 5 to station 2 or 3 with a 50-meter rope; a 10-foot class 4 downclimb is required at the end of the rappel to reach the next station. It's probably wiser to do the additional short rappel to the first belay ledge (5->4) instead.
(Original photo credit to Bob Burd, Feb 8, 2003).