Slept out at lower Bench Lake with Bryan. Got an early start and made our way around the many Bench Lakes. At the upper Bench Lake, there's a nice size snowfield that we traversed. After this, we slogged up to the visible saddle- it's always pretty windy here. From here we made our way up the northwest shoulder until the start of the climb. We spied a Mountain Goat at the broad saddle on the west side of Heyburn.
He was just hanging out there, not moving much.
The climb is tucked away in a corner- it took me a few times before I found it. The first pitch goes up easy but loose stuff, and then turns left into the chimney. The second pitch has this wild section called "The Locker". I'm in this deep chimney, looking for a way up and over this locker. It required an awkward move where I jammed my hand up and above, and let my feet swing out momentarily. I'm thinking to myself, "This is 5.6?" There's an old piton that makes the move well protected, and the handhold is large, so perhaps it is 5.6. A variation goes to the right and avoids this overhang move. We then topped out at a small saddle with just 10 feet of exposed Class 4 to get to the summit. One at a time, we went to the small needle summit. Incredible views in all direction, and it was interesting to scope the East Summit of Heyburn from here (The Stur Chimney ascends the West Summit of Heyburn).
We rappelled off, but the rope snagged on the pull (it's not exactly vertical near the top), so I had to climb pitch 2 again. We finally got off the rock and hiked out that afternoon.
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