American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies and Coast Range, Slesse Mountain, East Pillar Direct

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

Slesse Mountain, East Pillar Direct. From August 29 to 31, Perry Beckham and I completed a new rock route on the east side of Slesse Mountain. Beckham, Barry Blanchard and I had climbed the first third of the route in the fall of 1992. It begins up the prominent east buttress, previously climbed by John Stoddard and partner, and parallels the classic northeast buttress across the tottering void of the east face. Where the east buttress meets the main wall and the Stoddard route veers left, our route goes straight up vertical cliffs of gneiss. The first three pitches had 5.10 face climbing and bolting on the lead. Easier pitches (5.8) up a buttress to the right of a gaping snow-filled recess led to a huge terrace. A steep headwall then gave more 5.10 face climbing and then some zigzagging on ledges. The summit crest was reached after 23 roped pitches. We bivouacked twice, once on a grand ledge and then less comfortably on a sloping slab with our feet in our packs and our harnesses cinched to pitons. Perry snored anyhow. With 17 quarter-inch bolts (nine for belays) in place, the route could be climbed in a day.

Greg Child

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