Mt. Combatant, The Incisor, The Smoke Show. John Furneaux, Paul Bride, and I made base camp on a protected ledge 500 feet above the Tiedemann Glacier on Day Trip Ridge, directly below the unclimbed 2,000' south face of the Incisor. We fixed five pitches, enabling us to work out the free moves on the first 1,000', 500' of which is an overhanging headwall. With one day of rest, John and I left camp at 6 a.m. on July 17 and climbed to our high point halfway up the tower in only two hours, leaving behind four 5.11 pitches, a 5.12b 200' offwidth, and a 5.13 face pitch that I managed with one fall. By 10 a.m. we reached the top of the Incisor, after more 5.10 and 5.11 pitches on gold alpine granite. We had accomplished our goal of a new route on the Incisor. We then linked into Belligerence for another 1,500' of sharp, difficult ridge, called the Jawbone, and climbed 1,000' more vertical rock to Mt. Combatant’s summit, which we reached after 11.5 hours. We placed no bolts; several cruxes were protected by bird beaks. We rappelled to a snow shelf and traversed into the Combatant-Waddington col.
The south face of the Incisor is one of the grandest unexplored pillars of perfect granite I have seen. The potential for new hard aid or free routes is vast. The rock is similar to the upper ramparts of El Capitan. A savvy party could link vertical to overhanging features between Belligerence and our route to create something in the 5.11 to 5.12 range. There is at least 500 feet of unclimbed rock separating the two routes. You can put your rock shoes on at our safe and comfortable base camp, and there is ample snow there to fill your water needs. Good hunting!
Matt Maddaloni, Canada