Aasgard Sentinel, The Valkyrie
Washington, Stuart Range
The granite walls and peaks of the Stuart Range have seen prodigious new route activity in the last few years, with the rock generally excellent and often studded with knobs and fins when the cracks peter out. After climbing the north ridge of Mt. Stuart in June with Graham Zimmerman and Scott Bennett, we had intended to repeat a neo-classic of the area, Acid Baby, which climbs a 300m tower looming above Aasgard Pass. As we post-holed up from Colchuck Lake, I realized my one ascent of the route had left me with almost no recollection of where Acid Baby went, but I had remembered a long dihedral to the left. Scott and Graham were happy to try something new, so we began up a slab 40m to left of Acid Baby.
We generally followed a left-facing corner system, which yielded five pitches of 5.10 climbing before joining Acid Baby for its remarkable finish—a hand-traverse along a knife-edge prow. The crux came high on the second pitch, where Scott’s onsight of a steep corner was briefly halted as he changed footwear mid-pitch, thus nearly, but not quite, leading all the hardest pitches in tennis shoes. The route was quickly repeated by several friends and neighbors from Leavenworth, with generally positive reviews: The Valkyrie (300m, 5.10).
Blake Herrington, AAC