Hall Peak, east face, Upper Ramp
Canada, Purcell Mountains
In August 2013, Evan Reimondo and I spent seven days in the remote Leaning Tower group in the southern Purcell Mountains. [The Leaning Tower group is located south of the Bugaboos and is home to impressive granite walls on Hall Peak (a.k.a. Leaning Tower), The Pulpit, Block Tower, Wall Tower, and others]. After a three-day approach lengthened by road washouts, we finally set up a base camp beneath Hall Peak’s east face.
The first day, we climbed the central north face of Hall Peak (II 5.6 80°) and descended the north ridge. The next day, we climbed a new route on Hall Peak’s east face via the upper of two large ramps that cut the face: Upper Ramp (1,700’, IV 5.9 A1). We started climbing a dirty chimney (5.7) to access several pitches of easy climbing across a large bowl at the base of the face. Above this, four or five pitches of fun, well-protected climbing in an arching corner system (5.7–5.9) gained the base of the upper ramp. (Lichen and dirt-filled cracks caused us to aid two short portions up high, but the route would likely go free at 5.9 with a little cleaning.) Three more pitches of slab climbing (5.7–5.9) on the ramp led to Hall Peak’s east buttress, and then two more easy pitches gained the summit ridge.
This is the second documented route on Hall Peak’s east face [see Canadian Alpine Journal 59 for the other]. There is enormous potential for new routes in this area. Special thanks to the AAC’s Mountaineering Fellowship Grant for helping to make this trip possible.
Ryan Leary, USA