In August, Winter Ramos and I ventured into the Leaning Towers, a remote and rarely visited bleb of granite just south of the world-famous Bugaboos. After two friends, Ryan Leary and Evan Reimondo, put up a new route on the east face of Hall Peak (AAJ 2014), Ryan told me the best line in the range was still unclimbed: a direct route up the east buttress of Hall Peak (3,040m). [This buttress is located just left of the McComb-Myers-Twomey Route (1975).]
A two-day approach was made much easier with the help of Kootenay Raft Company’s horse packers, who carried our gear for the first 12km. Once in, Winter and I spent a day scouting the descent off Hall Peak, took photos, and recovered from two days of brutal hiking. On August 6 we roped up for our attempt. From the ground, the crux of the route appeared to be a roof two pitches off the ground; however, Winter snuck to the right just below the roof on airy 5.8 edges. From there we followed our noses pitch after pitch. The crux turned out to be a 5.9+ jam crack on pitch nine. After summiting a tall gendarme on the east buttress, we began following the ridgeline on lower-angle, less difficult climbing, where shorter pitches led us to the summit. Our 17-pitch route was comprised of great granite and diorite, and we only encountered a few loose blocks: Direct East Buttress (2,000’, IV 5.9+).
With more food and time available, we examined some of the cracks along the northeast side of Hall Peak. On August 8 we climbed a prominent 500’ corner. Atop the wall we traversed 100’ left and rappelled: Post Credit Cookie (4 pitches, 5.10a).
– Matthew Morriss, USA
Editor's note: The caption for the photo of Hall Peak that was published in AAJ 2015 incorrectly identified two of the routes. The caption has been corrected below.