American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Mt. Combatant, Peaceful Warrior

Canada, British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Pacific Ranges, Waddington Range, Tiedemann Group

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Paul McSorley
  • Climb Year: 2019
  • Publication Year: 2020

Paul Cordy, Tony Richardson, and I flew to the Waddington-Combatant col with White Saddle Air on August 5, aiming to take advantage of a brief weather window. We planned to warm up on Mt. Combatant (3,756m) via Cam Cairns and Michael Down’s 1982 route Kshatrya (735m, 5.8 D+), which climbed the rightmost buttress on the southwest face directly to the main summit. But when we reached the base of the buttress, about 200m left of Kshatrya, after a few hundred meters of approach gullies, we found an enticing alternative.

Our line began 15m right of the left toe of the wall up tricky, discontinuous face grooves, leading to a left-trending crack system. The opening rope length proved to be the crux of the route (5.11a). After five more rope-stretching pitches of mostly excellent granite, we joined Kshatrya for a final bit of wild knife-edge ridge climbing before the upper face opened to classic mixed snow and rock. Reaching the summit with alpenglow to spare, we descended the Central Couloir route via a couple of rappels and much downclimbing, arriving in camp close to midnight, after 13 hours on the go.

In August 2002, Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin put up a five-pitch TD- 5.10 variation on this buttress “well to the left” of Kshatrya (according to Don Serl’s guidebook). The exact location of their route is vague due to the highly featured nature of the wall. But after talking with Conrad and Jimmy, I'm quite sure we climbed a different route to the left of theirs. We also dislodged a few blocks and excavated a few gear placements that made us suspect we were on unclimbed ground.

We left the Waddington Range within 48 hours of arriving, without climbing anything else. Wadd weather is as fickle as anything in Patagonia. However, our line—which we named Peaceful Warrior (750m, TD- 5.11a)—was a pleasurable climb in a gobsmacking setting.

– Paul McSorley, Canada

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