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Ghost Passenger
Timestamp Free: 2019.02.17 - 02:51:45
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
  (2 days)
Participants: Drew Brayshaw AD+ III WI3. Steep snow with some sections of water ice; bushwack approach.
The first ascent of the east face of Mount Outram
The East Face of Outram was a project I had had in mind for a few years. Not as a real must do, more of a "that would be fun" destination, with no sense of urgency, or particular desire.

In 2003 Fred Touche and I climbed Outram. I gaped down the east face on my way to gape down the north face. The north face looked very steep and quite shattered; the rock on the East Face looked OK and there seemed to be the possibility of decent gullies or lines to climb.

Getting to the east face is not obvious. The Fairley guide (the chapter was actually written by Rob Driscoll, now sadly deceased), in a spectacular fit of misdirection, notes that one can gain the north east ridge route "by a traverse from the standard route". Ha! It turns out this is only true if you want to downclimb the NE ridge... Beckey has the correct info, suggesting an approach from Ghost Pass area.

However, the Ghost Pass area is not exactly a highway. In 2004 Merran and I hiked up the standard route to the snowy meadows, intent on downclimbing a gully near the south end of the east face, in order to access the base of the face. As it turns out, these gullies are steep enough that downclimbing them would be challenging in itself - certainly not the most sensible approach to the face either.

With excellent spring-like conditions at the tail end of winter in 2005, I decided to give the face another shot. I didn't really intend to go solo but it ended up that way. Shaun's wife had him busy at home. Various other partners had other destinations in mind including Squamish cragging, the Misty Icefields, Smith Rocks, some DJ at a club Saturday night, the Cheam Range and Vancouver Island. Some people had already left and didn't answer the phone. When I realized I was going to be soloing I decided...

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