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Howse NE Buttress
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.21 - 11:38:12
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Waputik Mountains
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 1500m
Participants: Colin Wooldridge, Jason Thompson Grade V, 5.9 or 5.8 A1. Roughly 28 pitches of climbing. A very asthetic route, not to be taken lightly. 600m elevation gain from Chephren lake to the base of the climbing, 900m on route, 1000m elevation loss on the back side (regained climbing back over White Pyramid)
A very aesthetic route. The climb is long and adventurous with the route twisting up, on, and beside the buttress. The rock quality reaches both extremes; mostly good to really crappy in a few spots.
[photo]19HowseProfile.JPG[caption]Howse NE Buttress Profile[/photo]

On July 27 - 29, 2007 Colin Wooldridge and I climbed the NE Buttress of Howse peak and returned to the B-J highway via White Pyramid and Chephren lake. It was a grand adventure - one of the best I've done - but it had some tense moments too. I'm including the route description that we used (written by a local guide). I found it fairly accurate and quite helpful because the route is so convoluted. One piece of advice that we heeded and I was happy about was to forego rock shoes and wear light boots (e.g. Sportiva Trango, or Scarpa Charmoz). Another piece of advice that I wish I would have heeded was to take pitons and a of the easiest pitches I led (Pitch 8 - 5.3?) was one of the scariest I've ever done - compact crumbling rock that I couldn't get a single piece of gear into for almost an entire rope length. That said, it is well worth doing if you are up for this type of adventure.

For planning, our times were as follows:

Day 1: 4 hours to start of roped climbing, 10 hours to 5 star bivi ledge (bottom of yellow band)

Day 2: 10 hours to top out, 2 hours to descend to meadow

Day 3: 4 hours to climb White Pyramid, 3 hours to decend to lake, 3 hours out



RACK: 1 set wires, 1 set camalots to #3, #2 TCU, 4 KB's, short & medium, 1 LA short, Crampons, Short ice hammer(s)

APPROACH (4 hours) >From the glacier below the east face on the left side of the ridge, scramble up the third class ledges to a gully on the left of the ridge to the base of the steep part of the ridge.

CLIMB (15 - 20 climbing hours, or more) Pitch 1. Start 30 or so meters left of the ridge crest and 20 m right of a large gully in a chimney...

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