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 hammer...one 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
HOWSE, NE BUTTRESS
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... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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