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The Cosmic Arete
Timestamp Free: 2018.12.09 - 17:24:57
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Slocan Ranges / Kokanee Range
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1170m
Participants: Stefan Feldman, Justin Vance
Difficulty: 5: Rock climbing up to 5.6, some loose rock, airy positions and route finding
The South West Ridge of Grays Peak
I managed to find a rare free weekend this September, and I was hoping to find a climbing objective that did not require a long drive or time commitment. The SW ridge of Grays seemed to fit the bill and Stefan was game, so Saturday after work we hit the road(and Ferry) for a rainy night of camping at the Kokanee Glacier parking lot(apparently against the rules). Thankfully the rain stopped sometime in the night, providing us with clear skies which was a welcome reprieve from the claustrophobic smoke we have been living in for some time. Around 6:30 we started up the main hiking trail. At the second switch the route description told us to keep on following the old skidder road for another 30m before climbing up to met the road once more. After another 20m or so we found a trail at a sandy bank. The trail steeply led us to a boulder field which we ascended almost to the top. We climbed up right over a rib and then down to an open avalanche path which we traversed to the obvious boulder gully that gives access to the ridge. Easy terrain gave way to some 3 and 4th class terrain until we topped out with a view of the crux tower and the start of the technical climbing.
[photo]DSCF8157.JPG[caption] the crux tower(i was unable to rotate) we climbed the line to the left of the gully[/photo]
Up until now and right to the end we were following a route description by Shaun King which I will post at the end because it thoroughly lead us through to the top. Climbing down to the base of the tower was a bit sketchy due to the quality of the rock. The first pitch was the only one we fixed and was definitely the crux. We opted to climb the corner climbers left of the gully. I found topping out difficult and nerve wracking due to wet moss and poor protection(there was a perfect #1...
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