Pillar Theory

Submitted by kephoto on Wed, 12/21/2005 - 11:37
I?m continually amazed at the climbing in the Cooke city area this season. Yesterday Whit Magro, Conrad Anker and myself went down to climb the far left pillar on Barronette that seems to form rarely and then only as a pencil. The Winter Dance guidebook has no information about this but Ron?s supplement has mention of the route. Here is Ron?s description: "Park at the west side of the Barronette Ski Trailhead and ski 20 minutes down the trail to the first big clearing. Ski another couple hundred yards and look for the climb above. Take the drainage leading up to the base using open parks and getting to the right of the drainage where it narrows and steepens. The first pitch is 120' of WI 4 which forms funky. There is a tree belay The second pitch consists of snow and a bit of rolling WI 2 into a 'hollow' and a tree belay. Continue though (sic) or around a tunnel affair to a grotto at the base of pitch 3. This 80' pitch of WI 3 leads to a snow slope and bench above. Pitch 4 is a 90' cracked freestanding pencil to a wild looking curtain.... An easy section of ice leads to a tree belay." "The climb was finally completed after 6-7 attempts spread out over a five-year period. The first pitch is usually in bad shape, with thin, hollow and detached ice. The last pillar pitch is always a cracked pencil to reach the curtain above and is the demise of the route.? We found plenty of evidence on prior parties climbing on the lower pitches as the trees all had old 8mm rope attached around their trunks. The second and third pitches were easily ascended due to their short and snowy nature, leaving the first and last as the worthy pitches in the current conditions, although the tunnel was a highlight. On the top of the last pitch we expected to find more rope around a tree as we had seen on the lower pitches and so looked at the bases of all the trees for something as an indicator that someone had actually completed the pillar to the top. We were unable to locate any prior rap station but some little fury critter probably decided that the rope left behind was good nesting material. We left a sewn sling and biner around the obvious tree above and right of the pillar, rappelling the 35m. The last pitch was a classic WI5. Kristoffer Erickson [img]http://montanaice.com/forums/user_images/DSC_0051.lr.jpg[/img] [img]http://montanaice.com/forums/user_images/DSC_0084.lr.jpg[/img] [img]http://montanaice.com/forums/user_images/DSC_0090.lr.jpg[/img] [img]http://montanaice.com/forums/user_images/DSC_0134.lr.jpg[/img]