Monday, June 24, 2013

6.15.2013 Prusik Peak

The west ridge of Prusik Peak follows the left skyline.
 Anastasia and I headed up to Prusik peak via the Asgard Pass approach. We left the car at 3:30AM after I was unable to sleep due to the fact that I had not brought a sleeping bag. This fact in mind, I brought every article of clothing I had brought. We made Colchuck Lake before the sun had hit anything except for the peaks high above.
Nearing the top of Asgard Pass at 9AM.
We made rapid progress down the snow fields to the base of Prusik Peak where we dropped all the gear except the stuff we needed to make the summit.
An alpine larch, Larix lyallii, in early spring.
We did the short hike from Prusik Pass to the peak in 15 minutes and racked up. The route is simple and straight forward, jogging left before rising to the ridge proper and following it to the summit. It is at least 5 pitches, but 6 if you break the last two into the 5.7 crack and a 5.8 offwidth.
Classic traverse.
Looking down the 5.7 slab pitch.

Anastasia on the belay ledge for the 5.8 offwidth, just after leading the magnificent 5.7 dihedral.
We made good progress up the ridge, finding the climbing easy and consistent. We used a few nuts, a few smaller C4s, but the entire route could be comfortable climbed with a set of nuts only, assuming one is comfortable with slinging horns and whatnot. All too soon, we made the summit.
Prusik summit, Little Anapurna and the Enchantments in the background.

The rappel stations were generally solid and easy to find, although the first one below the summit is a little to the right. The traverse back was icy and steep in spots, but people comfortable with snow should have no problems. We made it back to camp, ate and slept. Soon it was too cold again and I shivered. For hours. At 3AM I couldn't take it anymore so I walked around outside, and did nothing for a few hours until Anastasia was ready to wake up. I knew the way out would take a long time.
Curious mountain goat.

Asgard Pass.

The fat and sassy big bully on the block. We later saw him pigging out on heather while a skinny marmot rooted around in the rocks below for a few scraps.
Walk out we did. For hours and hours. Simply put, the deproach was painfully long and slow, with heavy packs and steep terrain at Asgard Pass. We finally reached the car at 3PM. If you are fit, I recommend doing the climb in one day in running shoes from Snow Lakes TH because it skips the dirt road, Asgard Pass, and generally makes a short, but spectacular route more palpable. Take a small rack and don't bother with the big cams because any place they could be used, the climbing is too easy for protection to be necessary.

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