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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Kangaroo Temple/North Face

Excellent climb with a good approach and no other parties. Very surprising there is almost no interest in the climb outside the Mountaineers.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow to be seen, I did the approach in trail running shoes which worked well.  One mountain goat seen at the pond at Kangaroo Pass which ignored us; otherwise none encountered.  Good hiking/climbing trail for the approach except there was no clear path through the boulder field lower down.

My first time to do KT.  Great weather and a really fun climb.  As noted by Craig Taylor you can do a full 60m first pitch to the second rappel station but then the second pitch (if you stop right before the step around move) is incredibly short, just a few feet.  Rope drag on the long P1 is a bit of an issue but wasn't too bad; it could be alleviated by using double-length slings at all pro.  P1 is low 5th class.  Probably more interesting to stop at the first rap station and make P2 longer; it will still be far under a rope length.  Since P3 is also short it would be tempting to combine P2 and P3 but as you go around a couple corners I can imagine the rope drag would be very bad, and it also is comforting to students to be near them for the step around move.

P3 has all the fun with a step-around (which can be protected by a #4 cam at ground level), a step-across (protectable by a #1 cam at ground level), and then immediately after the awkward crux move which even when you find the hidden left hold felt like 5.5 or even 5.6.

The summit rap anchors are hard to find but fortunately Mark, one of the rope leads, had done the climb 2 years ago.  It is tricky to get to them--the safest route we found involved a brief "au cheval" move on a narrow fin (left of Bing in the photo); everyone was comfortable doing it so we didn't need to set up a hand line.  I highly recommend 3 single-rope raps.  All three stations are good--you pass the lower two on the climb and can check them out.  The single pin Glenn Minch references in his report is not a rap station and all three raps are fine with single 60m ropes.

There are slings and a single rap ring at the belay at the bottom of the first pitch.  Since the final part of the gully is so loose and there are a couple moves to get up that are hard to downclimb we offered students the option to do a low-angle rappel past the difficulties, and all opted for this.  However it was a mistake because rope movement can dislodge rocks onto the rapeller.  We trundled a couple particularly loose ones but others were still a worry.  No incidents but I wouldn't do this again.  The other rope lead Bing downclimbed the section and found it to be fine.

Despite wasting time on the gully rappel, we had a strong group that moved efficiently and we completed the trip car-to-car in exactly 10 hours.

 

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