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Basic Alpine Climb - Kangaroo Temple/North Face

Sunny Saturday! We started early and beat a larger group, otherwise, we may have ended up being "crowded out". I recommend starting early, even before 6 am, on a summer weekend day.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Some snowfields to cross on the way to the pass.  Solid snow from below the little lake to the pass.  Very little snow from the pass to the base of the climb.  The rock on the first pitch is flaky and more flaky.  It's grippy, but flaky.  Did I say it's flaky? 


Just before 4th of July, six of us met at 6:00 AM. We were the first in the parking lot, but another car brought one pair of climbers who hiked up ahead of us, and another several cars brought at least four pairs of climbers. We managed to stay in front of that large group and got on the rock before them. The weather was clear and in the 50s when we began. The North Face is in the shade, so it was colder on the climb until we rounded the blind corner into the sun. Then it was in the 70's when we came down.

In the morning, we had patchy snow across the drainage to Kangaroo Pass, but managed to keep to the trail until it starts climbing more steeply below the little lake near the pass. We lost the trail and went a little too far left onto the steeper slope to the left of the lake. We didn't need to be so high, but we then traversed past the little lake to the pass.

We didn't take a break because the large group was following right behind us. But as we dropped to the south side of the pass, we dropped too far. I missed a good traverse, and we climbed back up to catch it. That traverse basically skirts just below some slabby rocks on the left side of the slope. After the pass, the snow was almost all melted except for a few short sections. But it was no problem. We had brought crampons, but didn't use them at all.

The climb is described as three pitches of rock, and one pitch of scramble. We actually linked pitch 1 and 2 without knowing it. I had passed the first belay ledge, and managed to make it to the second belay ledge with about 10' of rope to spare. The other two teams did the same, by avoiding so much back and forth with protection. A nice straight line gets you to the upper ledge in one pitch. The rock is crappy, so be sure to grab solid rock and place feet on thick holds. I almost fell when one foot gave way on a flake that I shouldn't have trusted.

Our send pitch (third pitch in other descriptions), went around the blind corner to the "step across" that everyone mentions. Then there is a wide crack and two flaring cracks. Take your pick of crack. I think most people take the left one. But if you place any protection after the blind corner, put a long sling and swing the rope upward, or else you will have horrendous rope drag. next time, I may just anchor below the cracks with a gear anchor, then climb the cracks to avoid that rope drag. I had brought one #3 cam to protect the base of the blind corner. Above the cracks, we just belayed off a large tree and then scrambled from there to the top. I set a hand line from the summit to the rappel anchor. It goes across a couple steep steps that are rather exposed.

However, when we began to rappel, the large groupu behind us were all congregating on the next rappel station (actually the bolted anchor at the top of pitch 2. We waited about an hour for them to clear enough to get everyone downn. Then two more single rappels to the ground.

Be careful on the second rappel. The rappel station actually sits to climber's left, not directly down the fall line. There is an old piton with ratty cords directly down the fall line, but it's not the correct rappel station. Keep looking to your left as you rappel, and you should see the second rappel station well before you run out of rope. If you head to the ratty piton, you'll run out of rope. (know your rappel ropes!)

A long scramble / hike got us back to the cars about 7 pm... about 13 ~ 14 hours worth of climbing.

We gained about 2,400'. The approach went from about 6:30 to 10:00 (3.5 hours). We reached the top between 12:30 to 1:30 (3-4 hours). We lounged on the summit about an nhour. 2.5 hours rappelling (probably an hour of this was waiting for the other group to clear the 2nd belay station). 3 hours back to cars.

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    48.514396, -120.642666
    48.5143961918 -120.642666221
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    48.502142, -120.609884
    48.5021422898 -120.609884262

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