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Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Kangaroo Temple/North Face

Snow covered approach. Overcast with threatening clouds.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Steeper section approaching Kangaroo Pass as well as notch to North Face have significant snow coverage. Mountaineering boots and ice axes are strongly recommended for approach, and crampons or micro-spikes if hard snow is expected due to lower temperature.

This was the first climb of the year for the trip leader and many of the participants. Five of us met at the hairpin turn-off at 7 AM, geared up, and started after a socially-distanced briefing. Leader quickly lost the trail, bushwacking and hopping talus for good part of the approach to Kangaroo Pass. Slope below the Pass was covered with hard snow, requiring multiple cautious traverses on run-out slopes. While we were able to kick steps to safely cross, it slowed us down.

The traversing trail from Pass to Kangaroo Temple was confusing as in past years. Leader took the group low and ended up losing the trail again. Fortunately, we encountered minimal snow until we approached the notch. Steep climb to the notch skirted the snow on loose terrain, gaining the windy base of the climb where we geared up. Forecast called for showers after 11 AM when we started the climb. Fortunately, ominous clouds never turned to rain during the climb.

We broke the route into 4 pitches, of which first 3 were technical. The first went over the arete and climbed up and right to rappel anchors. Second went up to bolted anchors, and third traversed around to the exposed shelf and crux move to exit. This turned out to be most time-consuming for us. Last was loose scramble to the summit. Descent was completed as 3 single-rope rappels, adding in  a fourth to bypass the loose approach. Last may have been quicker as down-climb, but rappel ends below overhanging boulders which protect from rock falls.

We were all feeling tired as we headed out. While the snow had softened up some to support plunge stepping, it was not soft enough to be secure. A participant slipped and fell during one of many snow crossing, but was able to stop and continue without any obvious injury.

Returned to cars at 8 PM, debriefed, and headed home.