Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Liberty Bell/Southwest Face

A classic climb everyone should do.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow anywhere.  I did the approach in trail running shoes which worked well.  There is a sign and flagging indicating they are trying to reroute the lower climber's trail, but I'm not sure why since it's very good until you get to the final gully which was awful as always.

My third time to climb Liberty Bell, and fun as always with a great group.  A cold front came in so it was very cold and windy in the notch and the wind increased throughout the day.  The wind actually knocked me over in the afternoon.  We started at 5:35am from the trailhead and not only made it to the climb first but never saw another party on the route, save for a guy who came to free solo it--he started P1 in between our two rope teams and had rapped to the notch before our second team started P2!

We did 3 single-rope raps from the summit.  Had no trouble finding the top rap station (above the slab) but had surprising trouble finding the second rap station despite doing this twice before.  There's a bit of a dubious down-climb down a rocky area that looks like it shouldn't go anywhere but in fact leads to the second rap station.  Strong winds made the raps challenging but we and the ropes all got down fine.

I particularly enjoyed a 20 minute jog down Blue Lake Trail at the end, even with the pack.  10:15 car-to-car.