Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Liberty Bell/Southwest Face

Super fun climb of the Beckey Route of Liberty Bell as well as the North Face of Concord Tower.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Beckey Route

We left the Blue Lake trailhead at around 6:30 AM. The climber’s trail is very nicely maintained and has been updated with wooden signs that have a carabiner symbol. We diverged from that trail too early, mistakenly thinking that it went to SEWS. We should have stayed on the trail all the way up to where it is at the base of a tower before turning left to get up the gully to the climb. 

The Beckey Route was fun and easy! I led all the pitches using the parallel technique with half ropes to bring up the 2nd and 3rd climbers. Pitch 1: I climbed the face to the right of the chimney. Pitch 2: Fun and blocky! Pitch 3: I started left towards the pin, then traversed right, using long slings. 

After this we coiled our ropes and scrambled to the top. The “slabby boulder problem” was very easy if you look for the feet and hand holds on the left side, so we chose not to protect it. 

The rappels could be done with a single 60 m rope. Due to accidentally missing a bolted rap station, we completed the final rap as a double rope rappel and were able to pull the rope without incident. 

The North Face of Concord Tower

We finished the Beckey Route quite early so jumped on the North Face since it was just across the gully. 

Pitch 1: This was significantly harder than anything on the Beckey Route but still very fun and had good pro. The rock is pretty sharp: we all cut up the back of our hands from the crack. I made it a pretty short pitch and belayed at the tree as recommended by MP. 

Pitch 2: There weren’t many opportunities to place pro but the climbing was very easy on nice juggy huecos. 

Pitch 3: This pitch goes back and forth a lot. I tried to protect the zig zags for the followers, but should have extended with even more than doubles because the rope drag was bananas. I climbed too high on the left before the bear hug flake, so my traverse was sketchier than it needed to be (traverse lower!). 

Rap Beta:

The climbing was fun and without incident. However the rap is where I messed up. From the rap station, I should have brought the rope down slightly to the right. This would mean I would have a bit of an overhanging rappel, but that would be much better than what I did. I rapped directly below the anchor. I noticed a crack alongside my rope, but thought I had enough distance that it would not get entrenched. Boy was I wrong. 

We should have rapped by the blue line: 


I set up the next rappel (we were doing single rope rappels) and was already on the ground when I heard my poor followers struggle. The rope had gotten stuck in the crack when they pulled it. After about an hour long struggle, they finally managed to free it, but then it got stuck again slightly lower on the crack. As one prepared to re lead the pitch, he pulled down with a prusik and it finally came free. Please learn from us and rap to the right of the crack!