Monday, July 28, 2014

The Lowe Route & The Answer, Question Mark Wall, Lone Peak Cirque

7-24-14  Climbing in the Lone Peak Cirque

July 24th is a Utah holiday so Luke and I went to the mountains.  The classic Lowe Route has been on our list ever since we started trad climbing 2 summers ago; so we made it happen on the 24th.  Our main goal was to climb the Lowe Route, but we were open to climbing other routes afterward, energy depending. So we left the Jacob's Ladder trailhead a little after 6 am and quickly made our way up to the Lone Peak Cirque, which we reached by 9:30 am.  We took a significant break here, read up on the route, and fueled up.

We scrambled up the approach (Pete's Staircase, 5.4) to the base of the wall and began climbing the 3-pitch 5.8 Lowe Route.  Luke and I agreed that we would split up the best pitches (1 and 3), so Luke led the first 2 pitches and I led the 3rd pitch.

After climbing the Lowe Route, we hiked down and around and climbed another route; the Answer.  This route is basically a variation of the Lowe Route and was a lot of fun.

THE LOWE ROUTE
Pitch 1: A sweet, steep, hand-sized dihedral to the top of a pinnacle.  5.8

Pitch 2: A wandering, easy section and a short crack to the base of the steep upper face. 5.7

Pitch 3: A straight shot up the upper wall.  Used the small crack for protection and climbed the patina to the summit.  So sweet! 5.7

Lone Peak Cirque 
Question Mark Wall - the approach requires some low 5th class scrambling to the tree-covered ledge
First pitch of the Lowe Route, so fun!
First pitch of the Lowe Route.  Luke is not free-soloing as it might appear
Wandering 2nd Pitch of the Lowe Route
The 3rd pitch of the Lowe Route - a bit of a runout start
Luke coming up the fantastic and exposed 3rd pitch of the Lowe Route

THE ANSWER
Pitch 1: The same first pitch as the Lowe Route.  5.8

Pitch 2: Moves up and left and follows bolts/pins to a fixed 2-bolt anchor with white webbing below a roof.  5.8

Pitch 3:  From the anchor, the route traverses right around the roof and back left onto the exposed face protected by sparse bolts and pitons.  5.8
Me leading the fun and chllenging first pitch of the Lowe Route and The Answer
Luke on the 2nd pitch of the Answer, all fixed protection on an exposed face
The 3rd pitch of the Answer on the Question Mark Wall.  Luke is belaying from the top and I am climbing.
After a long day of climbing, we started rappelling Pete's Staircase back to the cirque floor to begin the hike out.  We were informed by some hikers that two other hikers were stranded and needed help.  We spent an hour or so helping two college kids who were on an exposed ledge between two impassable cliff faces.  We lent our harnesses and rope to help them to safety.  Good deed for the day complete.

We reached the car 3 hours later.  14 hour day in the mountains.