Five New Pitches on Shaw Spire

Nate and I went up George Creek to try a new route on Shaw Spire. The route ended up being chossy, decease cold and scary. We climbed 8 pitches before bailing 2 pitches from the top. That night there were 100mph winds over the crest.

We also found an abandoned tweaker camp (probably meth), with a lot of machete packages lying around.

So the next time you're in George Creek don't be surprised if you get the chop.

The line we were aiming for is in green, the line we actually took is in red:

The goal was basically to take the left-leaning diagonal thing and then find a way into the huge upper dihedral.

After two really chossy, slow, and scary pitches, the overhangs we had seen to the right looked impassable, and there was a very very inviting looking offwidth straight up, but it didn't necessarily lead anywhere, and we had no big gear.  Scotty said of it "My heart wants to go that way, but practicality says we should go this way"... We ended up trending left for another pitch, up a chossy left-leaning corner.  A lotta rock came off on that one.  The 4th and 5th pitches were clean and pretty spectacular, leading to the top of a big side-buttress that we think is the top of the 1st pitch on the original route.  The top looked close, but after three more pitches we were outta time and freezing cold, and the top didn't look much closer.

The (unfinished) route:

  • Pitch 1 and 2: Start just below the left-leaning diagonal gash and head up into an alcove.
  • Pitch 3: Step left into a left-leaning corner, cross a gully to a ledge
  • Pitch 4: Traverse left on the ledge and go up a bit, then face climb into the huge right-facing corner
  • Pitch 5: Stem the corner and face climb on the right, exit the top of the corner left onto a ledge
  • From here go up!  We kept trending left because that's what we'd been doing all day.  Straight up or even trending right may have been better.

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