Tyndall Gorge and Chaos Canyon

(Part III)

For fun, you might want to see Part II.

OK, so here I am, looking up at Rossiter's 'class 4' ridge, thinking to myself... man, there *must* be a class 4 route here somewhere! Maybe towards the south face of Hallett?

Well, there are some tree-covered ledges there, but I can't see around the buttress, so who knows how that route would be. I look up again at the eastern ridge...

... and promptly think that Rossiter is crazy. All of a sudden, lake Haiyaha, far below, looks really inviting:

But no, I had to explore. I clambered up some interesting boulders (class 3) towards the crest of the ridge, when I finally found it -- an interesting, small, well protected, shallow chimney that seemed to lead to the upper part of the ridge (of course, I couldn't really see beyond it). So, without knowing if this was the right way, I climbed in!

There were lots of good footholds, and basically zero exposure -- really just a class 3 route. Until the top. The last 5-10 feet of foot and handholds were... verglass! And giant icicles (which you can barely see in the picture above)! Without any way to reliably protect myself, I reluctantly downclimbed the chimney. There's gotta be another way. Maybe another look towards the south face?

Ok, the south face looks even worse. Then I peer towards point 11,120+...

Wow, now *that* looks like a peak I can easily climb today! So, I left the east ridge behind and headed off to 'bag' point 11,120+! While climbing, I looked back towards the east ridge for a quick photo:

As it turns out, the chimney I was climbing would take me to the ledges on the upper part of the ridge that was obviously the route. There was also another small snow chute that emptied into the gully I climbed that would have been a more direct and possibly easier route that the way I went. However, the ledges above looked a heck of a lot harder than class 4. After I returned home I looked up the route in Roach's book, and he labled it class 5.2 - 5.4. I'd agree with Roach on this one...

I finally made the quick boulder-hop to pt 11,120+, where I could see the striking profile of Hallett's second north face buttress,

as well as the south face buttress,

and a nice view of the crags on Flattop, across the valley.

For the next part of this trip/photo report, click here.

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