Ascent to Misery Ridge Summit-Top of Redwall on 2011-06-10

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:David Musser <3607>and our guide
Rodney Sofich from Timberline Mountain Guides.
Date:Friday, June 10, 2011
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Misery Ridge Summit - Top of Redwall
    Elevation:3200 ft / 975 m

Ascent Trip Report

David and I did a pitch of rope on the Lion's Jaw a classic 5.8 route along a narrow crack with some chimney stemming and back bracing along the way. We did the climb as a traditional climb with our Guide Rodney Sofich from Timberline Mountaineering setting and removing protection and setting a bottom belay for us. I cleared all the 5.7 moves and the crux but did not make the very top as my forearms wore out and I did not want to continue if I had to be aided with a "take" and hold. I got stuck in a spot where I failed to find a confident foot hold and my arms began to shake so I bailed with 30 feet to go. I don't believe in resting on the rope and the Guides belay as that simply means I am not ready for that route and in mountaineering my cautious philosophy is to avoid placing myself in a climb where you can not complete every move on your own. Thus, saving my arms for later as I am no rock climber, I rappelled down.

David successfully crushed another pitch of 5.8 called the Papillion that had a lot of pillows and indentations that were rounded. I photographed him and was proud to see all three of my sons have now in the past year cleared the 5.8 threshold with clean climbs and very little training. Perhaps they will all continue learning and be able to achieve far more aggressive mountains than me. A fine legacy to have started them all young.

Our ascent of the remaining rock peak was done by a multi-pitch climb as part of the "Red Wall" formation - more in my beginners skill level and we did the super slab - a 5.6 route with 3 pitches. The bottom pitch was mostly lower 5 work and easy but had some 5.6 near the belay station under 200 feet up. The second pitch was a traverse with only a moderate amount of gain. The third pitch was the most vertical and had a lot of 5.6 moves. We probably gained around 400 feet by rope and class 5. We did not go summit the peak this time since I done that by scrambling the previous day. We rappelled down with three pitches of rope.

I only practice rock climbing once a year with guides to keep me just sharp enough to use it as a "necessary evil" while achieving peaks as a peakbagger. I am always looking for the easiest route up; not the hardest ( unless it is so easy there is not exercise value in the bagging - then I will create a worthwhile route for the training) but some mountains require basic rock climbing even on the easiest route so I will continue to practice this skill in moderation. David, on the other hand, took to the climbing naturally (his first real guided climbs as an adult) and did very well. I suspect he will seek harder rock climbing challenges in the future.

Parking lot was 2850 to the bridge is at 2660, then we climbed to 3200. Extra Gain was on the way back to parking lot from bridge back up to car and the additional route climbs on the redwall.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:880 ft / 267 m
    Total Elevation Loss:690 ft / 209 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    Grade/Class:1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
65 F but sunny and dry
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:690 ft / 210 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 540 ft / 165 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Loss on way in:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Misery Ridge Trail to Super Slab and others
    Start Trailhead:Parking Lot  2660 ft / 810 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:540 ft / 164 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 350 ft / 107 m; Extra: 190 ft / 57m
    Gain on way out:190 ft / 57 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    End Trailhead:same  2850 ft / 868 m

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