Serpentine Arete (Early August, 1997)

Hiked up to Colchuck lake and camped. Started @ 7:30ish in the morning. The way to the base of the climb is obvious, and at this time of year, we really didn't need our ice axes (there is a short stretch to reach the rock, and then steepish snow on the way down, but it was mushy by the time we got there). From here, we scrambled unroped (soloed the first 5.6 portion) until we reached the 5.7 offwidth leading to the pillar. I led this, not too bad. From the base of the pillar, D climbed the next two pitches (5.8/9) in one _long_ pitch. At this point there's a bit more 5th class (half a pitch), but we simul climbed it, along with the remainder of the climb (in 3 shifts). There were 2 places of note on this stretch: the first is a 5.5 flare directly above the 5.8 pitch(es), the second is about halfway (after a level section on the ridge), where we traversed R on a low angle slab to a right trending crack with good exposure (mid-5). Near the top (~300 ft below) there is a big tower. We went right into a gully, then up, then left around the summit pyramid. The last 3-400 ft are very loose.

From camp to the summit took about 7 hours (5 hours on climb). 2 hours from camp to car. In all, the climb is maybe 2-3 decent pitches of 5th class, and then 4-5 pitches of decent simul-climbing, followed by ~3 pitches of terribly loose scrambling.

The way down is easy, but hot and uncomfy down from Aasgard... The rack we took might've been a bit on the large side, but I'm not exactly sure of the details anymore.

Rack and gear:

* One rope * Medium/Large Rack 1 set stoppers #2 TCU, Friends 1, 1.5, 2, #1 and #2 camelot. hexes 6,7,8,9 18-20 free biners 5 double slings 8 singles. * Ice axe. (didn't really need it) Tennis shoes