Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Ace-Drizzle Memorial Route

The Ace-Drizzle Memorial Route, .12c, 4 pitches. First Ascent: Chris Thomas, Rick Vance, and Jess Taverna, June, 2007

In May of 2007, Will Mayo and I, along with two other good friends from SLC, visited the Ruth Gorge in AK. Although conditions/weather for steep ice and hard alpine climbing were downright lousy, Brian and Andre managed a very fast ascent of the Ham and Eggs Couloir on the Moose's Tooth, and Will and I climbed the Japaneese Couloir on Mt. Barille. Three days after Will and I climbed Barille, Brian and Andre decided to have a go at it as well, but were tragically killed in an avalanche before they reached the summit.

The Ace-Drizzle Memorial Route was named in honor of our good friends Brian Postlethwait and Andre Callari. Brian and Andre were two of the most badass climbers, skiers/snowboarders, pilots, adventurers, husbands, brothers, sons and friends that ever lived, and this is part of our tribute to the amazing people that they were.

Location: In Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of SLC, UT, on the Peeler Buttress. Park 1.75 miles up canyon from the flashing electric sign, and hike up the closed road across the highway. At the first switch back, follow a climber's trail up to the base of the Peeler. The route starts about 100 yards right of the prominent peeler direct aid route.

Pitch one: Climb the first pitch of Orangutan Afternoon. Climb the large right facing corner until it ends, and then step across to a ledge with chains. 5.10. ~ 100 feet

Pitch two: Traverse left from the belay and pull around a small roof to gain a left facing corner. It is possible to escape right after just a few feet of the corner, but for better quality climbing continue up the corner to an under cling flake and the short bouldery crux of the pitch. 5.10c. ~ 80 feet

Rick leading pitch 2:

Chris following:

Pitch three: The money pitch. Climb the striking, overhanging, flake/crack up the orange and black streaked wall. This pitch starts hard and keeps coming at you until the end. 5.12c. ~ 80 feet.

Pitch four: Move the belay to the base of the overhanging finger crack. Lieback, jam, thrutch, and curse your way up the steep tips crack. At the roof, go left. A #4 Camalot is nice here. Belay anchors are up and to the right on a ramp. 5.11c. ~50 feet. (Note: we believe that this pitch has been aid climbed before, but never freed. The base of it is accessible from the top of the Peeler Direct Route)

Rack: Double set of cams from a #00 C3 to a #1 Camalot. 1 each #2, #3, #4 Camalot. All Belays are bolted.

Descend with one 70 meter rope. Skip the rappel anchor at the base of the 3rd pitch and go all the way to the top of the first pitch. A 60 meter rope is workable with some trickery.

Thanks to Andrew Burr for supplying the photos.