Julie and I headed up the Commonwealth Basin to climb the West Ridge of Lundin Peak. The route is supposed to be fairly easy climbing and a reasonable day trip. The approach was fairly straight forward, although there was a 'fresh' layer of snow above 5000' that made going a bit slow. Before long we were at the far western end of the West Ridge. We simul-climbed the first bit which I would say was 2nd class. After some route finding issues, it made more sense to belay the pitches which consumed time drastically. The climbing was generally not difficult, but not super enjoyable either. The rock was fractured blocks and pro placement was somewhat suspect. (Except trees.) Also the beta for the route states that is generally stays to the north side of the ridge, but there were at least 3 full pitches for us on the south side of the ridge. We also climbed a block/tower that was off route and perhaps low 5th class. We finally summited around 5pm, only to then question the rap anchors on the East Ridge. We couldn't find anything better, so went with the standard (which was a jumble of detached microwave sized blocks) rap anchor. There was wet slide activity on the southern approach slopes (triggered by skiers during the day.) So we set a few slides off before plunge stepping back to the car. Overall a nice learning experience and our first summit of the year.
Route Profile - Kautz Glacier
3 hours ago