Rapple Grapple, Liberty Bell II 5.8+

   
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Washington Pass, Washington, USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 1-4 hours
Approach time: 1.5-3 hours
Descent time: 1.5-3 hours
Number of pitches: 4
Height of route: 400'
Overview
Rapple Grapple is a good and slightly harder variation of the Beckey Route. With the quality of the climbing and its position, this would be a popular moderate must-climb anywhere else. Unfortunately, it shares two pitches with the mega-classic Beckey Route, which detracts some from its notoriety. Still, it is a great alternative to the Beckey Route as well as a route worth doing in its own right. If the Beckey Route is packed, consider climbing the direct start (5.8) up the right side of the ledge. It isnít even close to as good as the Beckey Route start but it wonít have a lineup.
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Route History
By 1989 Bryan Burdo had the Beckey Route completely wired from soloing it so many times. One day he decided to wonder off route. Burdo was inspired by a lot of the climbing going on in Yosemite at the time; especially John Bachar who had been doing a handful of onsite, ground-up solo first ascents. Bachar would just start up a granite dome on an unclimbed route with his chalk bag and a brush, figuring it out as he went. Burdo was inspired and in September of 1990 decided to try a first ascent in this style, onsite, ground-up, solo. On the first ascent, Burdo recalled in his original North Cascades Rock, ďa clean white dihedral with some nice jamming on clean white rock with maybe a bit of sandiness on the easier part at the top.Ē The climb went off with out a hitch, Burdo later took this onsite solo first ascent style to bigger routes with his solo first ascent of the Fly Catcher Buttress that same summer.

Strategy
Pitch 1 is part of the Beckey Route and you usually have to share it with another party. But once you get past Pitch
1, this route is rarely crowded and deserves more action. If you ask politely and let the other parties know you plan to climb Rapple Grapple, often you are allowed to cut in. If it is crowded, consi...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff
Liberty Bell - Rapple Grapple II 5.8+ - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
Liberty Bell Rapple Grapple
Photo: Ian Nicholson
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