Remsberg Variation, Liberty Bell II+ 5.10d

   
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Washington Pass, Washington, USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 2-4 hours
Approach time: 2-3 hours
Descent time: 2-3 hours
Number of pitches: 7
Height of route: 600'
Overview
The Remsberg Variation of the Northwest Face of Liberty Bell is a challenging and enjoyable one-pitch variation to the normal Northwest Face. While it avoids the unpleasant loose flakes of the Northwest Face, it is significantly more difficult both physically and mentally. It is a proud line put up on lead on accident by Dale Remsberg looking at a death fall. But Larry Goldie and Scott Johnston later added a few bolts to make it more reasonable. The splitter crack that starts the pitch is easily visible from below and has “drawn” many climbers in to attempt this route.
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Route History
First climbed by Remsberg in 1993 or 1994. He was climbing with Scott Stimpson when he went off route while attempting the Northwest Face. The initial crack was good but then Dale launched onto the slab and was quickly in over his head. Dale vividly describes the pitch: “I got super scared but also super focused and by the time I hit the ledge, I could taste blood in my mouth and was panting like a dog. I believe the fall would have been a death fall as it would have been a 100+ footer or onto those ledges below.”

It is likely that no one else completed the pitch again until the splitter crack that starts the Remsberg Variation was noticed by local climbers Goldie and Johnston. Goldie said he was drawn to the beautiful splitter cracks just to the left of the exfoliating flakes pitch the first time he climbed the Northwest Face of Liberty Bell. When he led up the cracks, he found that they flared out into about 45 feet of unprotected face climbing up to a belay. He put a piece at the top of the crack and pendulumed over to finish the pitch via the typical flakes without putting in any more gear. When he made the belay, Goldie had his partner climb straight up to check out the climbing above the crack which he described as “nice and fairly consistent with the rest of the route.” Few people attempted this route again unti...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: October 30, 2012
Liberty Bell - Remsberg Variation II+ 5.10d - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
Dale Remsberg nearly 20 years after making the first ascent. Now Technical Director of the AMGA.
Photo: Ian Nicholson
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