Climbed this route on 8/28. From sunrise until about 3 p.m., there was rockfall coming down the gully between Keeler and Day about every 10 minutes. Mostly small stuff, but every once in a while something big would come down. Around 2 p.m. a block the size of a small car went crashing into the moraine.
Maybe a particularly unstable day, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the start of this route. We climbed an approach pitch described by Dow Williams on summit post. You basically climb up low angle shallow corners near the center of the face, then move left to a ledge near the bottom of the first pitch as given by supertopo. Don't start in the large right facing corner, but a bit left of that on terrain with smaller, broken corners. Dow WIlliams called this 5.4, we found it to be a bit harder but still very easy (maybe 5.7 or 5.8) and protectable. We probably just took a different line. This start dodges most of the snowfield and keeps you away from the gully and any rockfall. Something could still reach you over there, but it would have to be particularly big and nasty.
Did the route in 12 hours, 8/2/11, and it was amazeing! stout and phyical, there was big rains on the route two days prior and the 2nd pitch lost a good flake jug as my partner seconded that very dirty roof pitch!
we climbed it as a party of three, simul climbing easier pitches and simul belaying followers on the more difficult ones. overall, I found it easier than I'd expected; a #4 Camalot is useful but not absolutely necessary- I led the crux pitch without using it or the #5 friend we carried.
The route is good , but has a lot of loose rock and can be dangerous if other party climbing above you.
p4 - 1st wide-right side in
p8 second wide - left side in
p9 - scariest on the route-Upper part of this pitch is rotten crack ~5.8/5.7 where holds can brock and protection is bad.
Highly recomended to fix the rope over the snow field the night before the climbing
I agree. I climbed this route a couple years ago, and thought it was great. The OW climbing was way overblown, and the rock quality was generally very good. Given the position of the climb, and the overall quality, I think it is a classic.
This route was awesome. I would recomend it to anyone up for a classic- the rock was really not as bad as everyone pisses about. A # 4 covers the bolt ladder be brought and used a #5 on mannnyyy pitches-I would recomend it. It was a long day and pretty physical but It was not the horror I was anticipating. The crux is not the strait sided ow you may have imagined and the stemming and rock texture make for generally solid squeezing- medium pieces and fixed gear pro the crux OW- but many Ows await but when you get into them they are more fun than strenious. Don't avoid this route because of the ow you might be plesently suprised. If you did the Red Dihedral easy than your likely ready-but you probably want to do some sustained alpine crack route prior fer body endurance checks. Need more info write me. If you want an added push go car to car.
The offwidth crux is different. a little less secure but not as grunty.
Overall, the main difference between the two is magnitude. keeler is a few hundred feet taller. the approach is bigger. you are climbing at a higher elevation. The rock is not as good so you are a little more spooked.
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The route as seen from the approach.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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