Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little Squaretop: The Lost Carabiner Route?

Scott Jones following the chossy and deceptively difficult 4th pitch.

This is a placeholder until I can do complete justice to this climb. Scott Jones, Bob Almond and myself had a crazy long day to climb the "fabled" Lost Carabiner Route on the east face of Little Squaretop (LST). Despite my good intentions of setting a "high" base-camp to reduce the approach to the route, we still had a horrendous 3-hour bushwhack to reach the base of the route. We also summitted late (4:30 pm) and Scott and I had both run out of water already. The descent took over 5 hours and half of it was through the same terrible bushwhacking as the beginning of the day, only on the return it was dark and we only had one head-lamp for the three of us. We collapsed into camp at 10pm. I was retching and severly dehydrated. Scott had muscle spasms that kept him from being able to walk. Bob, the only one to carry enough water for himself, took care of use for a few hours while we decided that our original plan of hiking out that night was not feasible. Labor-day morning we high-tailed it out of there.

Would I do it again? Yes! Maybe bring more water and try a different approach, but hey, I love a good adventure.

A cool moss covered piton at the top of the 1st pitch. While I'm not sure we were on Ingraham's Lost Carabiner Route, we found several "lost carabiners" along the route we took.

East face of Little Square Top. We roughly followed the distinct line directly up the middle of the big white face.

Scott Jones, who crazily did not wear his shirt during  bushwhacking

Bob Almond, who wore his shirt during bushwhacking