|Marta Reece with NRE in the background|
|Looking up at the 3rd pitch.|
|Looking down from the 3rd pitch|
We consulted the topo before continuing. from the shoulder the buttress had another steep headwall, but it looked harder than the 5.4 suggested by the topo, and also fairly dirty. A comment on the one of the topos mentioned going around a corner and then up a 5.4 dihedral, and the only thing that seemed like it matched this description was to scramble over some blocky terrain down into the gully on the left of the buttress. After I had done this there was a dihedral-like corner on the right hand side of the gully which would top out near the small saddle beneath ORP. Despite placing little gear and having, I ran out of rope about 1/2 way up the corner, and had to stop and belay Marta over. She wasn't too happy about the traverse/scramble intothe gully, I had not protected it well for a second, and she faced a serious fall if she had slipped, but once in the gully she felt better.
|Marta scrambling off the shoulder and into the gully on our 4th pitch|
For the descent we decided to rappel down the gully on the south side of the buttress, which would put us right at our gear. From the rappel slings at the top of the 5.4 pitch, a 30m rappel landed us in the gulley, where it was broad and brushy. We hiked to the bottom of this section and the top of the large chock stone that had stopped me on my first scramble attempt back in January. the rock above this chock was very loose and we tumbled down a few pieces while searching for something to rappel off of. Moving the rock opened up a hole behind the chock which I thought we might be able to chimney down, but Marta didn't like the looks of it. The walls were pretty far apart for easy chimneying. One bad effect of the hole was that wind funneled up it and kept blowing loose dirt in our faces and eyes. Marta found us a climb of living shrubs that she thought we could rappel off of, and when I went up to get a closer look, I found an old 2-piton rappel anchor hidden in lichen just off to the side.
|suspicious looking piton rappel anchor|
The final rappel was on piton-like stake driven straight down behind a crack. It looked pretty solid, and the sling around it would also be held by the rock. This last rappel put us almost at the very bottom, where we could scramble back down to our packs. It had taken nearly 2 hours to descend.
|Final rappel. the first pitch of the climb is on the right hand side past the tree, but could just as easily start from here.|