Burgundy Spire
Location: Washington Pass  

Elevation: 8400 ft

Route: North Face
Grade: II+
Class: 5.8
Topo Map
 
Date: July 11, 2004
Team: Chris and Tony
 
North Face Route
Other Notes:

Day 1 - Vasiliki Tower - South Face (Coming Soon)

Day 2 - We woke up to the sounds of a party roping up for glacier travel over to Silverstar. It was about 8:30am, we were in no hurry. The wetaher was still pretty crappy. There were some very small flakes in the air, but not enough to really call it snowing. The top of Burgundy Spire was in the clouds and they moving at a good clip. We talked to some of the party while Tony started boiling water for breakfast. We basically killed time while decided what to do. I didn't want to be in the wind with no sun. I was already cold just standing in it. The coulds did break a little bit and I decided to at least do the first couple of pitches that were 4th class. I put on all my clothes and attached my down booties to my harness to keep my feet warm at the belays. Tony lead the first pitch over easy terrain for 175ft. By this time the sun was coming out. I decided to drop my booties since it warmed up a little. The climbing was easy and was a nice warm up. I lead the second pitch up a nice ramp that topped out near the top of a tower. I couldn't see if the route kept going because of rope drag. There were slings for rappelling but couldn't tell if they were part of the standard descent or bail slings. Tony came up and looked around the corner and didn't think it would go. He ended up down climbing the pitch while placing a couple pieces of gear. I then down climbed it and pulled the gear. I picked up the rest of the rack, climbed up about 15 feet and stepped over onto some sandy ledges. I walked till I ran out of rope and brought Tony up.

Burgundy Spire at sunset
Vasiliki Tower on the Left
Our bivy spot
Tony leading the 3rd pitch
Tony Lead pitch 3. It started out on some sandy ledges but eventually went vertical. There were some nice flakes and cracks to work up. Tony went for 190 feet, set up a hanging belay and brought me up. I picked up the rack and continued on the face. It was fun climbing. I found the crux section that I had to lay back for about 10 feet. I then followed some more flakes\cracks to a nice belay ledge. I still had plenty of rope so I followed a nice ramp\crack for about 20 feet and realized I was off route. I turned around and saw the open book I was suppose to be in. Instead of down climbing, I traversed under a block back onto route. I belayed Tony up and we walked over to a ledge and had a snack in the sun.
Tony Finishing 3rd Pitch
Tony cleaning the 4th pitch
(Off route)
Tony Leading the 5th Pitch
We read the route description a couple times for the next section. We traversed along a ledge systems to the west. It was wide enough to just carry the rope. We dropped down a 10 foot section and then descended under a large leaning block. We still continued on the ledges till rounded the west face and ended. Tony started leading the 5th pitch which had a little route finding on it. Tony continued up nice cracks till the rope was tight and then belayed me up.
Last pitch
Summit Shot - Chris
Summit Shot - Tony
The route desciptions says the next pitch can be broken up into 2. I was guessing that it would be a long pitch to the summit. I started up a thin crack but it wasn't that hard because there were enough features on the face to only use it for gear. I then topped out on a nice ledge and then stepped around a corner where I got into a large crack that had to use an arm bar in. With the use of a couple of holds for my feet, I was able to work up the crack and place a piece. Once you step around the corner, you have a nice 200-300 foot drop off. Make sure the piece is good. Once at the end of the crack, I did a hand traverse for a few feet and then topped out on the ridge and followed it to the summit. It was less then half a rope, why break it into 2? Oh well, I put tony on belay, Yelled the belay commands and he was on his way. He had not problem coming up the crack and in a few minutes we were both on th summit. We did 2 rappells to get back to the traverse where we did 2 more rappells to the sandy ledge and then 2 more to the base of the climb. The route took us 5 hours to climb, we were in no big hurry, and 2 hours to rappell. We packed up camp, headed down the steep trail and had microwave bean and breakfast burritos at the shell station in marblemont. Not the best finish for the weekend.
Looking over towards
Cutthroat Peak
On Rappell

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