Correction to Secor, Mount Abbott

by Aaron Schuman
We climbed Abbot via the route Roper calls the East Couloir, but Secor calls the North Couloir. They are the same route, and there's no accounting for Roper's misnomer. By overlooking two key words in the guidebooks, we easily got off route. We climbed and then retreated from some loose fifth class rock. Roper advises us to climb the gully "until it is possible to exit right". In retrospect, I interpret "until" to mean, exit the gully as soon as possible, no later. Secor estimates the exit point to be "halfway up the couloir". We saw two places where we might exit; below a blank wall at the top of the couloir, and below a green wall lower down. Again, in retrospect, I interpret "halfway" to mean below the green wall. We attempted the higher egress, and tried three chutes, each starting out with sandy, downsloping class 3 ramps and turning into steeper, thinner, and ultimately impassible cracks in the weathered, friable granite. We were discussing our approaching turn-around time, but persistent Charles persuaded me to try the flaw in the wall of the couloir lower down. The route worked, and we were soon doing fine class 3 climbing on the ridge.

I would recommend that anyone climbing in the Abbot group wear their helmet, because the rock is very loose and it's hard to avoid sending down some debris. The amount of rockfall made us grateful that there weren't any parties above or below us!

The information in these pages is provided by interested volunteers and has not been field checked. R.J. Secor, The Mountaineers and the Sierra Club are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any route advice on this web site. Safe climbers must be able to understand the terrain and topography of the area they travel in, and they must make wise route finding choices based on their own knowledge, experience and observations.