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.