Correction to Secor, Mount Darwin
by David Harris
On Saturday, we got a 6:15 start toward Darwin. Secor's route
description of the Darwin Glacier and West Ridge was fairly good. A
vertical section in the chute below the small notch can be bypassed on
any of several routes on the rock to the right; the routes we tried
had some interesting class 3 moves complicated by ill-placed patches
of ice. An SPS report pointed out that following below the ridge on
the right side to the summit plateau is easier than staying on the top
of the ridge. After a short walk across the plateau, we saw the
unmistakable summit block of Darwin. The block is slightly detached
from the plateau. Facing the block from the edge of the plateau,
descend to your right off the plateau, then cross over to the left,
descend down a chute and reascend another (icy) chute to the far
(southeast) side of the summit block. A class 3 crack leads to a
ledge immediately below the far side of the block. Climbing the block
involves a simple but exposed mantle; only one member of the group
felt like using the rope which we had hauled all the way up. A single
long sling provided a bomb-proof anchor; don't bother bringing a rack.
An experienced party can do the climb safely with no rope; a very
short 7 mil rope would suffice to belay those uncomfortable with
exposure up the last 5 feet to the summit. The views were outstanding
from the top and the climbing was very good. The climb took about 4
hours and the descent to the glacier was another hour.
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.