Correction to Secor
by John Wakabayashi
Comment on the "Waterfall Pitch". I noticed there was
some debate as to whether the Waterfall Pitch should be considered class
4. I wish to add my two cents worth on this issue. First of all, I
think the guide as written is a bit misleading as it says "A 15-foot
class 3 pitch is soon encountered". I think this gives the misleading
impression that this is the only class 3 on the route. Although it is
the hardest pitch in the chute, there is certainly more class 3 above
this pitch, even though it is easier.
Now, as for the difficulty, I am not sure my father and I actually
climbed the true "Waterfall Pitch" when we did the northwest chute route
in September 1979. I think we looked at actual pitch and thought it
looked slimy and unappealing. We ended up climbing a crack on the left
side the chute bottom (to the left of where I think the Waterfall Pitch
is) that was bone dry. To get to this crack one first ascends some 20
feet of easy class 3 ledges then wiggles up this very steep crack, which
I recall was at least 20 feet high and rather strenuous. This does not
sound like the description of the "Waterfall Pitch" so I suspect it is
somewhat to the left (north) of the actual pitch. If this is not the
"Waterfall Pitch", I think this would make a reasonable, if difficult,
alternative to it if the Waterfall Pitch is too slippery or such for
one's tastes. I think this alternative crack is certainly class 4 in
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