15/08/04: Solitary Confinement - New Route in the Pigeon Feathers
Grant Statham, Andrew Querner and Sean Isaac climbed a new route on Prince Albert Tower in the Pigeon Feathers of the Bugaboos. Their route was a well-known yet secretively whispered-about gem. The smooth vertical southwest face of Prince Albert Tower is sliced by a series of sweet splitters, the middle of which aims straight for the summit. If this line were located in Squamish or Yosemite, it would be a three-and-a-half star classic done decades ago but instead it has evaded climbers due to its remoteness, sustained parallel nature and burly off-widths.
Over three days, the trio slugged away at the splitter torquing fingers
and jamming hands into rough crystalline granite. The route followed
a singular, unflawed fissure from bottom to top. Ever widening, it started
as tips gradually opening to fingers then tight hands then hands, cupped
hands, fists and of course, off-width. Luckily after a pitch of burly
5.11 arm-barring and hand-stacking (which burly Grant redpointed), the
crack abruptly narrowed back down to hands and fists to the top. The
6-pitch Solitary Confinement (D 5.11) has three 5.11 pitches
and three 5.10 pitches. It is equipped with 2-bolt stations and can
be rappelled with a single 60m rope.
copyright 2004: SeanIsaac.com