Mt.Bell Ivory Tower, 5.8
FA- Maury Perreault and Robb Schnell, July 2013
This climbs the east ridge of the small peak above and left (south) of Obrien lake, near Taylor lake. From the highway, this peak looks a bit like a big hersey’s kiss, and being made of quartzite, gives some fun climbing and scrambling. This peak is located at 0564200 5681600. We’re curious if anyone knows of previous ascents of the ridge??… If not, we’ll give it a name and a grade.
From Obrien lake we hiked up to the start of the ridge in about 45 minutes. Here a scruffy pitch of 5.4 begins the fun. Above this, we walked across a flat spot in the ridge to the crux pitch which allowed passage through a large complicated looking wall. From the notch at the base of this wall, we climbed to a ledge on the right and set a belay. From here, up a 7ft high open book corner, then traverse straight left (5.8) on good holds to a groove above. Above the groove, some nice scrambling leads to a gendarme passed on the left and the final 5.8 pitch. This pitch climbs greenish shabby rock up to a low angle chimney, then straight up the face above, and tops out to the right of a large block at the summit.
Nuts, cams from c3’s to a 3, and maybe a couple pins for belays, will do you.
The route climbs the left skyline, with the second (5.8) pitch being locater right above the big notch. The gendarme that is passed on the climber’s left involves lower-mid 5th class climbing that some may consider pitching out. Depends on the line taken, but it is fairly steep and the rock is angled. P3: This pitch climbed on excellent solid rock and protected well. Fun steep climbing leads to a large block below the cairn with a narrow horizontal crack. Leppers and tiny cams were helpful on this anchor.
Descent: They continued their adventure westward, losing some elevation to a col and continuing along the ridge to the next peak. This provided better than expected hands-on scrambling which is more sustained than what is found on the NE ridge of Mount Bell. Descend SW slopes and traverse over to the descent snow gully used for the Mount Bell descent. Ice ax and/or crampons recommended depending on snow conditions.
Either scramble down easy slopes to Lake O’Brien or follow ridge to second peak and utilize same descent as Mount Bell via snow gully. Any difficulties can be overcome by going around mainly the right side of the ridge. A few exposed sections, but good positive holds.