Wednesday, June 30, 2004

First Ascent - Goldfinger, The Stump, Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range

After climbing The Cobra Pillar, The Southwest Face of Hut Tower, and the West Pillar of the Eye Tooth, Chris and I were ready to get on a new route. We found that the rock in the basin of the Eye Tooth, Wisdom Tooth, and the Stump was exceptionally good. After two tries we put together the route Goldfinger (IV, 5.11, 12 pitches), which takes a direct line up the left of two major dihedrals splitting the face. The climb was challenging and sustained with splitter cracks and good protection.

An overview of the south face of the Mooses Tooth massif, with the route Goldfinger on the Stump marked:

Looking up the route from the base:

We swapped leads the whole way - each pitch was close to a full 60 meters.
Chris leading on the initial dihedral:

Joe leading another dihedral pitch:

Splitter cracks everywhere...

The crux of the route came on the 9th pitch. A very thin finger crack led to a dyno to an off-width, then an airy traverse left to a horizontal roof crack. Chris cruised the pitch onsight!

Chris on top of the Stump:

Chirs, with Mt. Barrill and Denali in the background.

We made 12 long rappels down the route and installed good anchors so the route could one day be repeated and become classic.

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