Mount Smuts attempt July 22, 2004

Mountain height:       2,378 m (7,802 feet)
Roundtrip time:        
9:40

Scrambling with Mark.

If we can’t get up a grade II, 5.5 route (Pinnacle Mountain), then let’s downgrade to a difficult scramble…should be no problem…right?? Wrong! Mount Smuts certainly deservers its difficult rating and more so the qualifier, “a climber’s scramble”.

To make a long story short, once we gained the south ridge, we found the terrain to be too steep and exposed for our comfort level. We ascended the ridge until we reached two pitons and a small nut. Fortunately, we brought our rope with us and we knew we could rappel from this point. Unfortunately, we had already ascended terrain that I knew would be extremely unnerving to descend and so we decided to cut our losses here and retreat. I was quite sure I could ascend the next section, but felt uneasy about coming to more difficult terrain where there was no fixed protection or where protection would be difficult to place.

Our second retreat in as many days…..very depressing. 

At the roadside of the Smith-Dorrien Trail, looking towards Commonwealth, Pig's Tail, and Birdwood

 

A scenic little stream

 

At Smuts Pass, looking towards the ascent route around the right side

 

Right before the real work starts; Birdwood and Sir Douglas in the background

 

The real work begins

 

This is where we stopped and retreated; making it to make point above looked relatively straightforward, however, we didn't know what to expect after that and so decided to play it safe

 

A little detour on descent; Sir Douglas to the left

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