Jason Lanz Trip Report 1998

[letter received 2/12/99]

Hello George,

Here is the long awaited topo of the Original Route on Mt. Proboscis. I've also included a xeroxed photo showing the route, but it's tough to see. Unfortunately, we forgot to include rack information when we drew the topo, but here is a good guess:

Triple set of cams & 1 5-6" piece
2-3 sets of stoppers
Lost Arrows - 5 each size
Baby Angles - 5 each size
Angles - 5 each up to 1"
2 or 3 Knifeblades (for belays and stacking nuts)
60m ropes
Webbing for slinging rap anchors

Like I said, we ended up rapping the route; I've tried to show on the topo where the off route rap stations are.

The first four pitches are often wet; we never saw them dry. The 5th-8th pitches are the first headwall - the climbing and hauling is steep and exposed, first rate. The ledge at the top of the 8th is big enough to sit three people, UNcomfortably; we used portaledges.

The 9th-11th are fun free climbing, not as aesthetic as the LFT, but airy nonetheless. In hindsight, I would use a 2:1 or 3:1 hauling system on these pitches. The 11th is the sleeper pitch. I opted for the dihedral on the left instead of the 5th class ledge system, since the ledge system was vertical bushwhacking, and pulling off a tuft of grass could send you screaming past the belay. For the 11th, I started up past the belay, and then traversed left into the shallow dihedral - for 5.8 I've never been more scared. If you choose this variation, which I highly recommend, bring #0 & 1 TCU's and a #1 Lost Arrow. The bivy ledge at the top of the 11th is terraced and comfortably sleeps 3 in separate locations, though be wary of the nice flat spot on the right side of the ledge - when it rains, this is a dripping spot that hammers your bivy sack!

We fixed the 12th-14th pitches from this ledge. The following day, we jugged the three fixed lines and climbed the last 3 pitches to the summit ridge. We then rapped back down to the right [? - topo indicates left] of the route to avoid getting our ropes jammed, but we still got one stuck between 14 & 15. We bivied one more night at the 11th pitch ledge and tossed one of our three haul bags the next morning - the bag made the entire flight but she did split at one of the seams a bit.

Back on the ground, we hiked down the drainage to Brintnell Creek. It took us about 12-13 hours to return to Glacier Lake. In hindsight, leaving a raft at the spot where the drainage meets Brintnell Creek would allow you to raft into Glacier Lake any bypass 6 hours of bushwhacking.

I've also shown the approximate location of an attempted route by some Spaniards in 1998. We don't think they finished their route, since they were moving at the blinding rate of 1 pitch a day, mostly A2. They fixed something like 500m of rope. We watched them hike out when we were 3/4 of the way up, so we don't really know if they finished. However, their route was taking them toward a large rock scar near the top, and I don't think they had much luck with the possible loose rock. But, there is definite free potential on the left side of Proboscis, if you bring some BIG gear.

Well, anyway, here is the topo, and I hope you get the chance to use it!

Best of Luck,

-Jason Lanz

P.S. Harrison Shull & 4 others went into the Vampire Spire area in 1998, and together they put up 5 or 6 new routes. The story should be in an upcoming edition of Climbing.