This guys star rating: 1/5
This contrasts with a lot of the other ratings you might see on the information highway. But I just don’t feel like the effort to get to this climb is worth it.
We left from the St-Huberts parking lot at 6:30. The approach is a mixed bag:
- Up to the damn at the end of the Lake Road, it’s flat(ish) and easy 7km. We took about 1h15 minutes.
- Once you start ascending towards Gothics, it’s a relentless and steep 4km up to the top of Pyramid Peak bringing you over 2500 feet. This section took us about 1h25 to climb, but most will likely take a bit more (both Phil and I are pretty strong hikers).
- The bushwhack that starts in the col between Pyramid and Gothics is … well, a bushwhack and all that it implies. We took about 25 minutes to get to the base of the arch.
A few notes about the bushwhack: It starts at the flat section between Pyramid and Gothics, just before you start going back up towards Gothics. There is (as of June 2015) a small cairn and the trail is obvious for the first few 100 feet. You’ll want to make sure you’re in the drainage early on. You can use the included tracklog to figure out where the bushwhack starts. We didn’t exit the drainage early enough, so we overshot the exit by about one hundred feet, so we had to climb back up to the base of the arch (not a big deal).
I’d suggest a 70m rope for this one (The third pitch is a 210 foot stretcher). There are no pitons, bolts or hangers. We followed the line spelled out in Adirondack Rock.
P1: Start on the left side of the big obvious arch climbing straight up then shooting for a grassy ledge on the right. Right of the grassy section is a nice big ledge where you can use chockstones to setup a belay. Run-out but easy, I only got one piece in.
P2: Go up the left facing corner, traverse over the two wet black streaks then diagonal your way up to the right end of the big arch. The rock is much more textured and featured than it looks like from the belay. The pitch is almost a full rope length. The belay was setup at a nice set of features where bomber gear was all over the place.
P3: Starts off on a steep section with a cool toilet bowl looking feature (right off the belay). Once over the steep section, keep going straight up over very runout but easy 5.2x terrain until you hit the tree island. P4 starts to the right of the tree island, so try to setup your belay on that side.
P4: A shitty pitch where you follow mossy and wet rock up to the base of the first overlap. Here the gear anchor was VERY marginal … Would suggest trying to stay in the woods to set it up instead of under the overlap.
P5: Here we didn’t follow the guidebook and instead went straight to a small right facing arch about 200 feet up. The pitch goes over a few overlaps and has the nicest climbing of the day. The first overlap is passed by going around left.
P6: A few feet to the top, simply follow the line of least resistance until you can see a few broken bushes where other climbers have setup the last belay. The reason we didn’t link this with P5 is that we ran out of rope.
The bushwhack out is an easy hundred feet or so through dense, but manageable krummholz (assuming you finish the climb where we did).
We took about 4 hours to complete the 6 pitches. As mentioned before, I don’t feel that this is even close to a classic, but it’s definitely a fun alpine outing. The gear is often marginal and the rock crumbly and hollow. You’ll want to be a solid 5.6 climber with some slab experience (i.e.: runout with a good head) before leading this one.
We opted to hike towards Armstrong instead of heading back towards Pyramid Peak. Either way, getting back to the car will take another couple of hours.
My Wordpress installation has a nasty bug where I can’t upload pictures anymore … when I figure it out I’ll update this page