|#||Ewbank||Alpine (Technical)||Alpine (Commitment)||Alpine (Mt Cook)||Aid||Water Ice||Mixed||Boulder (Hueco)||Length||Bolts||Trad|
Ascend features up centre of face to finish just west of summit. Begin at an obvious access slab between pronounced overhangs and move up to ledge beneath steep wall. Follow up and right to gain clean rib and continue on until the rib terminates beside a big gully. The route moves left along a weakness of blocky brown rock to gain another rib, which is the right side of a smaller gully. Climb the rib to its conclusion then breach the steep upper band by continuing up a line of weaknesses above the rib then moving left onto easier angle and straight up. 23 pitches, crux grade 17.
On the Dark Shore
Here's a more general description that may help: Walk around the top of the glacial lake from the magnificant bivvy rock beside the stream that drains it. The highest bit of the face has a wide "V" gully feature on a scale of about a third of the height of the wall. Start just to the left of this central feature to avoid rockfall potentionally funneling down from the top. There is only 1 place to start here because either side of it has overhanging rock. Do not be tempted to start further out left of this because promising rock invariably ends up in dangerously loose ground after 2 pitches. Use your eyes to pick the correct line and make sure it all connects up. There is only 1 possible line on this side of the 'funnel'. Climb easy ground eventually moving onto an easy rib, this rib is essentially the left side of the gully below this big "V" feature. At a particular point on the rib it changes, (getting steeper?). During inspection from the bottom of the face you should have already noted a series of ascending ledges about 2/3 the way up, leading to the left like a staircase. During this ledge traverse you will find a potential excellent unused flat bivvy protected from above by an overhanging wall. After that there are no flat bivvys and the one sitting bivvy is exposed to rockfall (we started the climb at 2pm so had to bivvy). After going left up those ledges go up an unlikely looking loose wide corner (17/18) using a 'rib' just to the right of it to finally break through some steep ground and gain access to the final headwall. The headwall overhang is intimidating. Towards the right hand end of it, and hopefully now directly above you, you should see a weakness that may have ice choking it. Chop this away and crank over it (15/16). From here it is just 1 pitch to the top of the face, but expect a few surprises after that.
VI 6- 17
Peter Dickson, Bill McLeod, February 1993