Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mt. Deltaform NW Ridge (III, 5.5)

Mt. Deltaform (high point) and Neptuak (on right). The NW ridge follows near the right hand skyline for its entire length!

Spent the weekend climbing the North West Ridge of Mt. Deltaform, one of the classic big routes in the Valley of the 10 Peaks. Dave joined me from New Mexico and we had an awesome trip with perfect weather. The route is much much bigger than the guidebooks make it sound, but is well worth the effort!

On Saturday we made the hike in and then spent all day climbing up and over Mt. Neptuak via some snow slopes, a bit of blocky scree, and 6 or 7 pitches of limestone rock climbing. From the summit of Mt. Neptuak, we made the tricky downclimb to a large flat area at over 10000ft and set up camp for the night. It is an amazing spot to camp and watch the sunset with some of the biggest peaks in the Rockies all around. Some of the peaks we could see include Mt. Temple, Victoria, Lefroy, the Goodsirs, the Rockwall, Fay, Hector, and hundreds more!
Climbing one of the pitches on Neptuak.

Dave on the summit of Neptuak with Deltaform behind.

In the morning we left camp and began the climb up the imposing Mt. Deltaform. Pitch after pitch of varied rock climbing led up the ridge, complete with cracks, slabs, face climbing, good rock, loose rock, and everything in between! A classic Rockies alpine experience! Near the top, a short rappel into a notch and some difficult moves up the other side led to the tiny summit!
Looking back at camp (tiny yellow tent on flat area) with Neptuak behind and Mt. Hungabee in distance on right.

Dave climbing one of the upper pitches with Mt. Temple in the background.

On the summit at over 11000 feet!
We didn't linger long since the descent down the route involves about 15 rappels and lots of downclimbing, with a stop to pack up camp along the way. It was a big day and we finished off the last bit of the hike in the dark. Although we were tired, we were both super happy with our adventure!

J. Mills

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