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Thread: Chapel Pond cliffs

  1. #1
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    Chapel Pond cliffs

    Anybody know if Round Mountain can be climbed via the cliffs above Chapel Pond? I have no formal rock climbing training but I have climbed many of the slides in the Daks. I've done the Trap Dike on Colden several times. Can someone like myself do it?

    Seems like it would be an interesting alternative route to Round Mt and Noonmark.

    Thanks.
    Two roads diverged in a wood one day, and I ... I took the road less traveled. No wonder I got lost.

  2. #2
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    There are a couple of gullies on either side of the main face that will get you to the top of the slabs... would not recommend the face unless you have technical experience (despite its look, its steeper than standard slab climbs). Even if you do get up, you are still well below the summit, & it looks to be a heinous bushwack.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Fogie,

    I am extremely familiar with the cliffs above Chapel Pond and with the Trap Dike.

    There are a host of cliffs and steep hillsides above Chapel Pond. The are a variety of gullies and routes that might be amenable to a "bushwhack - scramble" approach, and I've also thought it would be interesting to approach Round Mountain that way.

    However, I recommend against attempting to "hike" up the Chapel Pond Slab (as it's known to climbers), as opposed to treating it as a rock climb.

    The Trap Dike route, including the slides above the Dike proper, are variably rated 3rd or 4th class. 3rd class is steep scrambling, where some hand holds need to be used. 4th class is the same thing, but with exposure sufficient that some parties need to use a rope for safety. These classes describe the Trap Dike well.

    The Chapel Pond Slab is the nice clean slab that is so attractive, just South of the Pond. It is approached by a short walk through the woods, just South of the bridge over Dipper Brook.

    All of the routes on the slab are true rock climbs, with 5th class ratings. 5th class is defined as climbing where a rope, and fixed belay points, are required for safety. The most popular routes on the slab are in the 5.5 - 5.7 range, meaning moderately easy to intermediate rock climbs. There is a 5.2 route, which would be considered an easy rock climb, but it is quite difficult to find. Also note that the easier pitches are down below, and the climbing gets a little harder near the top. It is more difficult to climb back down then it is to climb up.

    Experienced climbers, who are using climbing shoes, and who know the routes on the slab well, routinely climb most of these routes without a rope. However, it would be EXTREMELY ill advised for an inexperienced climber who is not expert on the routes on the to start up the slab treating it as a hiking route.

    The slab routes are beautiful and enjoyable! You should round up a rock climbing buddy who doesn't mind bushwhacking, and do the trip. Climb the slab using proper rock climbing practice, and then bushwhack up to link up with the Weston trail. Sounds like fun!

    TCD

  4. #4
    Senior Member KZKlimber's Avatar
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    Don't forget the winter routes!

    You can also ascend Round Mountain in winter via one of the Chouinard's Gulley routes (directly across from the Chapel Pond Parking lot) or by climbing the "Crystal Ice Tower" that forms off the southern end of Chapel Pond. Each start out as technical ice climbs requiring protection and rope.

    Chapel Pond Slab is an easier route but avalanche prone in winter.

    And you can walk across the pond instead of around it!

    Last edited by KZKlimber; 08-31-2004 at 09:35 AM.
    "Climb On"

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I think I'll try some of the Dike routes. I'll go for the widest one to allow more flexibility. I don't mind bushwhacking once up top. From on top of Giant, it looks like there are lots of rock outcroppings from the top of the cliffs to the summit.
    Two roads diverged in a wood one day, and I ... I took the road less traveled. No wonder I got lost.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Cool

    Have a good bushwhack!

    Here are a few things you may want to try:

    Chapel Pond Slab South descent gully: If you walk over to the slab, and then circle around left, you'll find the bottom of the gully that runs between the Chapel Pond Slab and the larger, non-descript Emporer Slab South of it. This can be climbed at about 3rd - 4th class. There are some slippery steep spots high in the gully. It is often used as a climber's descent, although climbers often rappel the steep spots.

    Chapel Pond Slab North descent trail: If you walk up the strong obvious trail that heads uphill from near the beach on the South end of the pond, you'll pass a dark wet cliff early (the "Crystal Ice Tower" ice route). Then the trail will lead you up to a stream bed. If you turn right and go up the stream, you'll come to a dead end (non climbable box canyon type thing). But if you cross the stream and scramble around a bit, you'll find a climbers rope ladder that lets you hand over hand up a little slab, and then continue up the trail. From the top of the trail, a little 3rd class puts you on top of the slab.

    "Dead Rabbit" approach: High above the North end of the pond you can see some small overhanging rock slabs. This is the ice route "Dead Rabbit." You can probably get around the Dead Rabbit cliffs and continue up the mountain. You can approach this spot in summer via Chapel Pond Canyon. You can get into the canyon by bushwhacking along the L bank of the chapel pond outlet brook, from where it crosses route 73 near the campground road. A longer, but prettier and more interesting approach to the canyon is to take the well marked and maintained climbers approach trail from near the wide pullout a little further down the hill. This trail will let you get over the height of land and into the bottom of the canyon. You can then walk left, up canyon to the pond, past many interesting cliffs and boulders. If you bushwhack about 50 feet along the SW shore of the pond, Dead Rabbit will be approximately straight above you.

    Round Mountain East Ridge: This isn't exactly the same place you're trying to go, but it's sensational, and I'd be remiss if I left it out. Take a look at the map, and spot the fairly obvious ridge. Start on the Round Pond Dix trail. Go to the pond, then along the pond a little, and then head into the woods and find the little hill that marks the start of the ridge. Navigate right up the ridge for a lot of great views and beautiful open rock, which gets better as you go, all the way to the summit. This trip is highly recommended.

    Have fun!

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