East Ridge Missouri Mountain

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Vacas Valley
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East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by Vacas Valley »

Is the East Ridge of Missouri from Elkhead Pass worth the route-finding and potential hazards? Thumbs up or thumbs down on this route and why?
Ptglhs
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by Ptglhs »

I've heard people who've done it out of foolishness or desperation say it's loose class 4+. It's not worth it IMO. If you want to do all 3 peaks then do Belford/Oxford, descend via elkhead, ascend and descend the standard of Missouri. If you have 4wd, only want Missouri, and want some solitude then do the West Ridge.
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thebeave7
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by thebeave7 »

Depends on what you enjoy and your risk tolerance. I've done the route, along with the back side via Iowa/Emerald, the standard route and the ridge up from Clohesy Lake. The East ridge is not what I'd call enjoyable, it's got one nerve racking (to me) section of Class 3-4 where you're traversing on broken dinner plates on top of slab then upclimbing a bit. Then above that the rock gets better and the climbing is more solid along the ridge proper. For me I don't usually do it because the risk is too high and I often end up there in the middle of a long linkup/traverse (ie Nolans) where I know my brain is a bit foggy and not totally there.
By comparison I have no problem soloing LB-Blanca traverse, the Bells Traverse, Capitol ridge direct, Blitzen Ridge, Keiners, etc.

It goes, not great.

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CaptainSuburbia
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by CaptainSuburbia »

Didnt Roach say something about that being the place of nightmares?
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Barnold41
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by Barnold41 »

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justiner
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by justiner »

From Elkhead, the best route imho is this: once you get to the business (this is obvious), you have the option of going left or right, towards Missouri. Left is what I feel most people do. The terrain is very loose, and you'll have to swim up a gully that's trying very hard to fall down. Instead, go right, across an exposed, sloping ledge to a very loose face - falling on this face would be bad. Climb the face up to a dihedral, then up the dihedral. Good holds will appear - this is the best pitch of the business. Things are still loose so don't lose focus. Traverse out left at the top of the dihedral. Very solid Class 4 (grade), but still very loose (terrain). The rest is easy ridge walking.
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terrysrunning
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by terrysrunning »

First time I did it it was, to quote Roach, "the stuff of this authors nightmares", and it was the day I decided I needed an Inreach.
I read a couple trip reports from people who thought it was easy, though, so I went back a couple years later and much more experienced, and picked the right line, and it was so easy I was surprised when I got to the top.
So if you're pretty good at routefinding and judging loose terrain, there's a decent line to be found. But if you pick the wrong line, as most do, it'll be a miserable time, and maybe even fairly dangerous.
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Jorts
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by Jorts »

Tried downclimbing it -on impulse without beta- back in July. Started as an easy traverse off the summit hopping around/down loose gullies and ribs. Then I hit the top of the dihedral. The holds were there but not solid. I started down, placed a foot and had a rather large flake pop off on me. Thought better of my decision and scrambled back up to the summit and down the west ridge.

Only later did I reach Roach's description. #-o

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JQDivide
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by JQDivide »

That ridge is a dirty bitch.
But if you head toward the Iowa saddle you can skip the mess and still save some time if you are heading to Bel/Ox.
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Vacas Valley
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by Vacas Valley »

Right on! I appreciate everybody’s input on this route. I really like the “work around” heading towards Iowa saddle. I still will do the ridge proper at some point because I know it’s been done, can be done, just needs extra precautions. And I like to pucker my buttcheeks every once in a while. Lol.
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tortilla
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by tortilla »

I enjoyed Missouri’s East ridge. The standard is equally loose but without the fun dihedral. Justiner’s description is spot on. The loosest part is above the ledge he mentions. There’s also a low 5th handcrack to the right of the dihedral if you’re feeling it. I have lots of pictures showing the route, PM me if you want to see them
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JacerJack
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Re: East Ridge Missouri Mountain

Post by JacerJack »

The first time I heard rock described as "shattered dinner plates sitting on ball bearings" was in reference to this route. That description still gives me the heebie-jeebies... That, and the already mentioned Roach quote of being "so rotten that it is relegated to this author's nightmares." But a badass linkup if you can pull it off!
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