From \\\\Posted On:
2020-07-19, By: supranihilestInfo:
We climbed "P 1" and "P 2" together from a low camp since we got rained off the full traverse the day before. See my CR for "P 1" for a description up to that point. From "P 1" drop south on slightly less solid rock. You'll be traversing below the ridge crest most of the way towards "P 2", and following numerous talus gullies up and over ribs. There are several points en route to "P 2" with notches between them, and I think we scrambled to the top of each point only to find that it was best to simply continue traversing along the gullies and ribs below. I don't think we crossed to the east side of the ridge even once on this traverse, as it's basically nothing but exceptionally exposed and smooth slabs to the basin floor on that side. The rock between "P 1" and "P 2" is not as good as the ascent up "P 1"'s north ridge, unfortunately, but it's still a joy and a part of this classic traverse. The final scramble up "P 2" can be done on the ridge crest on great, solid quartzite, replete with the wonderful knife edges of the area. Alternatively, simply scramble up a talus gully just below the ridge crest on the west side.
The descent off "P 2" to the southeast is absolutely wild, but much easier than it looks from the summit. From the summit all you can see is a short, 1-foot wide catwalk that twists and snakes away from the summit before plummeting into shadow, and beyond that a massive, smooth slab topped with a knife edge. If we had been able to do this from "P 3" the day before we would have had to down climb the slab, but this way we only had to ascend it, which is fortunate; it would be a scary down climb, and the views here are intimidating. However, it's easier than it looks! Instead of going out on the catwalk, head due south and scramble down ledges (beware loose rock) onto a talus field between "P 2"'s summit and the slab. Scramble over to the slab and tighten your belt. This thing is real. It didn't look so big from the summit but standing at the base it's hard not to feel disbelief in how big and crazy this thing looks. The bottom 1/3 or so to the first notch/flat spot is the crux of the entire traverse, and climbing up it is incredible. I kept my hands on the knife edge itself the entire time, just scooting them along, and used teeny cracks and dishes in the rock for my feet. The exposure here is extremely high and the climbing felt like pure friction slab - thank god the hands were good. This is the Class 4 section, and it felt both too long and not long enough. Pulling up onto the notch you can go hands free and collect yourself. The reset of the slab is Class 3 and has better feet, mostly, stuff you can really feel a good connection to the rock on. It took me less time to do the upper 2/3 of the slab than the lower 1/3, to give a sense of difficulty, consequence, and the required diligence to climb it. From the top of the slab the difficulty returns to Class 2 talus, and we descended back to the "P 2"/"P 3" saddle and down the talus gully to the rock glacier and back to our camp. If you're doing "P 2" as an out and back from "P 3" do NOT forget that you have to down climb this thing first, then re-climb it on your way out! Also, I just have to plug "P 1" here, since most people skip its unranked summit - go out to "P 1" and down its north ridge, which is probably the best part of the entire Peters traverse. Skipping "P 1" is a crime, so go get you some "P 1"!
Photos: 1) "P 2" from "P 1". 2, 3, 4, 5 (all Garrett M.), 6, 7, and 8 ) Typical scrambling along the way. 9) Off the summit. 10) The slab and knife edge with Garrett and Whiley visible for sense of scale. The first short section to grass is easy, then it gets significantly harder. 11) Looking down at me on the knife edge (photo by Garrett M.)
NOTE: Since this was ascended a while ago and I'm just now getting back to internet, I've put today's date for visibility, since there hasn't otherwise been recent updates for the peak. I'll backdate this CR in a couple of days.