Mount Bell | 2011.08.20
Benther and I went to Mount Bell NE ridge alpine climbing route via Taylor Lake.
We started from Taylor Lake Parking lot and followed Taylor Lake Trail. At a fork closer to Taylor Lake, we took the trail to O’Brien Lake. Where you can first find park route sign followed by an unnecessary beefed up bridge at GR644824 (waypoint “Bridge 3”), we went off trail and bushwhacked toward NE ridge via south side of the ridge.
Once above treeline, scrambling and climbing started. I found near treeline (page 3-9) and about between 300 m to 50 m below the summit (page 12-14) were the most difficult parts of the day. In general, we went straight up, but find easier lines in north side than south side.
At GR626820 which is about 60 m below the summit, we faced a beast and would have been the crux if we didn’t find a way around (page 14). Right at the face of the rock we found a ledge on climber’s right (north). We continued to stay on the ledge for about 50 m or so, there was a weakness to regain the ridge top. After that it was all scramble to the summit.
We followed scramble route covered in Kane’s book until at GR631808 col. Then we descended using snowy gully from the col. There were fair amount of snow still left, but what need to be mention here is that the gully was pretty much in shadow all day long, the snow was hard. Even though it’s doable without ice axe (at least when I did it), bringing axe would be a good idea.
Not sure why we had to go to NE ridge from south instead of from north. If it’s possible, it will save some distance. As far as we could see there didn’t seem to be any obstacles. Puzzling puzzling…
* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)