Ginsu Ridge (taken March 2003)ginsumap.jpg (6598 bytes)

Out against Timpanogos' west face lies a knife-blade ridge that will cut through tin cans and still slice tomatoes like a hot knife through butter! (See 3-D photo)

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Shaun approaches base camp

Shaun had wanted to climb this spur ever since summitting Timpanogos via Everest Ridge - the next ridge north.

Chris and Shaun started up one night in March and cut a ledge into the ridge at about 8,000' for base camp.


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Talking with friends and family on the phone, we could see each others' flashlights

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Shaun climbs out of his bivy sack

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Chris heats up some breakfast at base camp, Little Baldy in the lower right

The conversation went something like this:
Shaun: "Everybody down there just gets up and rolls out of bed and walks down carpeted halls to the bathroom. We have to put on crampons."
Chris: "Well I'd hate to see you sliding down the mountain with your pants down."

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Chris makes his way up the ridge

Snow conditions were generally good with a thick enough (5") crust to keep us from breaking through. The three feet of depth hoar (sugar snow--very dangerous for avalanches) below the crust concerned us some, but we kept going.

After climbing through a few 20' cliff bands, we reached what we assumed would be the summit. After 40' of mixed climbing, we made it over the top to discover that the true summit waited at least three small summits away--all connected by a narrow ridge with cliffs falling away for hundreds of feet to either side.

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Chris stands at the front edge of the blade

Chris was satisfied with the front end of the ridge while Shaun, after coveting this summit for so long, couldn't stop when already so close. He later considered himself lucky for not knowing what he was in for as he might not have gone on....

This picture gives you an idea of what most of Ginsu's summit ridge looks like. What doesn't show is the 400' drop on both sides.

This easy 12' downclimb presented no problems.

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The snow along the summit had a steep crown. The summit here shows how Shaun straddled the ridge and scooted across the top with his axe in front of him.

The 20' downclimb at the end of the ridge (to the right) was rotten. Shaun kicked it and sent rock shards flying everywhere. He then backtracked 25' and climbed off to the south (left), then traversed around on narrow, snow-covered ledges (you can see his tracks), pushing rocks away to find solid holds, kicking his crampons as deep as possible for secure footing above the cliffs. 

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I pasted the image of Chris at the top of this photo with Photoshop to show approximate size of the ridge

Jared Glisades toward Ginsu March 2003ginsusummit4.jpg (10016 bytes)
A wide-angle view from below Ginsu fails to show its size and steepness. To the left of all the rock, a set of mountain lion tracks crossed the shoulder. Timp's summit ridge is a few hundred yards up and left.

A hundred yards from the car, Shaun realized he had a 40' section of 7mm rope he could have used to traverse the summit ridge more safely. But as long as he lived through it anyway, he was glad to have done it the more exciting way.

> Jared glisades toward Ginsu after a March, 2003 climb up neighboring Everest Ridge, with Little Baldy in the background.

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