Bagdonas in the Absaroka

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Bagdonas in the Absaroka

Postby TomTuriano » Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:59 pm

University of Wyoming student Davin Bagdonas has been very active climbing in the southern Absaroka since his high school days. In late Mayearly June of 1996, he solo-climbed two routes on Pinnacle Butte. He climbed red first and highly recommends it. Depending on the time of year, it features dry tooling around giant chockstones.

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"There are ice gullies that are maybe 7 feet across! Lots of good snow too and some dry tooling/rock climbing." According to Bagdonas, the yellow route is a bowling alley, though the easier of the two routes: "I used to sit on the ridge between the two routes, on an ash gendarme, and watch rocks of all sizes and shapes come down. Watched about 50 tons of snow come out in early May of 1996!" The yellow route apparently finishes in a very loose chimney. He repeated the route in mid-June 1997 and it was much drier and more committing.

On Ramshorn Peak, Bagdonas climbed the red route around June 22, 2004 with Joe Johnson of Laramie. They reached the north ridge and then retreated because of bad weather. "The crux was getting on the face from the beginning 'bowling alley'...sketchy mixed climbing...70-degree ice that turned into a near-vertical mud climb. I had to dig through mud to place pins. Classic route though."

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Bagdonas also has tried to climb Turret Pinnacle in Shoshone South Fork a couple times in winter with the hope of finding ice covering the loose breccia cobbles. Once was in March 2003 and another time in February 2004, both of which were thwarted by deep snow. Both attempts were on the southwest side, which he says feature "less chimney climbing...more like giant dishes with wandering ledges...lots of back and forth. It's really a question of spending the time to traverse all over the mountain finding access between the ledges. Reminds me of the Far Side cartoon "look out!", where the guy is driving up and around the mountain a couple of times before the "look out" where he takes the digger."

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When asked if he thinks the ridge from Carter Mountain would go, he responded, "From the ridge of Carter Mountain is a difficult proposition! I think those pinnacles might be a bit much. There is a distinct white "ash" band a bit higher than the pinnacled ridge that should yield ledges to find vertical chimneys. To the white band is a question. Overhangs form below it. Definitely a solution, especially if there is ice.

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