Tantalus - Descent Beta
Climbing Mount Tantalus seems to more and more underestimate these days. Although the climbing is never too tough the route-finding both going up and down can be mind-boggling. Particularly if you are coming in blind doing the Traverse.
Normally when we climb the route are heading up either of the 2 different descent options so we can make our plan for heading back down.
There are 2 options: One follows a new bolted line and the other is shorter but still uses fixed nut/slung anchors and involves some strange sideways rappels.
Both start from the summit...obviously. Either down climbing or rappeling off the massive summit chain block back down to the ledge. Here you need to down climb a touch to find a bolted anchor on the skiers right below some loose flakes.
Rappel the whole rope length to a ledge and start walking this ledge system back to the south. This ledge system will drop slowly away from the ridgeline and is never much more than walking.
Eventually, this ledge system will lead you closer to a nice knife-edge ridge about 20 feet above you. This is where the two descent options split.
Follow another nice ledge system up to the knife-edge ridge and climb along until you find a bolted anchor on the west side of the ridge.
Rap to the west onto a big ledge with loose rock. Walk along the ledge skiers left to find a 3 bolt anchor on the edge of a steep wall above a big west-facing couloir. From here rappel over the blunt edge and down the steep face to a ledge and climb back up/sideways through the first notch leading back to the east (facing Squamish) face. You do not go down the couloir!!
See picture 2
Once on the east side rap straight down the gully below the witches tooth and anchor off gear or slung horn.
Climb back up a small corner to a ledge and bolted belay (10m climb)
Either belay or continue traversing past a bolt, piton to a bolted belay above the heart of darkness couloir.
Rappel down to sandy notch above the couloir.
Climb up past a bolted belay and left on sandy ledged to another bolted anchor on the ridge.
Continue traversing back toward Mount Dione on a nice ledge system to a bolted rap station.
Rap over the moat, which depending on the season can be anywhere from easy to very difficult.
Continue along the upper ledge system trending down until you reach the edge of the first major gully.
Rap off fixed nut belay over a chockstone into the gully. Trend skiers right on a ledge system around the corner to a huge slung chockstone. This rappel is 31 m and very sideways.
Rap off the chockstone trending skiers right into the gully below the witch's tooth.
Here you join option 1 climbing back up the small corner (10m)
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