Zach Turner and I returned to Harrison Peak’s South Face and climbed it to the summit on July 23rd, 2017. We attempted this line last year but were forced to bail due to falling snow and water running over the clean slabs that comprise the lower pitches of the route. This time, we enjoyed a beautiful day of good rock and sunshine in the Idaho Selkirks.
Zach and I made quick work of the approach to Harrison Lake before making a beeline toward the lower slabs of Harrison Peak. Zach offered me the first lead since he took the first lead on our attempt last summer, so I racked up and led out onto our first pitch, 3 hours after leaving the trailhead. There was a surprising amount of fun slab liebacking on this first pitch. It is apparent that there are multiple ways to climb this section – we took the right-hand side.
Zach took the lead on our second pitch, which unfortunately had little interesting climbing except for the final few moves. Zach built a belay underneath the crux pitch and brought me up. I offered the crux lead to Zach – he’s wanted to do this route for years and it just seemed right. He cruised the pitch with style, starting with an interesting overhung move into a few strenuous lieback moves. One more steep, splitter corner crack brought us to the summit.
The summit was spectacular, with most of the ridgeline overhanging the South and West faces. The summit register is an old ammo box filled with interesting items including sutures, benadryl, bandaids, and a tiny bottle of whipped cream vodka. We spent some time relaxing on the summit and made the easy descent down Harrison’s East slopes. A quick dip in Harrison Lake gave us a refreshing break before hiking out to the car. It’s pretty nice to be able to climb a peak this impressive in a single day and still be home for dinner!
There are a lot of finger cracks on this route – I’d recommend carrying doubles of cams .3-1 with a single 2 and 3. A 60m rope is sufficient.